Friday, September 18, 2009

Prien Lake Mall Lake Charles Louisiana

Welcome to Prien Lake Mall



Prien Lake Mall opened in 1972 and it is owned by Simon Malls. I am not sure of the original anchors since there is very little information available online for this mall. In the mid 1990's JCPenney, Montgomery Ward, and the White House were the anchors. The mall was nearly doubled in size in the late 1990's and added Sears (moved from downtown Lake Charles) and Dillard's. The new anchors are much larger than the older anchors and both are two stories tall. Montgomery Ward closed with the rest of the chain in 2001, and the site was completely remodeled and replaced by Foley's a couple years later. Foley's also opened a home store in front of the mall. Foley's was re branded as Macy's and closed shortly thereafter. Now Kohl's has remodeled half of the former Macy's and is set to open later this month. The White House closed and was replaced by a Cinemark Theater. The mall is the only one in the Lake Charles metro area and does very well. The Simon website shows an old picture of Prien Lake Mall with a Kay Bee Toy Outlet in the middle of the photo.

Here is the directory of this simple mall. The entire left or west half of the mall was added on in the late 1990's.



This half of the former Macy's is still waiting redevelopment. There are several labelscars on this former anchor.



This is a view of the JCPenney and Picadilly entrance.



At this mall Sam Goody still lives! This store is located in front of the new Kohl's.



Here are some interior photos from my phone camera. The Aladdin's Castle is closed but the 1980's era neon is still on for now.





29 comments:

  1. Are you sure it opened in 1972? The fact that JCP is in-line is an interesting relic.

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  2. On the McNeese University site it lists the malls opening as 1972. The link can be found here. http://www.library.mcneese.edu/depts/archive/mullers086.htm

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  3. Looking at it on Bing Maps, the JCPenney is very long and rectangular, almost like a Woolco.

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  4. Prien Lake Mall opened in 1972. The original anchors were Penneys, The White House, and Montgomery Ward. I remember the opening vividly.

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  5. When the Prien Lake Mall opened, the JCPenny's had a Grocery Store as well. They had a conveyor belt that would take your groceries out to the back of the store so you could pull around and have attendant load them in your car. They were way head of Wal-Mart at that time.

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    1. theres was also a JC Penneys pharmacy, located in the main mall corridor.

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  6. Was the pick up area in the back of the store? That is a very interesting concept and I wonder why it was not expanded. If grocery deliveries can work; then the belt concept could work as well.

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    1. the pick up area was on the east side. There was also a garden center. The pick up area is still there. it's the northeast corner of the store.

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  7. Kohls is really great store to purchase online.

    you can catch kohls best offers @ http://www.dailynewdeals.com

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  8. I grew up in Lake Charles in late 70s and early 80s and we all went to the mall every Friday night. There was originally no food court, only "The Orange Bowl" where you could get an orange freeze and slice of pizza. Also had a Nuthouse and Bob's Old Fashioned Lemonade (with great ice creams) for snacks. Also had a Walden's, a music store that had racks and racks of 45s (the name escapes me). Nice, but tiny dress shop - "Joy's Rag Doll." Strange thing is that a lot of the original stores were local. You also had a lot of shoe stores -- Thom McAn shoes, Florsheim (I believe), and a couple jewelry stores, including a funky little local place right outside The White House. Tiny little mall back then.

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  9. Was the music store called soundshop? If so, I remember that store. I'm not sure, but didn't this mall have a K&B drugstore at one time w/ one of the older logos?

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    1. the music store was called music land and yes it had a K&B that had an entrance and exit to the interior and exterior of the mall.

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  10. I was born in 1987 and I remember when we did not have a food court, in fact the mall went a little further than Montgomery Ward and then that was it. Prior to cinemark, there was a Charles Cinema theater in the parking lot that was torn down during the renovation of the mall. I think the music store that you are referring to was called "Soundshop"? Also, didn't this mall have a K&B drugstore at one time w/ one of those old time K&B logos?

