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Why Was Birdcage Walk Half Demolished?


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#1 Oldschooler81

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 08:56 PM

In another thread I said about how I was bummed to discover the Birdcage theatre was demolished, since I went there as a kid lots of times. I can see some divergence in the google earth poctures over the years too. That building on the south end became a Target by 1998, and by '02 a piece of it was reconfigured (projecting outwards now).

I found a piece of an article from '95 (so this must've happened right after I left) but can only read the first few parts without having to buy it. wink.gif

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my best guess is that it might've been actually quite ahead of its time (outdoor power centers are more the rage today). At the time maybe more people probably went to the mall, so it didn't do as well as they expected. The total irony of that philosophy is, if they'd left it alone it would've probably caught up been successful now, lol.


New Owners Likely to Rebuild "Power Center" in Citrus Heights, Calif.(Originated from The Sacramento Bee, Calif.)
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News| July 14, 1995

July 14--The retail ghost town that is Birdcage Walk in Citrus Heights appears destined for a razing and subsequent resurrection as a power center, according to officials looking to sell the shopping complex.

"We're speculating that a buyer will want to demolish Birdcage Walk as it is now and then rebuild it. It looks like the perfect site for a power center," said Earle Conklin, cq vice president with The Prudential Realty Group in San Francisco, which took possession of the property in May.

Conklin said Prudential hopes to have a sale completed this fall, with the new owner opening stores perhaps as early as next summer.

Power centers typically feature

View articles courtesy of your local library


#2 john

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 09:19 PM

Birdcage theater became a dollar theater and was a magnet for riff-raff and thugs with nothing better to do. Citrus Heights PD moved their station there just to try and combat it. I think the theater did not make much money anyway, so it was sold and the place was torn down. It was time.

It's way nicer now.


#3 Oldschooler81

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 09:32 PM

^ I actually didn't realize that (I think I always went there in the daytime, probably was rougher at night). Makes sense if they redid it then, thugs and crime can drive other people away...there's some parts of SJ I purposely stay away from for the same reason.

#4 supermom

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 07:42 AM

QUOTE (john @ Jun 26 2010, 10:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Birdcage theater became a dollar theater and was a magnet for riff-raff and thugs with nothing better to do. Citrus Heights PD moved their station there just to try and combat it. I think the theater did not make much money anyway, so it was sold and the place was torn down. It was time.

It's way nicer now.

When I was a teen-that was a great hangout. And the cocos- across the street. And how we enjoyed just driving up and down the road waving to friends-seeing guys holler out to us-giving out phone numbers (not necessarily mine, all the time). Yup cruising was fun the $1 movies and leaving a friend there to make out with a non - parental supporting boy- was common. How did we know, at the time that parents actually were smarter than us?

Yep-then one day- a few years later-I come home and hear about the knife fights and the theatre has been closed. And its sad. The end of an era. When it was safe to just hang out. Hmmm-do kids have that anymore? Or are they stuck at parks, nowadays?

#5 Bill Z

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:23 AM

I understand why birdcage failed. it was right across the street from a beautifully indoor air-conditioned mall.


What I don't get is why are so many places in the Sacramento Valley (especially Folsom) building outdoor malls instead of Indoor malls. In the summer, our heat is atrocious and no one wants to wander around outside. In the rainy season, no one wants to run store to store in the rain.
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#6 Oldschooler81

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 03:27 PM

supermom - that sounds fun, it's like such a 90s thing (80s too really). I was too young to do it then obviously, but I remember older babysitters doing stuff like that, and it was just part of the atmosphere. I was 14 when I left, so I was starting to get older girls honking at me, but that was it. That's really a shame how a few criminals and thieves can ruin it for everybody else. If not for them, it might've been still standing!

Coco's was a great place (loved their desserts), they got rid of a few here in the south bay too, not sure why.


Bill - yeah, I personally hate having to be outdoors either in the rain or the heat. The Sac area can get blazing hot (I'm sure that hasn't changed, lol) and even if indoor malls are more of an 80s thing, it's still much more comfortable and profitable. Why do you think Roseville built that Galleria, but the Folsom area hasn't?

#7 chris v

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 08:50 AM

I worked in Birdcage right next to the movie theater right before they did the restructure. The place didn't fail because of crime. I'm sure it might have had a little to do with it, but really, they had a hard time keeping stores there, they still do. The layout was and is horrible.

#8 Bill Z

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:33 AM

The biggest draw I had to Birdcage was the REI store when it was there.
I also went to the Macy's a few times for kitchen appliances/gadgets.

I think I bought a lawnmower from MonkeyWards once, and I think I went to Toys'R'Us once and left with nothing.

Yeah, REI was the money winner from me. Sure glad we have one in Folsom now.
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#9 (MaxineR)

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 10:44 PM

QUOTE (Bill Z @ Jun 27 2010, 09:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I understand why birdcage failed. it was right across the street from a beautifully indoor air-conditioned mall.


