Monday, September 21, 2009

Lost Vintage Sky City: Morristown, TN

Very interesting video here: vintage Ingles and Sky City.  This was a much older style of Sky City than what I was familiar with, which had a much more modern logo.  This store looks to have been one of the 60's or ealry 70's models.  A similar Ingles/Sky City arrangement was common in Georgia and North Carolina, but it also existed in Tennessee.  Check out some of the other videos from the author of the Rose's during demolition in Morristown.  The creator of this video is also the photographer of the lone photo currently available online of a Sky City store.



15 comments:

  1. I remember spending many a weekend afternoon at this Sky City. I can still taste the grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and the chopped steak dinners were delicious too! At one time in the 70's-80's, this store had a pharmacy. Sometime in the late-80's, I believe, they did some remodeling, which mainly included installing what looked like garage doors in departments for displaying featured items. The old Sky City space is now an Ingle's, who demolished it and built in the old space. The old Ingle's is now a Big Lots.

    My mom worked at the Sky City in Greeneville, TN. in the 1970's. It later became a Kuhn's Big K after, according to my Mom, Kuhn's purchased at least 2 or 3 Tri-City area Sky City stores. Of course, it later became a Wal-Mart, then a Bud's, and now a Big Lots.

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  2. Remember their jingle? "Get more for less...at SKY CITTYYYY". The Sky City in Brevard NC had a great snack bar...some of the best cheeseburgers I ever ate.

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  3. great blog. I am the owner of the above video and the photo of Sky City posted online and also the videos of the Roses Store here in Morristown. I really appreciate you linking the video to your blog, it is awesome. Anyway, I made this video back in 1993 on a Friday afternoon. I vividly remember this Sky City store and a lot about it. I can still smell the roasted spanish nuts and popcorn from the snack bar that was located in front of the cash registers right in front of the windows to the left of the front doors. I also remember the restaurant in the rear portion of the store and their famous "Sky Burgers" The above poster was correct in his remarks about the store being remodeled and his description of the portals built in the walls that had the name of each department at the top of the portal ex. (Housewares), (Mens Wear) etc. This Sky City store was huge, bigger than most Wal Mart stores at the time, especially our first Wal Mart located in the old Downtown Mall. Anyway, this Sky City store was constructed around 1969 and the original name of this shopping center was Eastgate Shopping Center. But all the locals called it and still call it Sky City Shopping Center today. More info... The huge sign lit up at night in bright red colors and the parking lot lights were visible miles away...The huge letters were each on a background support that were painted different colors. They were eventually just all painted gray, but the letters themselves remained bright red. Also, Sky City was always famous for their trademark multi colered diamond designs painted on their stores, usually appearing under the windows and under their Sky City logo name on advertisement circulars and the design was on this store too along with the drawings of a Sky City store on their shopping bags. Also upon entering the store their was a longtime employed security guard always on duty. Funny thing about Sky City was that their prices were always higher than anyone else in town. There were always huge travelling carnivals in the parking lot of this store from time to time. I also remember this store at a time when the parking lot was full of customers and this store was the first retail store to be open on Sundays, if I am remembering correctly. Anyway, yes this store still appeared to be a relic from the 60's and 70's! It was awesome. Again, I appreciate you linking my video and also mentioning my other videos. My name is Doug and I still live here in the area. My username is bulldogman3 on youtube. thanks for a great website!

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  4. We used to have a Sky City in Murphy, NC. It closed when I was pretty young so I don't remember a whole lot about it. I do remember shopping for bathing suits there. I also remember being fascinated with the mannequins and I used to try to change their shoes. Our old Sky City is now broken up into several different stores, the biggest one being a Sav-A-Lot grocery store.

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  5. I was an employee of Sky City from 1982 thru 1984. I was an assistant manager and was offered my position as manager of an N.C. store but chose to return to college.
    Sky City was very similar to K-Mart at that time and we used many of the same suppliers, especially for clothing and domestics(linens, towels, sewing etc.) Alot of times we would recieve items with K-Mart price tags as they had a lot of merchandise pre-tagged. We priced our own. We basically offered the same services, to include a snack grill. We were not known for our food however but more for our offering on retail products since the nearest K-Mart was 48 miles away. The stores were owned by Interco Inc. They were a large conglomerate that also owned Florsheim Shoes and Ethan Allen Furniture. Wal-Mart of course for told the fate of the chain. There were 78 stores when I left the company.

