I used to go to North Kent almost exclusively to hang out at Aladdin's Castle, one of the last great old-school video game arcades. I'd usually ride the bus up there, listening to my "cassette walkman," most likely a cassingle of De La Soul or something.
Another thing I remember is for a while, NK was the home to the only of the old-style photo booths. Not the sort that are around today where you can be superimposed in front of backgrounds and such but the type where it fires off 4 takes and you get a strip of (black & white!) photos at the end. There was also a small movie theater to the side, "Movies at North Kent."
|Aladdin's Castle was awesome. I never knew it was actually a chain. Apparently there are still a few alive today, scattered around the country.|
|Mostly dead interior, 1998.|
|The old Movies at North Kent sign, no longer there.|
Do kids even do that these days? Just go and "hang out at the mall"? The malls sure seemed to be social meccas in the 80s and 90s from what I remember. For area young'uns with no car, it was probably the place to go and meet boys/girls. I bet you were "cool" if you had a boy/girlfriend was from a different school. Ah, youth.
|This is one of 2 statues that were inside. I have discovered both of the statues are now in a small park outside a Salvation Army office building on LaGrave St. Photo: Alaine Poelstra|
Not much remains online of the old place. I did find one very odd newspaper article though (click to enlarge) ....
|This guy regains sight in his blind eye by bumping into a pole while powerwalking in North Kent Mall.|
Truly a Christmas miracle!
Here are a couple shots of the interior from a 2-page ad the mall took out in a yearbook from Northview highscool, 1975, courtesy Larry Bennett with Photoshop cleanup by Randy Tate...
Here is another artifact kindly donated by Christopher Gielda, who was a manager at Record Town.
A North Kent Mall brochure featuring a map and a store directory! See if it jogs your memory of the different stores that were there. Click on the pics for super-large versions that are readable...
|Map brochure outside. Click to enlarge|
|Map brochure inside. See store listing below! Click to enlarge|
|Store listing for the map! Click to enlarge|
Please feel free to share your own North Kent Mall memories in the comments below!
Thanks everyone who has posted. It's fun reading everyone's recollections...