Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Malls

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is the 80s. Today's letter is:




If you know me, you know from the title of this post that I'm going to enjoy this one! I grew up in the 80s, which means that when I think of shopping, one thing comes to mind:


In the 80s, shopping malls were a little less high tech. And a lot more fun.

Photo: Michael Galinsky
The above picture was taken by Michael Galinsky, who traveled the country in the 80s, taking pictures inside shopping malls. The result is a look inside a brief period of time when indoor shopping malls were the place to be.

Photo: Michael Galinsky
The trend has now passed. Instead, today we have "lifestyle centers," which in theory allow you to park in front of the store and run right in.


In practice, however, you can't find a parking space and have to walk a half a mile in the cold, rain, or scorching heat, making you long for the days when you could shop comfortably, then stop by the food court for some yummy food.


But if you happen to be watching TV when Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Valley Girl comes on, you can catch some great shots of malls as they were in the 80s, especially in the opening credits.


Are there any good indoor malls left in your town? 

62 comments:

  1. So many stores in our mall have closed shop, it's a bit barren. Their time has definitely come and gone.

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    1. We have a huge outlet mall near us (Opry Mills), which is thriving. There's another mall on the rich side of town does well. But all of the other malls have died, along with the businesses surrounding them. The towns themselves are on downward spirals. It's odd that the two indoor malls that are nurtured and have plenty to do around them do well here in Nashville. I'm not sure what that means--I just find it interesting!

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  2. We do have a few good indoor malls left. I love the outdoor ones, but In this climate, it's not very realistic!

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    1. The outdoor mall seems an odd concept to me, but I'm going to have to get used to it. We're moving to a side of town with one...every time I've been to that one, I've had to park far away and walk, even if it's during the week. I think the employees must take the parking spaces in front of each business.

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  3. we've only started getting those a few years ago :( We still don't have any in my city.

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    1. No malls at all? I do most of my shopping online these days anyway!

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  4. Oh my word, you bring back so many memories! We used to hang in malls for hours, days, months. Okay, you get the idea. The eighties = malls. In the height of the Cosby Show's glory, I met Malcolm Jamal Warner at a mall by accident!

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    1. Cool! When I worked at the mall, Kid N Play was there for some reason. Never figured out why, but there was a big crowd following them around everywhere they went. It was like watching Pigpen with his dust cloud!

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  5. We do have a number of good shopping malls left and it's still the popular thing to do for the teenagers on the weekends. I sometimes go but now prefer easy parking and a stand alone store I can run in and out of without having to walk several blocks.

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    1. The town where I grew up has an outdoor mall now with a movie theater. The few times I've been there on a weekend night, it's been covered in teenagers, so I'm guessing teens don't mind outdoor malls as hangouts! But yes, I do like standalone stores better. These "lifestyle centers" pack so many stores together with only a few parking spaces in front of each shop. So you end up in the overflow parking, which is always far, far, far away from whatever store you're visiting.

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  6. Oh those Farrah Fawcett hair dos... brings back old memories...
    We have both types of malls here now but I only go shopping when i really need something. I can remember on Friday nights, everyone was shopping or window shopping at the malls. We met friends and sat down for a coffee or a bite to eat just because it was Friday night. lol... Now we have big box stores popping up everywhere and others closing.

    Have a Marvellous day.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I remember when everyone cruised around the malls...finally the police had to start ticketing because it was creating a public nuisance.

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  7. We never really had malls near us in the 80s. Sometimes we had covered shopping centres, but they were on one level and had no big facilities. The closest one I can think of to us now is either Lakeside or Bluewater, and they are at least 40 miles away - we have more of the outdoor ones you mentioned though.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. They seem to be closing them down and not replacing them. They turned one of ours into a hospital, which was a smart idea! The one in the part of town where I grew up is still open but it's being allowed to die a long, agonizing death.

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  8. We still have a few, but I think they will not be around for long.

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    1. It's sad, especially if you still have the one you grew up hanging out in...like a piece of your childhood is going away.