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  6. We had a Sky City in Albemarle, NC. I think it closed in the early 80's. I remember the sign being huge red letters, but not quite the same type as the ones in the video. Ours did not have a snack bar that I recall. It was close to my neighborhood. As kids, we would ride our bikes to Sky City to play whatever arcade game they had--Centipede is the one I recall. I remember going there regularly to buy 45s and albums. One Christmas my dad went there to buy my mom a Polaroid camera. We have some funny pictures of him in the store taken by the salesperson. That same year, a classmate got a watch from Santa that I knew came from Sky City--but I just assumed that Santa must shop there too, lol. The Sky City parking lot on the weekends was a popular cruising spot. Teenagers just drove around and around the parking lot. By the time I was old enough to drive, Sky City had been closed for years but everyone still referred to that activity as "cruising Sky City"--and yes, I wasted plenty of gas doing just that, haha. Someone from my hometown started a page on Facebook for people who cruised Sky City in Albemarle and there was tremendous response to it. Lots of people sharing their memories. Our Sky City became a Goody's, Rack Room Shoes, and Helig Meyers Furniture. I worked at the Goody's during college. It's funny how nostalgic you can get about things like stores.

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    1. Albemarle store closed in 91, I helped with the closing. I was from the store in High Point, NC.

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  7. I got my first shotgun back in the late 70's from the Sky City in Lexington, NC. It's a Stevens .410 and is still immaculate. I also have an electric frying pan(made in U.S.A. by the way) from that store and it too still works. Sky City sold nice things back then. For my family it was also a favorite place to get ice cream and popcorn at the concessions counter. It was sad to see that store close, but along came "competition". So now... instead of having a pleasant shopping experience...we have to fight the huge crowds that pile up in Wal-Mart all for the sake of buying Chinese junk and saving just a few pennies. We really didn't gain anything with these newer big stores, now did we?

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    1. Mama used to take us to sky city in Central, SC. There we bought our sport cleats. I tell my son about those shoes all the time. I'm trying to remember the name of them rubber cleated awesomeness. Were they Cougars?

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  8. My second job in 1977 was at the Sky City in Spartanburg, SC that could be seen from I26. I worked in the harware-housewares-toys department. My section was run by another company. I remember my supervisor Rosa Hunter and my co workers Margie and Kenneth and a few other people who worked in the store. Of course, I have wondered what became of them. The store manager had a habit of firing people he didn't like. That's how I lost my job.

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  9. I worked for Sky City in High Point, NC from 87-91 when all the stores closed. You can't find the same quality of merchandise or USA made at Walmart these days.

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  10. I can remember there being a Sky City in Orangeburg SC (way before we ever had a Wal-Mart). It was on Riverside and it was replaced by Roses (not sure if it was bought out or just the new store appeared). I did enjoy Sky City better, it seemed to have more things to look at & plunder about. We had a dog follow us out of our car & get lost in the store once. My step-dad used to call it 'Sky-Shitty', he said it was worthless....lol

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  11. Man the old Sky City in Anderson Sc that brings back some memories. Bigger then the local K-Mart was at that time. Used to love to go there as a kid just for their magazine and comic book selection. Hey I was a kid.

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  12. Wow...what a flashboack. We had a Sky City/Bi-LO stip mall in my homeown of Washington, Georgia.
    It was THE place to be in the late 70s and early 80s.
    I remember I bought a pair of "Mork and Mindy" suspenders there. Loved them!
    We thought we were a big time city then...there was even a snack bar and a pet department with fish.
    Now it's all gone and has been for years.
    Sad.

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  13. WOW!! Sky City in Morristown, Tennessee!! Before I was born my dad was actually Manager of that store. Nice to see a lot of positive reactions to the work that he and his staff used to do.

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