Blueprint Archive – Radio Shack at Mellett Mall

Mellett Mall (later Canton Centre) in Canton, Ohio would open for business in 1965 and shortly after in 1968 Radio Shack would follow suit and sign their first lease with the mall. At the time of opening, Radio Shack’s offerings included the sale and servicing of high fidelity stereos, citizen band radios (CB), televisions, tape recorders, and electronic components, equipment and supplies.

Radio Shack Blueprint
1984 elevation drawing for the Radio Shack store at Mellett Mall.

In 1984 Radio Shack looked to move its store to a new location and they would land next to Abbott’s Cards and Gifts in the malls east wing which was anchored by Montgomery Ward. The blueprint pictured is the architect’s elevation drawing and floor plan for that relocation.

Radio Shack Mellett Mall
Image showing the completed Radio Shack storefront in the malls east wing.

In 2001 Montgomery Ward would go bankrupt and close their store at the mall putting the future of the entire wing of the mall in jeopardy. Under new management the land that the east wing stood on was sold to Walmart.

Despite multiple attempts from mall management to relocate, Radio Shack would stay in this location until the wing was closed for demolition forcing management to terminate their lease.

Canton Centre Mall Directory
Canton Centre Mall Directory. The General Cinema Theatre as well as the entire Wards wing would be demolished in 2004.

Interestingly, the malls breaking of the lease with Radio Shack would end up costing ownership 40,000 dollars due to a clause in the original lease.

Complaint Department – Canton Centre Mall

Once regarded as highly sensitive and top secret material, these official mall complaints are finally made public for the first time thanks to our whistleblower on the inside.

Today let’s take a look at some of these complaints straight from the files of the Canton Centre Mall Customer Service.

Canton Centre Mall Customer Service
Canton Centre Mall Customer Service Desk.

Exhibit A: Nick of Time

To insiders Alice is known as a “Buzzer Beater” aka someone who shows up at the last minute. On this particular evening in late May, Alice had to make a pickup at an unnamed Canton Centre store before 9:00 PM. Arriving at the mall at 8:50 PM she found the doors to be already locked. Thankfully there were customers leaving and Alice was able to slip in.

Conclusion: Disaster narrowly averted.


Exhibit B: Would You Like Fries With That?

Subject “Jamie” came to Mr. Hero on a July afternoon to order food, however the service sucked and they didn’t give her the right things. To compound issues even further, Jamie was given things that she did not want. Suggestion to hire new/smart people should be seriously considered.

Conclusion: Definite major malfunction

Canton Centre Mall Complaint


Exhibit C: Bad Vibes at Big Abes

Subject “Sherrie” was attempting to shop at Big Abes on the afternoon of July 13th. While in the store she was very offended by the use of profanity in the music played by the store personnel. Sherrie cited examples of the use of words such as “mother f_____, b____, pu___ and so forth”.

Conclusion: Sh__.

Blueprint Archive – Camelot Music

Kicking off the new blueprint section of Mallwalkers with a 1978 storefront elevation drawing of Camelot Music at Mellett Mall (later Canton Centre) in Canton, Ohio.

storefront elevation of camelot music 1978
Camelot Music – Mellett Mall

Camelot Music was a local company founded in Massilon, Ohio who opened their first retail stores in Canton, Ohio in 1965. By the 80s Camelot was a mall staple with over 300 stores and it seemed like they had a store in every mall (except Rolling Acres).

The 90s however were not so kind to the music retailer. In 93 CEO and founder Paul David stepped down and sold his majority share holdings to Investcorp. A few years later in 96 due to massive debts and stiff competition from big box stores the company would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Though they did emerge from bankruptcy a year later, the chain was forced to close nearly 25% of the stores. Finally in 1998 the company would be bought out by Trans World Entertainment, who would go on the rebrand the stores as FYE, thus ending the Camelot name for good.

The above image of an unknown store from the same time period shows what the Mellett Mall store may have looked as a finished build.

Special Event – Auto Show ’96 at Canton Centre Mall

I don’t ever remember going to the mall for a specific event, but I sure remember showing up on a Saturday only to find vendors have invaded the mall. They were everywhere. But there were always plenty of people there happy to browse. One of those people could have been Chris Crossan from the Facebook Mellett/Canton Centre Mall Group, a true scholar of the Canton Centre Mall and someone who understands the pure enjoyment of a good mall event. So with his help let us browse through the Canton Centre auto show, 1996.

Car Show 97 at Canton Centre Mall

Opened in 1937, Progressive Chevrolet, a locally very well known, family owned dealership displays a new Chevrolet Blazer LS in front of The Original Cookie Company located next to the Don Mellett Memorial Fountain.

Progressive had other prime display locations and knew how to use them. Placing a 1997 GEO tracker right in front of the Merry Go Round.

