Unimart

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Jeff
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Post by Jeff » 04 Apr 2007 16:28

I ran across this picture on a Burbank memories website about Unimart. I dont know what it was. I beleive we mentioned that this site was later a White front.

http://wesclark.com/burbank/unimart.jpg

javelin
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Post by javelin » 04 Apr 2007 17:24

Jeff wrote:I ran across this picture on a Burbank memories website about Unimart. I dont know what it was. I beleive we mentioned that this site was later a White front.

http://wesclark.com/burbank/unimart.jpg
There's a Jo Ann crafts in West Covina with a similar roof with several arches over the entrances, and I remember a Zody's in Buena Park with the same. Not much of anything on the net about a Unimart.

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runchadrun
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Post by runchadrun » 04 Apr 2007 18:06

Jeff wrote:I ran across this picture on a Burbank memories website about Unimart. I dont know what it was. I beleive we mentioned that this site was later a White front.
Unimart was a membership department store (like Gemco, I suppose). Their ads disappeared in 1969. Unimart was owned by Food Giant, which was acquired by Vornado, who owned Two Guys and Builders Emporium. Except perhaps for Burbank (for which I found no info), all of the stores became Two Guys stores, and many of them became Fedmarts and then Target.

Check out the Norwalk store at 11600 Alondra. It looks like the vintage Burbank store picture.
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2& ... &encType=1

Other stores from 1969:
Culver City, 10820 Jefferson--Target.
Northridge, 8999 Balboa, which is the newly-rebuilt Target. It turns out this is a former Fedmart. All this time I thought it was a Gemco.
Alhambra, 2120 W Main--Target
Commerce, 5600 Whittier--Target
La Mirada, 14200 Rosecrans--looks like it's been torn down.
Pomona, 2301 W Valley--some kind of warehouse
Manhattan Beach, 1200 N Sepulveda--Target
Long Beach, 2270 Bellflower--Target
Oxnard, 2401 Saviers--Albertsons

I believe the Burbank store was a Lockheed facility at some point before it became Fry's. Unless you're flying over it taking off from BUR (and by then it's too late), it doesn't have the greatest visibility. I couldn't find any reference to any White Front in Burbank, though that doesn't mean there wasn't one.

Is the Joann Fabrics in West Covina the one that's attached to Kmart? I remember from another post that I can't find that it was the entrance to Kmart Foods or the like.

Update: The West Covina Joann Fabrics that's part of the Kmart building was a Vendome Liquor (opened in November 1978), then a Liquor Barn. The building was built in 1961 as a discount store called Save-Co which had 6 stores in the chain: Pico Rivera, West Covina, Anaheim, Torrance, San Diego, and Tucson. They also had a store in North Hollywood in 1963 (now the Target at Vineland and Victory). Their parent company was Shoe Corporation of America. Save-Co was around from about 1961 then became Cal Stores around 1967-1969. Cal Stores disappeared around the end of 1974. In 1961, A&P approcahed Save-Co about operating the grocery concession in the stores, but it doesn't appear that anything came of it. In 1970 someone wanted to build a heliport (offering service to LAX) in the West Covina parking lot.
Last edited by runchadrun on 05 Apr 2007 12:07, edited 1 time in total.

Jeff
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Post by Jeff » 05 Apr 2007 01:47

Chad, its funny.....

I never made the connection between the Norwalk store (now an indoor swapmeet) and the Frys. They do look idential. I have been in both too.

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Groceteria
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Post by Groceteria » 05 Apr 2007 09:21

runchadrun wrote:Unimart was a membership department store (like Gemco, I suppose).
As mentioned in a different thread, some scenes from the 1965 Sidney Poitier film "A Patch of Blue" were shot in a Unimart store. When I have more time, I'll try to come up with more screen captures.

Jeff
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Post by Jeff » 05 Apr 2007 11:49

I am wondering if the La Mirada location was located in the old La Mirada Mall......

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runchadrun
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Post by runchadrun » 05 Apr 2007 12:42

Jeff wrote:I am wondering if the La Mirada location was located in the old La Mirada Mall......
I typed the address wrong, it was 14200 Rosecrans, which is today a hideous industrial park. In thinking about the Burbank store, Unimart was sold (see below) around the same time that they were building the Hollywood Way/Vanowen/Southern Pacific grade separation. Even today it's a pain to get in and out of the parking lot off of Hollywood Way so i can imagine what it was like while construction was underway. That along with the relatively poor location may be the reason it doesn't why it didn't become a Disco Fair or Two Guys.

Some more Unimart history: Unimart was a discount department store with a grocery department, like Gemco and Fedmart. Food Giant bought Unimart in 1961 and Food Giant was then bought by Vornado in 1967. Vornado sold 10 Unimart stores to Beck Industries in March 1969 which changed the name to Disco Fair. In September 1970 Beck sold the stores back to Vornado, which changed the name to Two Guys. The La Mirada store was a Disco Fair but doesn't seem to have survived the transition to Two Guys. In 1977 Fedmart bought the West Coast Two Guys stores (22 of them) from Vornado. In 1982, Target took over 33 Fedmart stores while Ralphs took over 15, 10 in San Diego County.

As for the "A Patch of Blue" store, it was an MGM movie so I'm guessing those scenes were shot in the Culver City store which was a couple of blocks from the MGM back lot.

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