ST. LOUIS– Children who grew up in the 1980s are in their 30s and 40s now. Here is a list of some places and memories that have a special place in the hearts of St. Louisians that grew up during the era of getting Happy Meals at the floating McDonalds, back-to-school shopping at Venture, and visiting the Magic House back when it was only one small house.
The Floating McDonald’s
The world’s first floating McDonald’s opened on the banks of the Mississippi in St. Louis on March 11, 1980. It was moored just south of the Gateway Arch for 20 years before closing in the year 2000.
Founded in 1954, GrandPa Pigeons and GrandPa’s offered steep discounts on products. These stores were a fixture in St. Louis for decades. Many people also have fond memories of working or shopping at GrandPa’s stores!
The Magic House when it was only one house
The Magic House opened on October 16, 1979. It started as a quaint 5,500 square foot Victorian mansion. Since then, it has grown to 55,000 square feet. Now, adults that remember it as only one house get to explore the additions with their children.
Saturday morning cartoons on KPLR11
Children have fond memories of waking up on Saturday mornings and watching their favorite cartoons on KPLR11. Looney Tunes and Disney were just some of the cartoons kids watched. KPLR11 is known for its cartoons, sitcoms, movies, dramas, and local sports.
Union Station singing fudge workers
One popular stop in Union Station was the Fudgery. It was known for its singing confection slingers. A large group would gather to watch the fudge being made. You also got some free whiffs of the sweet smell.
Crestwood Court Mall
This was a popular hang out for many children who grew up during the 80s and were teens in the 90s. It was the first major mall in the St. Louis area. St. Louis teens remember going to the movies here, hanging out in the arcade, and checking out the food court. The mall closed in 2013 and was demolished. Now, Dierbergs and McBride and Sons are planning a development on the land.
Shopping at Venture
Children of the 80s will no doubt remember going up and down the aisles of Venture with their parents. It was likely a popular stop for back-to-school shopping. The chain had 70 stores across the Midwest with a large footprint in St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City. The stores closed in 1998.
The stretch of South Lindbergh from Ronnie’s Plaza to the former K-Mart at Lemay and Lindbergh was the infamous area where people would gather and go cruising. Ronnie’s parking was one of many packed on the weekends. While you may still see some people gathered in those parking lots, its heyday was in the 80s and 90s. There is even a Facebook group called the Lindbergh Cruising Association. They did an anniversary cruise a few months ago.
D.B.’s Delight quiz show
D.B.’s Delight was a locally produced children’s television quiz show produced by KMOX-TV which is now KMOV. The show ran 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays and aired in St. Louis from 1977 to 1988.
The Arena may have opened in 1929, but children who grew up in the 80s were the last generation to make memories there. It may have been at a hockey game or a concert. Others say they remember seeing shows like Disney on Ice there. The Arena, also known as the Checkerdome, came tumbling down during an implosion in 1999.