Remember The Bazaar?

bazaar jpeg

If you don’t know what that question means, you’re either too young to remember or didn’t spend much time in eastern Delaware County back in the day.

My own memories are a bit foggy, which is why I can’t wait to see “Bazaar of All Nations,” the locally produced documentary that will be released next month. The tagline says it all: “Before malls, life was ‘Bazaar.’”

The Bazaar, an indoor shopping center that opened in 1960, was a Delco institution. What kind of institution is open to interpretation. Unfortunately, it closed in 1993 and was demolished two years later.

As this blogger notes: "Gym shorts, Pong, bright yellow yarn, a half-pound of boiled ham? There's a booth for that. In fact, the Bazaar of All Nations was your one-stop shop for anything from pickles to pianos. And you could buy a monkey there, too. Really."

The property, on the south side of Baltimore Pike between Bishop and Oak avenues in Upper Darby, is now occupied by an Acme and Home Depot. Blah.

The high-definition documentary premiers Nov. 26 (Black Friday) at Cinema 16:9 in Lansdowne and will also be available on DVD. I’ll post a review next month, prior to the opening.

From the press release:

The film features interviews with many long time Bazaar shop owners, employees, and customers. Also included are interviews with local athletes and entertainers such as Vince Papale, Big Daddy Graham, Joe Conklin, Casey Foster, and Captain Noah, who recount their favorite Bazaar memories. Never-before-seen photographs and video footage help illustrate the stories and bring the Bazaar back to life. Some notable events documented in the film include a 1961 promotion in which a family of four lived for one week in a pre-fabricated bomb shelter set up in the Bazaar parking lot; a 1966 Christmas Eve blizzard which left many people stranded at the Bazaar; and the 1968 presidential campaign visits of Robert Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

For more info: www.thebazaarofallnations.com

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