photo courtesy John Berg

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),

Over the years, shops included Kinney's (Shoes), Drug King, Golden Venus (and all-women's fitness club), Beadazzeled (bead store). Radio Shack and a restaurant called Diamond Jim's. Other businesses included Pacific Continental Securities (1967; financial planning).

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.

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.

The mall was built on the former location of the Mayfair Supermarket, itself formerly the Andrew Williams Store.


Broadway, MacArthur Boulevard and Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, California

Links and References

Advertisement for the MacArthur/Broadway Shopping Center 1965 grand opening

  1. MB Center Broadway and West MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA Groceteria
  • Oakland Tribune Wednesday, April 06, 1966, page 65
  • Oakland Tribune Thursday, October 20, 1966, page 16