Yes, it's true. Though it would hardly qualify as tropical (or even semi-tropical) Cherry Hill was once the home of a wide variety of vividly colorful exotic birds. And people came from far and near to delight in the birds' daily activities.
South Jersey's Cherry Hill Mall has remained a premiere shopping destination for nearly 60 years -- so much so that's it's not only iconic but has also survived the demise of countless other indoor shopping meccas throughout the country. When it opened in 1961 as the first mall east of the Mississippi it was a unique attraction and not just because it boasted a year round spring-like indoor climate. It also featured numerous water fountains, live tropical greenery and a towering aviary where exotic birds cavorted with seeming abandon. But as you can see, the birds didn't get very far as they were domiciled in a modernesque 20-foot high cage.
This aviary stood just outside the sprawling S. S. Kresge store, a sort of discount forerunner of K Mart. Today, this would be the area between the mall's center court and JC Penney. People came from far and near to see the birds and to be part of the mall's lush environment. They were attracted by a radio advertisement jingle that went like this: