Entrance to Roosevelt Field in 1957

Entrance to Roosevelt Field in 1957 Credit: Newsday/Bob Luckey

Remember going to the mall?

Before online shopping, before same-day delivery, odds are if you needed to buy something — from back-to-school clothes to a birthday gift for Mom — you headed to the mall. And it was (and for some, still is) a place to socialize, as well: Maybe you caught up with friends over a 25-cent slice of pizza at the Mid-Island Shopping Plaza in Hicksville, or refueled at the Big Top Restaurant in the Walt Whitman Mall in South Huntington. Either way, the mall was more than just a place of commerce — it was an integral part of Long Island life.

Take a walk down memory lane here, and at the Vintage Newsday Instagram account, which you’ll recognize by the circular photo at left of Newsday’s first female photographer, Edna Murray, circa 1945. There you’ll find more mall scenes, plus additional scenes from Long Island’s past, all curated by Newsday’s librarians. — Kim Predham, LI Life Editor

Ready for her close-up

Credit: Newsday/Dick Kraus

Vera Moore works at her cosmetics kiosk at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream in 1998 (behind the counter is her manager, Cynthia Newman)

A lunch above the fray

Credit: Newsday/Rex Lyons

Diners have a view from the second floor of Abraham & Straus at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove in 1971.

Ping ping ping

Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad WIlliams Jr.

The arcade was a draw at Sunrise Mall in Massapequa in 1989.

Robot road test

Credit: Newsday/Bill Senft

Dennis Marinuzzi of Bethpage, who was 3 in December 1969, plays with a walking space robot at Macy’s in Roosevelt Field.

The mall, too, was shiny and new

Credit: Newsday/Rex Lyons

Shoppers do their thing at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove in 1970, the year after the mall opened.

Bargain hunting

Credit: Newsday/Don Norkett

Labor Day shoppers pack Roosevelt Field mall’s parking lot in 1975.

The place to see and be seen

Credit: Newsday/Cliff De Bear

In 1971, pizza cost 25 cents a slice at Pizza D’Amore at Broadway Commons (then called the Mid-Island Shopping Plaza). The Hicksville mall started as an open-air shopping center.

Lunch break

Credit: Newsday/Walter del Toro

Shoppers fill their plates at the Big Top Restaurant in Macy’s at Walt Whitman Mall in 1971.

Want rabbit ears with that?

Credit: Newsday/Paul. J. Bereswill

Customers shop for televisions at the Friendly Frost store at Massapequa’s Sunrise Mall in 1977, four years after the mall opened.

Taking shoppers to the next level

Credit: Newsday/Bill Senft

Visitors give the new escalators a spin soon after they were installed at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream in 1983, 27 years after the mall opened.

Just one of Santa's fans

Credit: Newsday/George Argeroplos

Tom Kolb of Holbrook took a break from the line of children wanting to sit on Santa’s lap on Dec. 21,1988, when unseasonably warm weather increased temperatures inside Smith Haven Mall, too.

Roosevelt Field roots

Credit: Newsday/Joe Dombroski

Before Roosevelt Field was a place to shop it was an airfield, and in August 1968 it was the site of a tribute honoring the airfield’s past as part of a Salute to Aviation exhibit, which included an airplane known as a Fairchild Hiller STOL (for short takeoff and landing).

Ice cream with your cookies?

Credit: Newsday/Rex Lyons

Outside the restaurant at Abraham & Straus at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove in 1971, hungry shoppers were tempted by a Cookie Jar snack bar on one side and an Ice Cream counter on the other. The second-floor of the store’s dining area overlooked the mall’s shops.

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