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J.J. Newberry: One-Stop Five and Dime

Before Hollywood Boulevard catered to tourists, it was a destination for locals—and J.J. Newberry at the corner of Whitley Avenue was a one-stop shop.

The Five-and-Dime chain popped up at 6602 Hollywood Boulevard in March 1930, inside a custom turquoise and gold Art Deco building that “presents a hint of magic in its decorative treatment,” noted the Hollywood Citizen News, “and more than a hint of modern efficiency in its general arrangement.”

Indeed, 15,000 items across 26 departments were stocked on the ground floor: an endless variety of merchandise including clothing, handbags, toys, candy, fresh flowers, hardware, household items, phonograph records, and sheet music.

Shoppers who worked up an appetite could grab a bite at the J.J. Newberry Luncheonette counter. The turkey entree came with cranberry sauce, creamed whipped potatoes, vegetables, hot roll with butter, drink, and dessert … all for 25 cents.

(California State Library)

Technically a five-and-dime-and-quarter store, the Hollywood Boulevard location presented itself as “Hollywood’s Newest Frock Center,” offering the latest in women’s fashions, made from quality fabrics, for $1 ($17 today, with inflation).

Newberry’s is long gone from Hollywood Boulevard (the building now houses Hollywood Toys & Costumes), but its legacy lives on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Among the replicas of landmarks such as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Brown Derby is the Celebrity 5 & 10, modeled after J.J. Newberry’s both inside and out—however, the prices will set you back more than nickels and dimes.

(Walt Disney World)


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