Marlow Heights 60s and 70s

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Marlow Heights Shopping Center

The Marlow Heights Shopping Center, located off of Branch Avenue and St Barnabas Road (and abutted to the rear of it by 28th Avenue), opened in 1957. The owner was Alfred Scuderi, who had an office building named after him, The Scuderi Building, which was constructed in the early 1970s, behind the lower level of the shopping center, on 28th Avenue. The first unit of the shopping center was Giant Food. The following year, 1958, saw the opening of Western Auto. Initially, the shopping center had one level but in the 1960s an upper level was added. The first Hecht’s opened in 1960, with two levels, and the top began the second, upper level of the shopping center (see below).

The above listing of stores in the Marlow Heights Shopping Center as of 1965, came from an Andrews AFB newcomer guide. There were a total of 42 stores then, including four restaurants and the Marlow Theatre (below).

The Marlow Heights Shopping Center is still open as of this writing (January 2021), and continues to do a brisk business. It has also had its own police department since 1966, when a lone officer, Jim Sturgess, was employed. Patrolman Sturgess was promoted to Sgt Sturgess, and eventually named Chief of Police for the Department, earning the rank of Lieutenant. The Marlow Heights Shopping Center Police Department still exists today, to serve their always vital role. They are located in the parking garage of the upper level.

One of the businesses in the Marlow Heights Shopping Center in the late 1960s was the Melody Music Mart, located on the upper level. It opened in 1967, and working there was a Crossland High School Senior, Linda (Inhoff) Curl. Linda also won the “Miss WPGC” the same year, which came with an all expense paid trip to New York City. Here are a couple of photos of Linda at Melody Music.

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