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Archive for the ‘3400 Forest Drive’ tag

Richland Mall Demolition, 3400 Forest Drive: February 2024 etc   39 comments

Posted at 10:22 pm in closing

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As of yet the demolition appears to be limited to taking down some parking lot lights and cutting some trees. I would guess not much interior teardown has been done, because I don't see a lot of refuse & dumpsters, but that's just a guess.

I'll keep updating this post as the demolition continues...

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on February 26th, 2024

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J. B. White / Belk, 3400 Forest Drive: 6 September 2023   11 comments

Posted at 10:49 pm in closing

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I remember growing up, when this store was White's, the book department at the top of the escalator was one of my favorite places to browse as they would usually have a selection of Tom Swift, Jr books as well as random other interesting tomes. The escalator itself was cool because it was so narrow that you could grab each handrail and hoist yourself off your feet while you made the trip, all the while listening to the floor-caller making coded announcements like Five Nine, Five Nine!.

When they knocked the original Richland Mall down, they skipped this building, and it stayed on as White's until the chain went under, or was bought out -- I forget which.

After that, it became Belk, but honestly, this store has been getting ready to close for the past five years or so. It seemed as though every time I went inside, the place had been more hollowed out and threadbare. It started most notably on the second floor, especially after the doors to the far side of the mall were permanently closed and gradually continued up there until finally the escalator was shut down and the whole floor closed off. This is basically the path the Dutch Square store walked down. I can still recall how spooky it was to go up to the men's room there after the rest of the floor had been vacated.

Ahthough I haven't been in since the closing was announced, things were looking pretty sparse on the ground floor as well, the last time I went by. I'll try to get some inside pictures at some point during the process.

Here are stories on the closing from The State, WLTX, and The Post & Courier.

(Hat tip to Mr. Hat)

UPDATE 6 September 2023: Commenter Andrew notes that the place closed today, so I am updating the post title to note that.

Written by ted on August 15th, 2023

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Regal Columbia Cinema, 3400 Forest Drive Suite 3000: 6 February 2022   9 comments

Posted at 11:08 pm in closing

13 July 2008:

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8 February 2022:

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9 February 2022:

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The last movie I saw during the pre-COVID era at Regal Columbia Cinema was Frozen 2, in which I was highly disappointed (though my niece liked it). I know that I saw at least one movie there after the theaters re-opened, but for the life of me I can recall what it was right now. On both occasions the experience was fine (apart from the actual movie..), but you could tell that the place was definitely an older auditorium which hadn't kept up with all the new trends.

That was not at all the case when these cinemas opened. As I have written before this location was not the first theater at Richland Mall. The old open-air mall had a free-standing duplex on an out-parcel where I saw many a "summer movie" during those old "drop off the kids & shop" promotions. It also famously had a time capsule, though commenter Del says it eventually came to naught.

When the old mall was razed and the current mall was built, the new rooftop cinema opened as part of the Litchfield Theaters chain, and it was classy. There were real cloth curtains over the screens which would be closed between the trailers and the main feature, which would start after the famous "Sea Oats" logo. I'm a little hazy on what happened to Litchfield Theaters. I think perhaps the head guy perished in a plane crash and the chain fell into hard times without him, but I couldn't swear to that.

Anyway, after that, it became part of the Regal chain, and I always looked forward to the "policy trailer" with the animated monorail riding along a track of 35mm film (and the Kernel of Doom! popcorn). The trailer was updated many times over the years with increasingly elaborate train redesigns, state of the art CGI and audio effects. Most recently, it has lost a bit of its charm as people have forgotten what "film" was, and the 35mm tracks have been replaced with actual rails.

As you can see from the 2008 pictures, in the beginning, you could take the escalator from inside the mall to the roof and walk to the theater from there, and there were also "Now Playing" & "Coming Soon" posters in displays on the walls of the mall in a couple of places. Sometime after Belk closed its entrance to that side of the mall, they stopped running the escalator, and the only way to the theaters was to drive to the rooftop.

As I mentioned elsewhere recently, my impression in years past was that this theater and the theaters behind Golden Corral had a gentleman's agreement to not book duplicate movies in most cases, and it was usually the case that if you were in Forest Acres, your movie would be at this theater or that one, but not both. In recent years this broke down, especially with so few movies available recently, and I don't think that helped the bottom line for this place. Certainly being closed for months on end during the darkest days of the pandemic did not.