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  9. We have some very good malls in Bangalore. I spent half my Sunday in one of the biggest malls and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

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    1. I spent far too much time in ours, especially in college when I worked in it!

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  10. We have some really big malls nearby including South Coast Plaza. When we have out of state visitors we usually take them there.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies

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    1. Ours is HUGE and a definite tourist attraction. It's next to the Opry!

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  11. The mall in the town where I grew up was tiny, with a pretty lousy selection of shops (a grocery store, Woolworth, a bank, a couple of women's clothing stores and one restaurant) but it was still a centre of activity and many people young and old hung out there.

    The big malls around where I live now are definitely dying. I walk through shopping malls I haven't been through in five years and none of the same stores are there, including huge staple chains that have gone out of business.

    Then I think the fact that I haven't been there in 5 years is probably a sign of why they're not doing very well...

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    1. I love Opry Mills but I don't spend nearly as much time there as I like to pretend I do! I do most of my shopping online these days.

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  12. ick. detest malls. loved that first photo of the girls shopping, though. :)

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    1. I recommend clicking the link and looking through his pictures. He did a great job of capturing the time!

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  13. Yes, we have a few. Usually I avoid them, but they're a must for Christmas shopping. :)

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    1. It is nice to have everything in one place...makes for some quick Christmas shopping!

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  14. Malls used to be fun to visit, now there doesn't seem to be much in any of them. Walmart has seen to that I guess

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    1. I guess...I visit Wal-mart about once a year, when my mother-in-law needs to stop by for something while we're visiting her. Other than that, I get everything from the grocery store or online.

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  15. We have McHenry Village in Modesto, CA that's open, but not really a mall. A huge shopping center. How fun.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. That's what lifestyle centers are, mostly. Just a bunch of shops crammed into one pretty little area. Like strip malls, only much, much nicer.

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  16. We don't have any malls near us, the nearest would be Lakeside, which is forty or so miles away. I did get to visit a US mall for the first time in the early 90's, and it blew my mind. :)
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

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    1. I can only imagine. Especially if it was a mall like the Mall of America! That thing has an amusement park in it.

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  17. OMG, Valley Girl was when my sister fell head over heels for Nicolas Cage. LOL

    Wow, talk about young, he was so young! Did I mention how young he was? :D

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    1. I wrote a story on Deborah Foreman in the 90s and I contacted her once it was published. She sent me the nicest email. When I found her on MySpace years later, I emailed her and asked if she remembered the article and she again was VERY nice. I don't bother her anymore but I do follow her on Instagram. She makes jewelry now and posts quite a few pictures out there. I have to say, she's one of the sweetest people. Here's her Instagram. You guys should all follow her...and buy her jewelry!

      https://instagram.com/deborahlforeman/

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  18. Malls? Torture. Too loud, too crowded, too much to buy and all of it the same. Bleah.

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    1. I love malls...my husband doesn't, though!

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  19. I can't get over the hair in that mall photo!! Takes me WAY back :) Time does funny things. I was reading an article about how many abandoned malls there are across the country -- seems so strange from what I knew of my childhood. We went to the mall all the time.

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. Even worse, as the malls are dying, all of the businesses that built up around it are dying with them.

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  20. We still have an indoor mall, but wouldn't classify it as fun. The best indoor malls I've been to have been in Europe! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. If you're ever in Nashville, check out Opry Mills. In fact, all of the "Mills" malls are massive and nice, from what I've heard. I've only been to ours.

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  21. My mall is okay, the one the next city over is much better. But I don't see the big deal of them except convenience of not having to drive from store to store to store.

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  22. Yes, we have one indoor mall where I'm living now, which is so small compared to CA standards where the shopping malls are huge and have three floors of stores, a food court and several large dept stores. It's nice to go in when the weather is bad and not have to leave to go to the next store.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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  23. Not in our town. Certainly none like your pictures show. We were late in getting the mall we have now, a small one story, but pretty nice.

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  24. I miss how malls used to be. I don't like going to the mall now.

