Originally Published: October 4, 2012 - (WMC-TV) - You don't need a time flux capacitor to travel back to some relatively old and inaccessible spots in Memphis. Just turn to Street View on Google Maps.
As you probably know, Google Maps with Street View lets you explore places around the world through 360-degree street-level imagery by placing a little pegman on the map's streets. (And also, in some oceans.)
But here, in Memphis, some street views are quite a blast to the past ... Or blast to 2008, when most of these photos where taken.
Let's start with Midtown.
Remember the corner Union Avenue and Cooper a few years ago? Well, Google Maps sure does, take a look here.
According to Street View, Playhouse on the Square is still under construction. Even though the state-of-the-art facility became fully functional in 2010 after the grand opening performance of "Pippin."
Across the street is a boarded up BP gas station, which is now a working gas station called Ballingers.
If you rotate your Street View, you can also see Union Avenue Methodist Church standing tall and proud. After much controversy and protest a couple of years ago, it was demolished and replaced with a CVS drugstore.
Speaking of CVS drugstores, for all the Bartlett residents out there, I'm sure you are familiar with the old Blue Plate Cafe on the corner of Stage Road and Kirby Whiten Road? Yep, you guessed it, on Street View it's still there. The restaurant was also replaced with a CVS drugstore not too long ago. Click here to see it on Street View.
If you continue down Kirby Whiten, you will land on a Blockbuster at Christmastime. See the big yellow letters on that memorable and nostalgic sign complemented by a green wreath? (Click here to see it.) That location is now a Five Guys Burger and Fries. If you rotate around on Street View you can also see a Hollywood Video, which is now a Verizon Wireless store. We can thank Netflix and Redbox for those video stores' inevitable doom.
Here are a few more memories found via Google Street View:
•The Bellsouth Building (Now, it's a big grassy field now. Also, if you rotate around don't expect to see Minglewood Hall. On Street View it is still a vacant music store called Strings and Things.)
•The University of Memphis Law School is still in construction. (The grand opening happened in 2010, and class is now in session.)
•Kwik Shop in Overton Square still stands on Street View. (Long ago replaced with the popular frozen yogurt establishment YoLo.)
•The Greenline's Main Entrance is nonexistent (It was completed in 2010, hooray for livability!)
Ok Google Maps, obviously you can't regularly drive down to Memphis in your Street View car, trike, or trolley regularly, but, at least us Memphians know that quite a few changes and developments have happened over the years.
For clarification, Google Street View is different than Google Satellite. Aerial and satellite views are usually updated every two weeks. If you look at the Satellite View of the Union Avenue and Cooper Avenue mentioned early, you can see everything in its modern state.
Google Maps does not have a schedule available on how often Street View images are updated.
Tell us what gems you found on Google Maps Street View in the comments below!
Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This story was originally published in October 2012.