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Safeway Marina interior oddity?

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 02:02
by Super S
This site's host recently posted a new picture from 1960 of a Marina Safeway interior in Abilene, Texas: ... e-1960.jpg

At first this looks like a typical Marina Safeway interior. But something unusual on the ceiling caught my attention. I noticed what appears to be the outline of the grid from a suspended ceiling along the main arched area of the store, and it would appear to have the standard 2' by 4' panels, at least when you look at the grid placement in relation to the 8' lights on the ceiling.

I have visited a number of Marina stores over the years, and every one of them that I can recall had 12" by 12" square tiles on the ceiling which appeared to be glued on (based on occasionally seeing where a tile had fallen off of the ceiling). The only times where I have seen a suspended ceiling in use in a Marina as the main store area ceiling is when it was remodeled for a more modern appearance and this type of ceiling was installed lower across the entire store to cover up the arches, but was flat and not rounded.

A suspended ceiling requires several inches of space above it, to allow space for the panels to be tilted into space, as well as to clear the thick wires that hold the grid in place, and the advantage here would be easy access to electrical conduit, sprinkler pipes, etc.

Suspended ceilings were still a relatively new thing in 1960. A few newer (at the time) buildings adapted them, but for the most part, were flat ceilings. I can not recall any which followed the arches on a rounded roof, not just on a Safeway, but on any building with this style of roof. They did become very popular on later store designs as the Marina store construction was abandoned.

I am curious if anybody can confirm if this Marina store did in fact have a suspended ceiling, and if it did, if this was the only location that used it, or if there were others. It certainly would have been an unusual application for this type of ceiling, not just due to the year, but because of the type of building.

I have already posted a comment on the picture itself, but decided to also post here so that more people can see what I am talking about and maybe provide an answer.

Re: Safeway Marina interior oddity?

Posted: 06 Mar 2019 01:32
by NoVa Grocery Buff
Abilene has two very well preserved Marina's. Attached are two other pictures of the interior of the store you are talking about. I do not believe it had a drop ceiling but I am not well versed on their history either.

The link for more photos of the two Abilene Marina's is: ... e=advanced

Re: Safeway Marina interior oddity?

Posted: 06 Mar 2019 18:16
by Super S
Thanks for that link. Very good set of pictures. They confirmed my original suspicion about the ceilings as they clearly show 2' by 4' panels which are easy to spot next to the 8' fluorescent fixtures. And a couple that reflect the shine of the metal grid.

While I have seen Marina stores with suspended ceilings on the ends/service departments, these remain the only ones I have ever seen (in pictures only) that have them in the arched part of the store. Most used the 12" by 12" tiles which were glued on, but I have seen a few which had smooth (drywall) ceilings.

I am curious if any Marina stores with this type of ceiling exist outside of Texas.