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Erin’s List of Things That Aren’t Here Anymore

(originally published in 2002)

A while back I was hangin’ with my family and we started making a list of
things that used to be in San Diego, but alas, are no with us no more…


Organ Powered Pizza
i believe this was on the corner of Kearny Villa and Clairemont Mesa – sorta near Filippi’s
different than the Oscar’s in the Valley, this was on Midway & Rosecrans where there is now a Rubio’s and a basic strip mall
Sir George’s
where Home Depot is next to the Target on Convoy
Shakey’s Pizza
same general area – possibly on Othello, behind the Target
Straw Hat Pizza
in the shopping mall on Balboa where Vons and Mervyns are
Clairemont Mesa, near Kearny Villa
Square Pan Pizza
on Clairemont Mesa near 805
The Ginger Jar
sort of Denny’s wanna-be on Clairemont Mesa near 805
Picnic n Chik’n, Clairemont
where the E-Z Out Burger (In-and-Out rip-off), on Genesee
A & W Root Beer
they would bring trays to your car window! This was up by Aero Drive and Convoy
The Real Maine Thing
currently a Roberto’s, on Convoy, this was all seafood – if you go to Roberto’s now I think they still have some of the seafood motifs still up from that era
Taco Jack
across the street from the Jack in the Box on the corner of Balboa and Convoy – my sister worked there… it was awesome!
a night club somewhere in the Kearny Villa area
was located in the Clairemont Mesa area between the 805 and 15 – this had a mural of the story of Little Black Sambo – complete with all the stereotypes of the old days – not sure if they got sued or what, but they weren’t around past maybe the late 70s
Tracy and I loved this place – it was a restaurant before with a Matterhorn/Swiss Alpine kind of look, but then it got changed into a club in the early 90s. It had a DJ upstairs and a stage downstairs so you could enjoy either dancing or watching a band – now it’s a funeral home
on the corner of Balboa and Genesee – bar/restaurant with excellent Long Island Iced Teas
in Belmont Park area – i know it’s a club still, but it used to be a club with all kinds of slushy fruity drinks. They had like ten Slurpee-type machines with different drinks inside plus a regular bar
On Balboa near Genessee — really huge pancakes. very greasy spoon-ish. yummy, but now it’s a pool supply store.
was in O.B.
Bob’s Big Boy
All around San Diego, one especially on Balboa in Clairemont. It’s now a Coco’s

movie theatres

Midway Drive-In
where the Denny’s is on Midway and West Point Loma
Tu-Vu Drive-In
Two screens… Two views.. get it? This was somewhere in Kearny Mesa area… not sure of exact location
Fox Theatre
this is now the core of Symphony Hall – all the decor inside is how it was when we used to go to Disney flicks when we were growing up – it had a balcony, even!
((Mystery Theater)), name?
not sure of the name of this, but there WAS a theatre near Balboa and Genesee – back near the See’s and the beauty college – it didn’t stay opened very long
Loma Theatre
now this is the Bookstar on Rosecrans. The sign remains the same, but this was a pretty cool theatre – they rigged it up for Sensurround when they showed “Earthquake” – and i made the mistake of going to see “Top Gun” there when i was severely hung over… oyyy
The Strand
in Ocean Beach, on Newport, it’s opened and closed a lot over the years… back in the early days of the Rocky Horror thingie, this is where you had to come to see it
Clairemont Twin
It’s now the 99 Cent store right next to Krispy Kreme on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. It USED to be one theatre, but they must have figured out it would make more money if they split it in two. For awhile it was a dollar theatre.
The Guild
not sure what it is now, but it was an empty lot last time i saw – in Hillcrest on 5th between University and Robinson
Linda Vista Theatre
somewhere in the Linda Vista Road / Ulric Street area. This showed schlocky B-movies mostly – but the last few rows of chairs had rocking seats… i was never really sure why… plus I believe they also had a smoking section
The Frontier Drive-In
on Midway behind the Target… close to where that IHOP is
Cinema 21
one of the premiere theatres in San Diego is now a church, it had a huge screen and great sound
Valley Circle
Another Mission Valley Theatre which is now gone
Fashion Valley 4
this was in the part near Farrell’s – it was kind of a lame theatre and never really the coolest of hangouts, but… I did see Jaws there!
on College, just south of El Cajon – sort of lame, but they did have midnight movies that we would go to occasionally if we got out of our movie theatre early enough
Park Theatres
this was the theatre that had that cool majorette girl – they still have the neon sign for the shopping center
on University near College – another cool big theatre that got changed into little theatres… is it open now? i dunno
Broadway Theatre
it was a moviehouse at 8th and Broadway
Center 3 Cinemait was a rarity, a “multiplex” of 3 theatres at a time when most theatres were single-screen.