And a new 1997 Chevrolet Silverado outside The Finish Line tucked away in the outdoor elements. In January of 1997 The Finish Line Store would re-open down the hall, next to Camelot, after Rite Aid vacated their retail space.

Vision Care, which would later become the Mall Office, and Bob’s Sports make a beautiful backdrop for this luxurious Buick Regal from Kempthorn Buick’s stock. This 1997 model was the last for the two-door Buick Regal. Kempthorn, another family owned dealership, started in Canton in 1938. In 1982 they acquired a Buick dealership on Market Ave N. where Kempthorn Buick would remain until 2013.

A new 1997 black Dodge Neon and part of white Plymouth Voyager give these gentlemen something different to look at as they patiently wait for their shopping buddy to finish up in JCPenney. The Piercing Pagoda in the background would ultimately move to the left of the JCPenny entrance with Added Touch taking over the open retail space.

Dividing the path between the Piercing Pagoda and Spencer Gifts is a Mercury Sable and a Lincoln Continental. These cars courtesy of the Lincoln Mercury dealership that was located in downtown Canton, next Ewing Chevrolet.

Buick Skylark

Ewing Chevrolet, once the largest Chevy dealership in Stark County and one of the oldest family owned dealerships in the area, would routinely set up in the hall between Woolworth’s and Payless. A Buick Skylark, this one a freshened version of the 1992 Skylark, can be seen sitting in front of the shuttered Woolworth’s Store. To the left is a new Mazda 626 and the back-end of a white Dodge Status can been seen in the distance.

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

Also parked in front of the old Woolworth’s spot is a 1997 Eagle Talon. This car would go on to receive new exterior badging and new a interior the next year, in a nod to it’s final production year.

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

Sitting at the entrance to the Woolworth’s hall, we find a pair of Suzuki’s. A Sidekick on the left and to the right a X-90 featuring a badass T-top. (can I say that here?) 1997 would be the last year for the X-90.

General Motors cooperate cousins, the Buick Skylark, the Oldsmobile Achieva and the Pontiac Grand Am were actually very similar in many ways. However the 1997 Buick Skylark pictured here in purple, in the hall in front of Kaufmann’s, was the only cousin not available in a 5-speed manual.

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

A beautiful brand new 1997, 4th generation Camaro in Medium Quasar Blue must have been an awesome site to behold displayed, in all of it’s glory, in front of Kay Jewelers.

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

And back to reality as a new Chevrolet Cavalier LS takes company next to the Don Mellett Memorial Fountain. Rite Aid and Camelot Music can be seen in the background.

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

A new 1997 Honda Accord in front of the Radio Shack. Precision or perfection?

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

A 1997 green Ford Taurus sits besides a brand new ’97 blue Thunderbird. Sadly, this would be the last year for the Thunderbird until they were briefly brought back to life in the early 2000’s. It looks like the store in the background, having the clearance sale, is the Hallmark store. This means if you turned to your right you would be going in the direction of Kaufmann’s. But, if you went to your left you would find yourself at…

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

The Kay-Bee toy store. This 1997 Jeep Wrangler is definitely a little nicer that the Fisher-Price Poppity Pop car you could find inside, but maybe not as cool as the Hot Wheels Real Rods 100th Anniversary Limited Edition 3 Car Set.

Car Show at Canton Centre Mall

Along with a different view of Hallmark and Kay-Bee we find another fun toy. A brand new Ford Mustang.

The auto show was put on by the Stark County Automotive Dealers Association in late September, early October. The next year they would move the Auto Show to the much larger Belden Village Mall located only 5 miles down the road.

Be sure and check out the Mellett/Canton Centre Mall group on Facebook for many more memories from the mall. Also be sure and check out our Easter Egg Drop at Canton Centre Mall.

You too can show your love for all things Canton Centre with one of these sharp t-shirts.

Mall Memories – Egg Drop at Canton Centre

Sometime in the 1980’s a small radio station helped out with an Easter Egg Drop at Mellett Mall in Canton, Ohio.

Hot 95.9 egg drop at Mellett Mall

Hot 95.9 was a Top 40’s station based in New Philadelphia, Ohio that served Canton. The station was so small-scale that there was no budget and five air personalities, Scott Shapiro (a.k.a. Scott Davidson), Jeff Turk (a.k.a. JT), Mike Adams, Jeff Shreve and Brian Kelly were left to put all the promotions together.

Hot 95.9 egg drop at Mellett Mall

So Mike and Jeff dressed up as bunnies…

Hot 95.9 egg drop at Mellett Mall

and they got a giant crane…

Hot 95.9 egg drop at Mellett Mall

and proceeded to hold an event that was so big there were people wrapped around the mall.

Hot 95.9 egg drop at Mellett Mall

Were you there?