Category: 1980s

  • A Century of Progress with the Junior League of Reading

    In 1901 the Junior League was founded in New York City as the Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movement. It was founded within a time of great social unrest and an emerging feminist movement. On August 6th, 1923 ten wives and daughters of Reading’s elite industrialists met in the living room of Mrs.…

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  • Showbiz Pizza Place & Major Magic

    Showbiz Pizza Place incorporated in 1980 and entered the Berks County market in 1982. Its location was in Muhlenberg Plaza on the northern Belleview Avenue side. Showbiz Pizza featured an entertaining cast of animatronic characters including Billy Bob Brockali, Looney Bird, Fatz Geronimo and Mitzi Mozzarella. This main stage animatronic show was called “The Rock-afire…

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  • The Ranch House

    A staple on Penn Avenue in West Lawn for nearly a half century, the owners of the Circle S Ranch House announced on March 30th that they would be closing permanently on April 8th, 2022. The building was built in 1969 as a Schell’s. It replaced the location that was further east down Penn Avenue…

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  • C.K. Whitner’s Department Store

    On December 2nd 1980 management announced that the 103 year old C.K. Whitner’s Department store located on the 400 block of Penn Street would be shuttering permanently in January of 1981. Declining foot traffic downtown was cited as the reason why the business was no longer having success in that location. At this time Whitner’s…

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  • On this Day – Dec 1st 1984

    A fire rips through the building at 527 Penn Street destroying a photography studio on the upper floors which caved into Ciao Restaurant, a pizza shop, on the main level.

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  • Haunted Fairgrounds Square Mall

    The Fairgrounds Square Mall has itself become a ghost. It was just demolished over what will inevitably go down as the infamous Summer of 2020. The mall was on its last leg for years, and it only seemed fitting that it would meet its end in such a year as this one has been. However,…

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  • Ted’s Soft Ice Cream – Blandon

    Ted’s Soft Ice Cream was in operation between 1960-1976 in Blandon. It was owned by Theodore and Grace Hughes. After closing up the ice cream shop in 1976 they went on to operate a business called Ted’s Soft Pretzel’s. Unfortunately Theodore passed in 1982 and Grace ran the business until retiring in 1986. Do you…

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  • Fleetwood Fire Company – Then & Now

    The building pictured above at Franklin and Washington Streets in Fleetwood in 1966 served as the Fleetwood Fire Company’s station and social quarters since it was erected in 1928. It was built at the cost of $65,000. The auditorium was used as a theatre, at least in the 60s and showed films for the community.…

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  • Pensupreme

    Pensupreme was the trade name of Penn Dairy; which originated in Lancaster County. The dairy had restaurants referred to as “Pensupreme Shoppes” which served food and ice cream. They also branched into “Grocerettes” which were basically convenience stores in various places around eastern PA. The main milk processing plant was in York, PA. In Berks…

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  • Mount Penn High

    Mt. Penn High School

    The original Mt. Penn School building was the precursor to Mt. Penn High School and was built in 1885 at 24th and Grant Streets. By 1923 there were 8 elementary grades and 4 high school grades in the building with 240 elementary children and 70 high school students. It had been outgrown and a new building…

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