During that closure, the mall management put up traffic cones and sawhorses to keep you from driving back into the theater area, and as you can see in the 9 February pictures, those are now back. However the cones were set aside today as a number of vehicles were back in the theater area, perhaps getting ready to clear it out, as was a news crew from WOLO.

With the mall currently under contract to be sold and possibly razed, I doubt that any second operation or dollar cinema will move in here, but as predictions about the mall have always been iffy, we'll just have to see.

Here are stories from WLTX, The State & The Free Times.

(Hat tip to commenter Jeannette)

Written by ted on February 9th, 2022

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LensCrafters, 3400 Forest Drive Suite 2050: Fall 2020 (Moved)   5 comments

Posted at 9:58 pm in closing

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LensCrafters in Richland Mall was on the upper level across from the barbershop, in the far left of the first picture. I had another picture of the facade, but it didn't come out, and Richland Mall is locked on weekends now, so it will be a while before I can get another.

They moved to Cross Hill Market in an outparcel across from Duck Donuts sometime in the fall. I believe that with this move, the barbershop is now the only business in Richland Mall which does not have outside access.

Gymboree, Richland Mall: Summer 2017   7 comments

Posted at 12:33 am in closing

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Well, there has been speculation for a while, what with Gymboree's Chapter 11 filing, but the other shoe dropped today:

SAN FRANCISCO – Children's clothing seller Gymboree Corp. is closing 350 stores as its works to restructure in bankruptcy.

The San Francisco-based company said Tuesday that it's mostly closing Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores. It also operates Janie and Jack stores. The company will have more than 900 locations after the stores are shut down.

The full closing list is here, and includes, unsurprisingly, this Richland Mall store, as well as the one at Sandhill. The closing sales are supposed to start on 18 July.

I took these pictures back in early June and even then, the whole store was 50% off -- I don't think this is a big surprise to them.

I have to admit I had never heard of Janie and Jack or Crazy 8.

UPDATE 3 February 2021 -- Here's another picture I just came across apparently from 26 April 2013:

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Also adding a map icon.

The Seafood Academy, 3400 Forest Drive #1014: 6 September 2016 (moving)   27 comments

Posted at 12:02 am in closing

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The Seafood Academy was the follow-on operation to the much lamented (by me, anyway) TGI Friday's in Richland Mall.

Since I'm not a fan of seafood, I never partook of this new incarnation, which, according to their sign, is now relocating to East Point Plaza at 7535 Garners Ferry.

Getting inside the mall for some of these pictures was kind of sad. More than half the doors to the interior were marked as out-of-order-use-next-door. If they can't afford to fix the doors already, losing a front facing store is just adding insult to injury.

(Hat tip to commenter Bobby)

UPDATE 9 August 2017 -- Looks like the new location is finally about ready to open:

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Written by ted on September 26th, 2016

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Posh Pets, Richland Mall: 2013 (moved)   2 comments

Posted at 12:10 am in closing

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I thought I had a picture of this place in operation, but find I can't put my hands on it now.

This Richland Mall storefront is the old Eckerd's location, and I believe that up until the time Posh Pets grooming moved in, it had been vacant since the closing of that store. I am also pretty sure that for some reason, while it was Posh Pets the location had no interior signage or mall access.

I believe that Posh was only here for a year or two and has sinced moved out to Fort Jackson Boulevard and Sparkleberry.

UPDATE 11 November 2014 -- Here are those pictures I was looking for with the place in operation:

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Written by ted on October 31st, 2014

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Eckerd Drugs, Richland Mall: Early 2000s   7 comments

Posted at 12:39 am in closing

This space, to the right of Barnes & Noble on the lower level of Richland Mall was the mall's drugstore, Eckerd Drugs.

I'm trying to remember if the original Richland Mall had a drug store and I don't think it did. Eckerd's came in with the enclosed Richland Fashion Mall stage, and may have ended there. I don't think it made it to the Midtown at Forest Acres stage, but I'm not sure exactly when that started, and I refuse to call the mall that anyway.

It certainly did not make it as late as the Rite-Aid buyout of Eckerd's. I'm not sure exactly when it closed, but I think it was the early 2000s. By that time, Eckerd's had already seen the writing on the wall which required corner stores, and had moved the Trenholm Plaza store to the current corner-equivalent location that RIte AId on Forest Drive now occupies. The Richland Mall store had no drive-through, and could never have one, and while the parking was as close to strip-mall parking as Richland Mall gets, it still wasn't as good as a real strip-mall.

UPDATE 10 August 2020: Add map icon, update tags.

Written by ted on September 12th, 2009

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