Garvey Theater

Found some interesting information about the corner of Garvey and San Gabriel.  I just barely remember that lot before the K-mart got moved in.  It was a church before that, and long before it was a church, it was a movie theater.

Garvey Theater

What K-Mart?  I've lived in the area for 61 years.  As a kid, I went to the Garvey theater.  After it went belly-up, Popov used the theater to preach in.  K-Mart never made it to the corner of Garvey and San Gabriel.

There was a K-Mart there

There was a K-Mart there for a while.  Then, it got turned into a Builder's Square.  Then, after that, it was closed for a while until it turned into the mall, with a TT supermarket.

I remember going to the K-Mart and waiting around while my father got his oil changed.  They had a cafeteria in back, the spinning blue light, and all the usual K-Mart stuff.  A couple years back, my friend was laughing about the store, saying it closed up because the staff were stealing the inventory.  My only other memory of K-Mart was that there were so many pigeons in the parking lot that my mom ran over one.

After K-Mart folded, it was changed to a Builder's Square, which was an early "home improvement warehouse" like Home Base or Home Depot.  (I still find stuff around the house with the old Builder's Square tags.)  That didn't last long.  It was closed for a while, then, the whole thing became a Chinese mall in the late 80s.

The reason why the day laborers congregate on that corner is because the Builder's Square was there.  It's weird that the hardware store's been gone for 20 years, but the day laborers are still there.  I guess that's just supply and demand.

Yeah, I remember the K-Mart, too

I definitely remember it opening as a K-Mart, then as a Builder's Square, then the Chinese mall, anchored by Ranch 99.  I don't think anyone from our family ran over any pigeons, though. ;-)


I don't remember anything being there before K-Mart.  But my memory only goes back to the mid-1970s.  I can remember, for example, the last "beautification" they did on San Gabriel Blvd.  They dug up the concrete sidewalks and replaced them with alternating squares of red brick and concrete, and really skinny trees that didn't last very long.  I remember thinking even back then what a stupid waste of money that last "beautification" was.  Who ever voted for that was not a pedestrian, a bicyclist or a wheelchair-user.


I'm convinced the authors of the more recent beautification aren't pedestrians, either.  If you want a pedestrian-friendly sidewalk, adding a few trees isn't going to do (although removing those stupid red bricks was a step in the right direction).  You need to widen the sidewalks, too.  Two people should be able to pass each other on a sidewalk without needing to worry about running into telephone polls or anchor cables or fire hydrants.