The MacArthur/Broadway Shopping Center opened to much fanfare on September 9, 1965. Located in North Oakland, the enclosed mall was considered “A whole century ahead of its time … The most fantastic one-stop shopping and dining extravaganza in the entire universe!”
One of the best features of the mall was The Hamlet, an early food court similar to the Emeryville Public Market, which had 15 restaurants, one restaurant for each of the major ethic foods of the time: Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, American, German and Sea Food, Smorgasbord, Hof Brau, as well as the Pine Tree Candy shop. Mr. Bo's had American food (chicken fried steak, Salisbury steak, etc. ... similar to the old various of the Kerry House on Piedmont Avenue),
Once the go-to destination in North Oakland, after several decades the M/B Center became run down and dangerous. In 2009 the MacArthur/Broadway Shopping Center was demolished for a future Kaiser Permanente hospital.
“C’mon kids … let’s go to Mayfair!” Yes!! The Mayfair market was awesome ... with the best Jersey and Guernsey milk, imported chocolates and the most incredible salami from Denmark wrapped in gold foil.
The MacArthur/Broadway Center was built by Edmond E. Herrscher, a Mayfair supermarket chain board member.
In 1937 the Arthur Williams supermarket was built on the block of MacArthur Blvd. and Broadway. One of the first in California, it was also one of the nation's first supermarkets with a parking lot. The supermarket's 60' tower was a landmark, with a mile of neon lights on the tower and storefront. The Arthur Williams supermarket became a Mayfair supermarket in the 1950's, but was demolished in 1964.
"The MacArthur/Broadway Center contained a new Mayfair (26,000 square feet), which opened in September 1964. The grand opening grand prize was a trip to the 1964 World's Fair in New York. After the old Mayfair/Andrew Williams store was demolished, the remainder of the shopping center was built on its site. The MacArthur/Broadway Center opened in September 1965." 1
The MacArthur/Broadway Center was home to one the first shopping mall movie theater in the East Bay, the plush Theater 70, which opened in the mid-1960's/1970. There were two entrances, one inside the mall and the other on the outside, at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Howe Street. The address of Theater 70 was 255 West MacArthur Boulevard, though it was later renamed Cinema 1. In 1977 the theater closed permanently.
- MB Center Broadway and West MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA Groceteria 1
- Oakland Tribune, Wednesday, April 06, 1966, page 65
Oakland Tribune, Thursday, October 20, 1966, page 16