|Location||Camillus, New York|
Camillus Plaza opened in 1964 as a strip mall on the site of a former Kallet drive-in theater. Early anchors included A&P (later Great American) and P&C supermarkets, E.W. Edwards, Witherill's, and WT Grant department stores, Goldberg's Furniture and Anderson Little. After Edwards and WT Grant left, they were replaced by JCPenney and a Price Chopper supermarket respectively. In 1981 an enclosed "mall" section was opened, with a two-screen movie theatre (originally CinemaNational, then USA Cinemas, Loews, and finally Hoyts), and a new Kmart anchoring the far end. However, much of the original plaza retained its strip mall format. An aptly named "Mall Entrance" took the place of the strip mall's original Anderson-Little store, and Anderson-Little relocated to the enclosed mall. Silo added a store on the back side of the strip mall, facing the new enclosed section, but not connecting to it. Price Chopper closed in 1982, and made way for Hills.
In 1984, most of the remaining strip mall was enclosed. As part of this conversion, Witherill's was replaced by Hess's., P&C moved to a newly constructed freestanding store at the corner of the plaza's property, a Carl's Drugs (later Fay's Drugs, Eckerd, and finally Rite Aid) was attached to P&C, and an additional entrance was added to JCPenney so mall patrons could enter the store without leaving the enclosed mall. Additionally, the entire complex was renamed Camillus Mall. In 1987, Sears moved from their previous location in Fairmount Fair, adding an 84,800-square-foot (7,880 m2) store to the mall in 1987. Silo expanded around the same time, adding an entrance accessible from within the mall. An additional four movie screens were added, however they were not in the same location as the original two, so patrons needed to determine whether their film was showing in "one and two" or "three through six". Eventually, the original two screens were closed, and Hoyts Cinemas expanded "three through six" into the adjacent vacant Silo space, creating a single ten screen facility. In its prime, the enclosed mall featured five anchors, and smaller tenants such as Arby's, Bill Gray's, Burger King, CVS Pharmacy, Reeds Jewelers, Radio Shack, Fanny Farmer, Lane Bryant, Doc's Pizzeria and Afterthoughts.
Camillus Mall's decline began in 1990, just as the newer and larger Carousel Center opened only seven miles away, concurrent with the beginning of a shift in the area's demographics. Also, Camillus Mall was not convenient to most major highways. In 1994 Hess's closed and became Chappell's (later Bon-Ton, still operating). In the years to follow, a number of anchor stores and smaller shops began to close, including Silo, Kmart, and Hills. By 2001, Sears and JCPenney had closed as well, leaving only a few small stores and the "Hoyts Cinema 18" left in operation.
In 2003, the entire mall was torn down, except for Bon-Ton, the newly constructed freestanding Applebee's, the P&C Supermarket (now Tops), the attached Eckerd (now Rite Aid), and the vacant former Kmart building, which was sold to the West Genesee School District for extra classroom space while the adjacent school was renovated, and ultimately became the school's bus garage and office. A new plaza, called ''Camillus Commons'', was constructed on the site of the old mall, construction began in late 2004. Lowe's opened in January 2006, and a Wal-Mart Supercenter moved from "Fairmount Fair", two miles away in June 2006 to a newly constructed building next to the Lowes. A Bank of America branch also opened in the plaza as well as a Verizon Wireless outlet.
- Paul Allen (1999). "Camillus Mall to Lose Major Anchor in January". CNY Business Journal. Retrieved February 19, 2007.[dead link]
- "Kallet Drive-In, Camillus, NY". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
- "Kallet Drive-In Theatre". CinemaTour. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
- Joseph A. Porcello. "2 new stores, company's expansion to add 425 jobs" (PDF). Post Standard, The (Syracuse, NY). Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- "Hess's 2 new Syracuse units exceed projected sales by 30%". Daily News Record. August 1984. Retrieved February 14, 2008.[dead link]
- "Demolition Starts on Camillus Mall". Post Standard, The(Syracuse, NY). Retrieved February 14, 2008.