Wednesday, November 14, 2018


The opening of the Big Chain complex was documented in the October 15, 1953 issue of Bossier City Planters Press.

“The Big Chain Bossier City Community Shopping Center located at the intersection of the Old Minden Road and the Benton Road, one block off Barksdale Blvd., will hold its gala opening Tuesday, Oct., 13th.”

Mayor Burgess E. McCranie with the Bossier City Planning Commission
City of Bossier City collection: 2016.019.009
“Mayor Burgess E. McCranie of Bossier City and Col. Samuel Smith, commanding officer of Barksdale Air Force Base will cut a ribbon in front of the Big Chain section of the million-dollar development at its opening at 9 a.m. Tuesday.”

“A total of $3,999.99 worth of door prizes will be given away over a ten-day period, Ed Wile, President of the Big Chain, announced.”

“On the first day of the opening a $250 RCA television set will be given away plus $100 toward installation of the set.”

“Also, 15 baskets of groceries worth $15 apiece will be given away each of the 10 days.  All of this will be nationally-known merchandise, Wile added.”

“In addition, a $12.50 Parker Pen set will be given away each day for the first five days.  Also, a $2.50 Betty Crocker cookbook will be given away one a day for the first five days.”

“On Saturday, Oct. 17, a $700 pair of chinchillas, complete with pen and set of instructions on how to raise will be given away as a door prize.”

“On Tuesday, Oct. 20, a brand new, never-before-marketed $214 5 ½ horsepower 1954 Johnston [sic] outboard motor will go to someone as a door prize.  Wile said that only men and boys could register for this prize.”

“On Saturday, Oct. 24, a $299 Deepfreeze unit with 100 packages of frozen foods will be given away.”

“Various other prizes during the 10-day opening will also be given away.” 

Other businesses joining the Big Chain Grocery in the complex were Bossier Bank and Trust Co., F. W. Woolworth, White’s Cleaners, Buckelew’s, Shreveport Refrigeration Co., Inc., Bell Brothers Shoes and Naremore’s Bossier Drug Store.

Big Chain started in Shreveport on the corner of Texas and Edwards Streets on November 6, 1922.  The Bossier Big Chain Center was designed by architects Sam L.G. Wiener and William B. Wiener.

To learn more about Bossier businesses, come to the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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