Unimart in Los Angeles?

Uh...California.

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Groceteria
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Unimart in Los Angeles?

Post by Groceteria » 10 Feb 2006 21:31

In the 1965 movie "A Patch of Blue" there's a fairly long scene in a supermarket. I noticed the Unimart name on one of the signs. I'm not familiar with this chain, really, but what I've read suggests that they were big stores, maybe with general merchandise as well as food. This would be consistent with the views in the movie; the store seemed HUGE for 1965.

So...

Does anyone know much about Unimart?

Does this store look like it might have been one?

Was there a Unimart in the Westlake area of LA, which is where most of the other location scenes in the movie seem to have been shot?

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Post by danielh_512 » 11 Feb 2006 01:23

I doubt this is relevant, but the only Uni-Mart I know is a Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain that's pretty inferior to most Mid-Atlantic offerings these days. I doubt there was any connection.

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Post by Groceteria » 11 Feb 2006 11:28

danielh_512 wrote:I doubt this is relevant, but the only Uni-Mart I know is a Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain that's pretty inferior to most Mid-Atlantic offerings these days. I doubt there was any connection.
Separate chain, alas. Per their website, they started operations about ten years after the movie was made. I think it's a pretty common name; there seems to be a Unimart of some sort in Mexico as well.

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Re: Unimart in Los Angeles?

Post by 11ball » 06 Apr 2010 23:29

Yes, there was one in Culver City near a shopping center called "Studio Village". It was where Sepulveda Blvd/Sawtelle Blvd/Jefferson Blvd all converge. Looked like a earlier version of Target/Fed-Mart/Fedco and so on.....

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Re: Unimart in Los Angeles?

Post by Gunter Caddington » 08 Apr 2010 20:07

Folks: A little to add about Unimart ...

There was a location in North Hollywood at the NW corner of Victory & Vineland. I also recall it being a Fedco type store. Don't know if I would call Unimart an early version of Target as Unimart had a fairly sizable grocery section--something Target is just getting around to some 40 years later. Unimart's advertising and TV & Radio jingle included the line "Shop ala cart (sic) at Unimart ..."

The North Hollywood store almost literally disappeared in the late 60's or early 70's. I don't remember if Unimart was stand-alone, or part of a shopping center, but it was built on top of some sort of landfill that wasn't finished off correctly. The store started sinking into the ground!

Not sure if the Unimart chain went out of business before the building became unsafe, or if they abandoned the location while they were still in business, but I remember the whole lot being fenced off, with the lopsided building sitting in the middle.

Eventually, the remains of Unimart were demolished and the landifill was reworked. After a few years (maybe to let the landfill settle properly), a new building went up and the site is now occupied by Target.

I don't know if Target was the first tenant of that new building, but I guess the landfill was finished off correctly the second time around as I've been in that Target a few times--and there was no evidence of that sinking feeling.

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Re: Unimart in Los Angeles?

Post by trainman » 12 Apr 2010 11:24

Gunter Caddington wrote:Folks: A little to add about Unimart ...

There was a location in North Hollywood at the NW corner of Victory & Vineland.
Seems odd, because that's only a couple miles from the Hollywood Way and Vanowen location (the current Fry's). (Second photo, showing the building.)

In this comment page, on the site that those photos come from, there's a mention that it was White Front that was at Victory and Vineland, where the Target is now.
I don't know if Target was the first tenant of that new building, but I guess the landfill was finished off correctly the second time around as I've been in that Target a few times--and there was no evidence of that sinking feeling.
I get that sinking feeling every time I go in there and see how long the checkout lines are.

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Re: Unimart in Los Angeles?

Post by Jeff » 13 Apr 2010 15:26

There is another unaltered Unimart building in Norwalk on the corner of Alondra and Maidstone. Its currently an indoor swap meet, but they still have the diamond shaped sign over the entry, and the distinct building design.

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