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    1. the charles cinema was located across the street from k-mart. There was a movie theater in the parking lot, but the name escapes me. It was located on the west side where Dillards is located.

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    2. The music store was definitely called Musicland, and I believe the movie theater was Prien Lake Cinema...I saw Superman 2 and Smokey and the Bandit 2 there. There was a K&B at the entrance where Alladin's Castle was on the right as you walked in.

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    3. Thanks for the additional information, the former K&B still looks like a K&B despite being at least 2 other stores after the location closed.

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  11. it was prien lake cinema and was notorious for having the worst seats of the 3 theatres in town (oak park and charles being the others). at one time there was a sizable bank in the center of the mall (think large kiosk) and it may have been close to the K&B. there use to be a pizza place prior to the food court and for a brief period after the remodel there was a bar with great frozen drinks...seriously..gettin loaded prior to pickin up some good life cologne

    you know me
    straight U P
    not brentwood, oak park, college oaks, prien lake, holly hill, gossport, or johnson hall
    U P and that's for real

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  12. I remember we went streaking through the mall structure before they finished building it. We did some crazy stuff, but we never hurt anyone.

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  13. When you say "The White House", don't you mean Maison Blanche?

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    1. It may have been previously been a Maison Blanche pre-1990's, but it was a White House store before the anchor was either demolished or converted into the Cinemark. The White House was a small department store chain in Lake Charles and Beaumont.
      Here is a listing for the former store that has the same address as the theater.
      http://www.bbb.org/lakecharles/business-reviews/discount-stores/the-white-house-in-lake-charles-la-5000057

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    2. I had no idea...I remember the White House, and it's funny that it wasn't just referred to as Maison Blanche....whereas the Civic Center had the French logo "Le Centre Civique de Lake Charles" forever when I was growing up...

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  14. This mall is really bland and boring. It's 1 level and has no interesting stores.

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  15. Wasn't there a little league baseball field there at one time?

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  16. Anyone remember the candle shop? It was at the mall entrance by the JC Penney on the left. Also, there was a Piccadilly.

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    1. The Piccadilly was open up until about 3 years ago. Piccadilly has been slowly shrinking, not too many of those cafeterias are left.

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  17. The Prien Lake Cinema was located about where the food court is. Creole street used to run right through where the new addition is. You can see it from Google Earth. The cinema was between Creole and the mall. It was a separate building in the parking lot. I hated that place. My butt always fell asleep in those seats. It was a crappy little mall, but the only game in town. Its still not great. Most people still travel to Houston for serious shopping trips. I remember Chess King was the place to buy parachute pants back in the 80's.Penneys did have a cool system to get your groceries out to the car. I always wanted to ride in one of those buckets.

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    1. The mall has gotten better over the past several years with the addition of some junior anchors, but it still lags behind even the mall in Beaumont. There is not much room to try and expand the mall again unless they build parking garages and get rid of some of the outlot buildings. Thanks for the extra info about the mall. I went there once or twice in the 90's before the expansion.

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    2. From Lafayette, East The White House" was called Maison Blanche (French for White House), but in LC & Beaumont they were the English version. The candle cabin & "wix & stix" were the names of the candle store that changed names. & K&B was the ONLY store open on Sunday there in the 80's-besides Piccadilly. There's still a Piccadilly in Lafayette as of now. We also had Merle Norman cosmetics, The Ranch, Gem Dandy-where I had my ears pierced in 4th grade. Penney's sold records & tapes & Icee's in the middle & was more like a Target in the 70's & 80's. We had more shoe stores then than anything else. I remember Buster Brown's shoes with the Boston Terrier logo. I saw Star Wars at the Prien Lake Cinema when it first came out & my husband worked the projector when Jurassic Park came out. There was "Tav's deli" a local eatery for a hot minute before the add on with a food court.

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    3. Thank you Taiga for the information about this mall. Picadilly has been wiped clean from the mall now as well as everyone else except for JCPenney.

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