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Memories of the Magic City Shopping Center- Part III

If walls could talk, the Magic City Plaza would have a lot of stories to tell. In the past two editions of the Herald, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane. (See this week’s edition for Part II) The shopping center has seen stores and trends come and go and children grow up. It’s been through construction and demolition, fun and despair, wealth and poverty. Through good times and bad, the plaza has provided a lot of memories for the people of Barberton and surrounding communities. Robert Augustynovich remembers collecting orange crates from Acme and A&P to make homemade skateboards. Tammi Bieri said, “I have many memories of the shopping plaza. From the bowling alley, to the five and dime and shopping at Fashion Bug.”

We’ve put together a timeline, based on information provided from the Barberton  Historical Society, Barberton Library and the Barberton Herald archives. We apologize if something is missing- we can only report on what has previously been recorded. We’ve also included photos of old advertisements from some of the retailers. As Marshall’s liked to tell us back then, “Pull on your panty hose! They’ll put a smile on your face!” Enjoy!

1953 

The Magic City Shopping Center was built. Some of the original stores included: Acme #9, Woolworths, A&P, Farron’s Shoes, Gray’s Drugstore, Arvalan Gifts, Abby’s Menswear, Magic City Lanes and W.T. Grant.

1954

JC Penney, First National Bank, Purity Market, Lawson, Isaly’s, Nobil’s, Van’s Clear Sylk moved in.

Late ’50s – Early ’70s – Several events were held in the parking lot.

Halloween parties, a teenage “roadeo” driving contest, sled rides, Santa visits, beauty contests and square dancing.

1958

JC Penney moved to Rolling Acres Mall

1984

New owners came in and gave the plaza a much needed facelift. Woolworths announced they were not closing, despite rumors (All Woolworths were closed in Ohio by the end of 1989). Barberton Exchange moved into the plaza. Offering same day check cashing and pay advances, long lines of people began gathering at the plaza, leaving trash and vandalism behind.

According to our readers, the following stores also lived in the plaza at one point in time (no records are available):

D&K, JoAnn Fabrics, The Food Connection, Joyce’s Beauty Nook (’70s), a video store, Little Caesars Pizza, a jewelry store, a five and dime store, The Skillet, Fanny Farmer and Fashion Bug.

2022-  There are currently 14 merchants (prior to the arrival of Marc’s):

Big Lots (and Big Lots Furniture), Armed Forces Career Center, Rent-A-Center, Rainbow clothing store, Save a lot, Dollar Tree, Super China, Boost Mobile, Cosmo Pro, U.S. Bank, Metro PCS, Famous Hair, Tobacco Vapor and Advance America.

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Jim Hance on April 19, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    The trampoline center was called Mooney s bounce a roonee owned by the Mooney family. The mother, Mrs.Mooney taught at Memorial School for many years. That’s correct about JC Penney company, I worked there in 1964. Sometime in 1950s the guys did drag car racing in the back. And not like RuPaul lol. I remember Fanny Farmer Candies, Volk’s Tile City, and WEWright hardware. The restaurant was originally called Mr.Skillet owned by the Campbell family and once featured Kentucky Fried Chicken. Unio Linger jewelry store, Van’s, Nobility and Ostrovs shoes.



  2. Caine on February 9, 2022 at 5:13 am

    Remember when the owner of the Chinese restaurant at the Plaza was caught catching geese at Lake Anna. He said that in his nation you could catch them for food. Don’t know if they were serving the geese in the restaurant or not. Hey, it might be a good thing to let them do that again and get rid of the local goose over-population at the lake and elsewhere!



  3. PK on February 2, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    Hondels/Hondles Candy (can’t remember the spelling)
    Was down at the Penny’s end in the 60’s. Was always a special treat when my dad took us there for the delicious white chocolate!



  4. Ray on January 29, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    Diane why are you spreading lies about Super China?…they are open.



  5. Rubber City Rebel on January 27, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    Anyone remember the go-kart track behind and near the JC Penney store. Also remember the trampoline concession at the opposite end of the plaza? Lots of fond memories from the 60’s and 70’s at the Plaza!



  6. Super China on January 26, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    Hi, this is Super China! We are still open in the Magic City Plaza.

    Our business hours are:
    Sunday: CLOSED
    Monday – Thursday: 11:00am to 9:30pm
    Friday – Saturday: 11:00am to 10:30pm



  7. Caine on January 23, 2022 at 5:59 am

    Better check out your history here…J C Penney could not have moved to Rolling Acres Mall in 1958 as the Mall was not built until the mid-1970’s! Also the State Liquor Store occupied the south end of the plaza with Heston’s Dry Cleaners and Laundry. When I was a youth in the mid-1960’s we loved to bowl at the shopping center and then hop across Wooster Road for pizza at Tonio’s (about 95 cents for a small pizza then) or an ice cream cone at Isalys. The 5 and 10 had a bunch of parrots and other small creatures in their basement and once a worker almost died from a sickness she contracted from caring for the birds. Also remember a “circus” including a tent in the parking lot where an elephant died and the circus crew left it behind the plaza covered with an old tarp! Big time odor! Good memories of the old days.



  8. Dianne Triplett on January 20, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    Just an update: Fashion Bug was in the same place e that Rainbow is now…until about 8 years ago. Also…Super China has just recently shut down. And one more…Top Nail was bought out by Rose Nails, then moved down next to Rainbow.



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