Roger Jones's Commentary

Posted May 3, 2011 (user submitted March 8, 2010)

The Blue Hen Mall opened in 1969. It is located just north of the Dover Air Force Base. It opened with JCPenney, Woolco, Woolworth’s and Braunstein’s as the anchor stores and was probably the first mall south of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal (excluding the Salisbury Mall in Maryland, 2 hrs south).

Added to the Blue Hen Mall in 1971, Schwartz Theatres of Dover, DE opened the Blue Hen Mall Cinema. It had a giant 60' screen and stadium seating. There were approx. 200 seats on the main floor and the other 1000 were all stadium. It had a cry room as well as a seperate deluxe skybox seating (with bar) for special customers. The cry room and skybox had special piped in sound with its own amplicification.

The last stores to occupy the Blue Hen Mall were Woolworths, Danneman Fabrics, GNC, Braunstein’s, Buster Brown, some wig shop, Hess Apparel, Waldenbooks, and JCPenney’s.

The theater stopped showing movies in the early 80's after the Schwartz chain was sold to Fox Theatres of Reading, Pennsylvania. JCPenney left Blue Hen Mall in the early 1990s and after that the mall died.

When the mall was closed, the mall was converted into Corporate and State of Delaware government offices. The theater itself is still intact and is used sporadically for concerts (usually country and western). The grounds are pristinely maintained and the plants in the planters in the mall are still their original places and they look exactly like they back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Links Hen Mall/ - Robert Ferguson's pics inside the mall
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