fun stuff

Belmont Park
yeah, okay, it’s still there, but before it used to have more of a Del Mar Fair sort of thing where you could go on rides like The Zipper and other things that would make you sick
Palisade Garden
roller skating on University near 30th
Aztec Bowl
on 30th near El Cajon
Ocean Beach Bowl
on Bacon St. in between Newport and Santa Monica – not too far from Java Joe’s
we were really easy to please as kids because all three of us – me and my sisters – remember there was a dinosaur you could climb on in Mission Valley Shopping Center I’m not sure where it was, but it was in one of the stairwells down in the parking area below the mall
Tidepools in Ocean Beach
these are really still there down sort of underneath the Pier area near the cliffs, but there has been a lot of erosion since i was a youngster
Marshal Scotty’s
Miniature golf


Walker Scotts
this is a little bit foggy in my mind, but i think it’s like this… Vons in Clairemont Square used to be where TJ Maxx is now… and I think Walker Scott’s was where the Vons is now… but i could be wrong
where Mervyn’s is now on Balboa/Genesee
Kinney Shoe Store
my mom seems to think it was down by Linda Vista Road and Morena Blvd meet
Licorice Pizza Records
next to Long’s, in the same strip mall as Mervyn’s and Vons, I think it’s a pet store now
in Fashion Valley, i think near JC Penney’s; Also downtown in between 5th and 6th Aves. & Broadway and C St.
in Mission Valley, where Sports Chalet is now; Both Newberry’s and Woolworth’s were kinda cool and kinda cheesy…
Coach House Gifts
Mission Valley Center. i think this is now one of those paraphernalia type places where you can get posters and black lights and stuff, but back in the 70s and 80s it was much cooler
Liquor Barn
there were a few of these, but most noticeably near Balboa and Genesee and where Henry’s is on Park!
all hail Fedmart! They are almost always in the location where Targets now are; the one on Convoy/Othello is always known as “The Old Fedmart.” The one on Balboa and Genesee will always be known as “The New Fedmart.” Sometimes i catch my parents calling target by these names to this day. It was not too much different from Target but it had groceries in addition to kinda cheap clothes and other household goods
sort of like Fedmart, but nowhere near as cool; plus… it was a membership store… so you had to go with your parents so you could get in with their card. This was on Balboa near Convoy; it’s a Lucky’s or Albertsons or whatevah now
Big Bear
lots of Big Bears city-wide; I think a lot of them are now Vons; the one we’d go to every once in a while is where Henry’s is in Serra Mesa
Alpha Beta
on Linda Vista Road – near roller skating rink – cannot remember exact locations
there used to be many across San Diego county, but the one I remember was on Garnet; then when Safeway went out of business they made it a Vons… even though there was another Vons about a block away. I think one of them has closed since then, but I know they kept both of the Vons open for a while
uhh… there were lots of ’em city wide
there used to be one near my old house, on Ashford St. – it’s been Stump’s for quite a while, but sometimes people still call it Mayfair! There was also a Mayfair on Sunset Cliffs and Niagara – where Rite Aid is in Ocean Beach
Comic Kingdom
There was a great comic book store on University in Hillcrest – great selection. It closed a few years back. Now a third of what was that space is taken with a comic book store called “On Comic Ground” – also good, but nowhere near what CK had been.
Sears was on Washington Street. For years people said it should be the site of a new San Diego library. But that never came to pass. It was a great central location though.

See also: San Diego Spots