What I don't get is why are so many places in the Sacramento Valley (especially Folsom) building outdoor malls instead of Indoor malls. In the summer, our heat is atrocious and no one wants to wander around outside. In the rainy season, no one wants to run store to store in the rain.



I was thinking the very same thing!

It's crazy to build an open mall!!!! I don't go shopping when it's so hot or it's rainy with wind blowing....it's such a drag!

Much nicer to walk in an air conditioned or heated mall, taking your time to window shop, stop for a refreshment or just sit and people watch while you take a break.

Folsom really screwed up building an out door mall. wacko.gif



#10 ScionBox

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:23 PM

I remember hanging around at Birdcage Walk in the early '80s... and yes there was a big birdcage with real birds in it!

After taking a walk, it was nice to stop at Casa Maria and dine on their great Mexican food. Those were the good old days. smile.gif



#11 MrsTuffPaws

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE (ScionBox @ Jul 22 2010, 08:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remember hanging around at Birdcage Walk in the early '80s... and yes there was a big birdcage with real birds in it!

After taking a walk, it was nice to stop at Casa Maria and dine on their great Mexican food. Those were the good old days. smile.gif

What sort of birds did they have. Parrots? Songbirds? Raptors?

#12 ScionBox

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:28 PM

QUOTE (Bill Z @ Jun 28 2010, 10:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The biggest draw I had to Birdcage was the REI store when it was there.
I also went to the Macy's a few times for kitchen appliances/gadgets.



TV40 Weatherman Stormin' Norman Jacobs also went to the Macy's a few times... but that's a long story. LOL

QUOTE (MrsTuffPaws @ Jul 22 2010, 08:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What sort of birds did they have. Parrots? Songbirds? Raptors?



I remember seeing parrots and McCaw's... That was many moons ago so it's hard to remember. It was configured much differently back then because cars weren't able to drive thru it. It was a fun place to walk around and kill some time.

#13 Oldschooler81

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 02:13 PM

^That's pretty cool, Scionbox. I guess they named it literally, and I can't recall that place so maybe it was already gone by '90/91. Was it originally built in the 70s, I get the impression it was getting old even in my day (must be if they started tearing it down then).

BTW I guess google earth just updated their pictures recently, because there's one from April 7th this year, and they tore down ANOTHER piece where it looks like something new is coming up.

#14 speedtoburn

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:59 PM

In another thread I said about how I was bummed to discover the Birdcage theatre was demolished, since I went there as a kid lots of times. I can see some divergence in the google earth poctures over the years too. That building on the south end became a Target by 1998, and by '02 a piece of it was reconfigured (projecting outwards now).

I found a piece of an article from '95 (so this must've happened right after I left) but can only read the first few parts without having to buy it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my best guess is that it might've been actually quite ahead of its time (outdoor power centers are more the rage today). At the time maybe more people probably went to the mall, so it didn't do as well as they expected. The total irony of that philosophy is, if they'd left it alone it would've probably caught up been successful now, lol.


I know this is a really old thread but I had to post a reply because Birdcage Walk and the surrounding area has always held special memories for me as well. =)

I remember when my dad used to drop me off at the arcade in the mid to late 80's, I'd usually have anywhere from $10 - $20 which I earned from mowing lawns..lol. I would spend a few hours playing video games and when I ran out of money I would walk around the area approaching people and asking them if I could borrow a quarter to make a phone call (seems crazy now with the advent of cell phones, huh?) only to take the quarters back to the arcade and play some more games..lol. Sometimes I shoot across the street to the old Tower Records and bide my time listening to the latest CD's or at Tower Books reading magazines.

As I grew older it went from video games to taking girls out on dates to Birdcage Cinema, there wasn't much riff raff then that I can recall at least. I had more than my fair share of make out sessions in the car following a movie at good old bird cage cinema...lol. Right after I got out of High School I worked at the old Montgomery Ward (another place that is out of business) which was at the opposite end of the mall..such great memories their as well. In fact, I met my first true love through that job..yikes!!

I left for college in Southern California in the mid 90's and never really "went back" if that makes sense. I mean I came back for the Holidays for the first couple years but even then it was just never the same, I could see the area was changing. One of the last times I saw that specific area was when I was back in town with (what would become my future wife)having bought her home to meet my dad a few months after we had started dating. I remember they had just put up the Target and I was really sad. I kind of new that place wouldn't stay as nothing lasts forever but with all the memories and fondness I had it was a bitter pill to swallow.

I went back to my old stomping grounds (Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights, etc.) a couple more times after that mainly Holiday's) and have not been back since. I ended up settling down in Southern California for my 20's before eventually moving to Atlanta where I have been ever since.

My dad sold our house a couple years after my last visit with the buyers being foreclosed on a few years later and now the house is empty another really sad fact that stings given all the memories I have from growing up their. =(

I also saw where they finally closed down Crestview Lanes late last year...another sad thing to read. Ton's of memories their as well.

Oh well, nothing lasts forever, right?

Edited by speedtoburn, 17 February 2011 - 09:00 PM.





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