December 21, 2011

Vintage Winter Wonderland ca. 1964

Shopping in a mall in the 1960s was as much about spectacle and kitschy attractions as some of today's malls are! And Christmas gave mall-goers even more reason to visit.

Here's a pictorial of a Christmas department store display called Wonderworld, set up in the Cherry Hill Mall in Camden, NJ in 1964, full of moving animatronic dolls and trippy scenery in a psychedelic montage:

The entrance to Wonderworld. Here a smiling belle in a felt-scalloped hat collects admission from thrill-seeking kiddies. Her fairytale costume is purple, lime green, turquoise and blue.

The Christmas Village on display, complete with Santa's Marvelous Toy Machine set at the lower right.

Wonderworld takes a turn for the kitsch with a rotating dragon display... part of the 'Magic Mushroom' exhibit.

Psychedelic scene of Asian dolls and larger-than-life mushrooms. Notice the hovering teapot above the
largest mushroom... it's pouring tea into a tea cup on the mushroom's "tabletop". Far out!

The "Wonderworld Guard" is much more traditional in appearance and style... trip over? Not quite yet.

No visit to Wonderworld would be complete without a peek at Santa's workshop. Dials whirring, lights flashing, and all controlled by a bearded animatronic doll!

A very tired Wonderworld boy and his dog now asleep, waiting for Christmas morning. The dolls were
contrived to appear as though they were breathing under their vintage quilted cover.

What a long, strange trip it's been...

Have a very kitschy Christmas!

Reference: Display World Magazine, August 1964


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I have so many good memories of Wonderworld at the Cherry Hill Mall, and when I tell people about it, nobody else ever remembers it!

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