Downtown Shopping Film Shows What Portland Looked Like 50 Years Ago [VIDEO]
Before the Maine Mall opened in 1971, downtown Portland was the center of the shopping district. Congress Street was lined with stores that sold just about anything you could possibly need, and this is what it looked like.
This film from the 1960's was digitized and posted to the Portland Maine History 1786 to Present Facebook page. It doesn't have sound but it was a promotional film used to show all that downtown Portland had to offer for shoppers including stores and valet parking.
50 years later a lot has changed. Stores like Porteous, Benoit's Sears and Woolworth's are all gone now from downtown. They all moved to the Maine Mall and today only Sears remains.
Valet parking? Yeah right. Only if you're staying at one of the more expensive downtown hotels.
Did you notice the Time and Temperature sign at the beginning of the film? It had five charachters and would flash CASCO BANK which used to be in the building. Casco Bank was swallowed up in the 80's by People's Heritage Bank and then eventually TD Bank which is in the building today.
The parking garage seen still stands today. It's at the back of the Time and Temperature building at the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Brown Street.
It was a much different time then. It really makes me wish there was a time machine so I could go back and see it for myself.