Auerbach's and ZCMI Memories

Today, only the façade of ZCMI remains on the downtown store in Salt Lake City.  Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, founded by Brigham Young, was the first department store in the United States.  The store’s remarkable history began in 1868 and lasted through its sale in December 1999. The name ZCMI remained until 2002 when it was changed to Meier and Frank.

Auerbach’s was the other major department store in Utah. Frederick and Samuel Auerbach’s began the Salt Lake City store in 1879. The popular business flourished for the next century in two different locations in Salt Lake City until it closed in February 1979.

KUED will take a nostalgic look at both of these grand and iconic Utah department stores through the warm memories of those who shopped and worked there. They’ll recall ZCMI’s Christmas windows, the hot dog stand in the basement, and the beloved Tiffen Room. Former shoppers at Auerbach’s will recall the elegant Crystal Room and the giant chandeliers.

The program reunites producer Elizabeth Searles and Ted Capener, host of KUED’s “Conversations”. Searles and Capener collaborated on KUED’s five- part series “Utah in the 50s with Ted Capener” in the early 2000s. The pair already have completed more than a dozen interviews including Don Gale, Edna Anderson Taylor (Miss Julie from Romper Room) and Robert Kirby. 

KUED Passport members can view the full program HERE, or on the PBS Video apps for OTT and Mobile.

59 minutes
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