Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Starship Records and Tapes Memorial Mural

I've updated my Starship photoset with a few pictures of the new building including the fantastic "memorial" mural that has been airbrushed on the North side of the otherwise painfully plain metal/cinderblock building. I only hope they can someday do something with that ugly corregated metal storefront.

The newly dubbed Starship Music and Gifts seems to have transitioned nicely to their new location at 12th and S. Lewis. Having ample room to spread out really makes it a lot easier to browse around. The place looks neat, clean and modern. But they've made sure to place the incense section near the front door, so you're greeted with that familiar Starship smell. They've definitely increased their inventory both for music and items such as shirts. They've got a ton more wall art as well. I guess that's an advantage of putting a shop in a huge former lumberyard...lots of space to work with. The "other building" has been consolidated into a separate room discreetly set off to one side with age restrictions for entry. This allows the huge main showroom to be family friendly, while preventing new stores like The Bag from taking away the crown of "Tulsa's Headkeeper". Another big advantage of the new location is Starship's proximity to HWY 51. With 15th St. just down Lewis, you can exit and enter the B.A. expressway quite easily. I love the way the new mural is clearly visible as you drive across the expressway overpass, too.

I wish the guys at Starship continued success. Hopefully this transition will be a positive one. They can never compete with the Walmarts and Best Buys when it comes to volume, but they still have a personal quality about them that should keep loyal customers coming back again.

Read more about the history of Starship, Honest John's and Oz on this Tulsa TV Memories Counterculture page. Some great stories and pictures of the people behind Tulsa's "record stores" before the big corporations took over.

Casa Viva Opening Soon

According to reports, Casa Viva will be opening it's doors in about 3 weeks. This was about a week ago, so I'm figuring around the end of the month. They are owned by the original Casa Bonita creator and are opening in the former Casa Bonita location at 21st and S. Sheridan. Unfortunately, the previous owner removed the wonderful (if somewhat worn) carousel. It's a shame that unique attraction will not be a part of the arcade anymore. I'm still looking forward to seeing how well they fixed the place up inside and judging if the food has improved from before.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Moody's Jewelry on Cherry St.
I just love this mid-century styled neon sign. No photoset or anything (just a link to the larger image on Flickr). I just can't stand for the site to look so colorless with multiple text-only entries.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Woodland Hills Mall's 1st Christmas webmaster Steven posted these pics from the first Christmas season of the newly built Woodland Hills Mall (1976). There are some fantastic shots of the original fountain, as well as quite a few stores that are no longer in existence. At this point, they had not yet built the Phase II portion (completed 1982), which included the Food Court and Sanger Harris (later Foleys, soon to be Macy's). The last photo in the set is interesting, as you can see past the escalators right on through to the former East entrance doors. Now, you'd be looking down the corridor towards Foley's. I have some great memories of this mall. I worked near the Food Court entrance at The Glass Oven bakery during my Sr. year of High School ('82-'83). My favorite ex-wife worked at Sanger Harris during the evenings. She used to come up and chat with me during her breaks. At least, I like to think it was me she was interested in...and not just the free Mississippi Mud brownies she got for flirting. The girls over at the hair/nails salon across the entrance were pretty friendly too, now that I think of it. I'll always remember burning through quarters at Aladdin's Castle, checking out the adult novelty items at Spencer's and smelling the incredible scents wafting from Wicks 'N' Sticks every time you got anywhere near the place. Although the current layout is still pretty much the same, the look and feel of this mall has been drastically changed due to a full remodel in the '90s, which removed most of the chrome and natural wood so popular in the original super-malls of the mid-'70s.

Great shots (and commentary), Steven. Thanks for sharing!