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  25. The malls were where we all hung out in the 80's! I have great memories of pizza, movies, and Spencer's at the mall!

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  26. oh I loved malls as a kid. Now, eh. We have a tanger outlet which I do like, but as you said the weather is always a factor and I've NEVER been comfortable no matter the weather. The sun is always too hot, the cold is too bitter. Never enjoyable. I love my local indoor mall though. It's not too big, it's comfortable. I like the stores. Plus, there's a Godiva store! :)

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  27. There are a couple major malls in the area. I rarely go there, though.

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  28. Going to a mall for me results in sensory-based migraine, and an anxiety spell.
    But, oh! in the 80s! Malls were novel, a new experience.

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  29. Oh we have 2 malls that thrive here-killed the downtown but the malls have stayed. I don't like the bigger mall because I get so sore and tired. The smaller mall closer to me is my fav. Nice and bright. I remember in the early 70's the big thing were plazas which seem to be coming back. Love these older photos. Those 3 girls are all about the '80's

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  30. Not a lot of shopping malls on Maui. The big one is the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center and it's tiny compared to a lot of malls on the mainland.
    Maui Jungalow

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  31. There is an indoor mall about 20 minutes from my house and it was one that I used to shop at when it opened in the 80s. I remember going there the first week it opened with my friends. We were so excited!

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  32. I didn't know they were called "Lifestyle Centers" but I've seen them in this city and the other city we lived in before we moved here. This Lifestyle Center is attached to the indoor mall. Here the mall is really small but its a small city; indoors though. you can walk it in less than 15 minutes if you don't go into any stores :)

    betty

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  33. Back in the 90s, I used to belong to a software user group that met in Minneapolis and I loved going to the Mall of America (also, I had a lot of down time and it was close to the hotel). I remember being fascinated by a store that sold all Tabasco products; at that time, it was the first one I had seen.

    Malls don't have nearly the attraction now, though I continue to drive by them and say "why are all these people here during the week?"

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  34. There are some good malls in driving distance around me. I wasn't a mall person in the 80's, though. I remember disliking the crowds.

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  35. Awesome theme! (class of '88, here!) I remember when they finally built a mall in my hometown. It was the closest one (and still is, actually) to quite a few small towns and was always the place to "see and be seen." You know, aside from the roller-skating rink! ;-) Yay 80's! I'm looking forward to reading all of these!
    Jetgirl visiting from A to Z via Forty, c'est Fantastique

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  36. I loved malls in the 80's. That's when I was touring and since I was always on the road and living in motels I was essentially "homeless". When we'd roll into a new town, if there were no exceptional attractions to visit, my wife and I would often head to the local mall to kill time before it was time to go set up the show. It was cool in summer and there was often a place to eat. And there were music stores to browse through. I was fanatical about buying music cassettes back then and spent hours in the record stores. Now I wish I had some of that money back that I spent in the malls in the 80's.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  37. This post brought back a ton of memories. My friends and I used to roam the mall for no reason at all. (Other than socializing, I guess.)

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  38. My daughter grew up the typical Valley Girl - in fact we lived in the Valley in the 80s and she spent more time hanging out at the Sherman Oaks Galleria than about anywhere else. I was just telling Amara about the idea of "hanging out at the Mall" and how her Mom had to be where she was supposed to be to get picked up at a certain time as there were no cell phones! Good memories. Great post.

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  39. Now I can't stand going in malls because most of them are just garbage here now, but back in the 80s and early 90s I loved them. I remember seeing the Galinsky photos online and they almost made me a little sad. Just brought back a lot of memories.

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  40. Thankfully we have two really good malls left but even the one in Halifax here is broken up and you have to cross the street to go to parts of it... we really need an overpass built... I would prefer the mall any day of the week over the way they have shopping parks that are too huge and you have to go from one area to a mile away for the next place... not easy when you walk or take public transit... xox

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  41. We have a big mall thanks to the Canadians just across the border. Much of my early high school life centered around a mall in Indiana. Met my first boyfriend there and had a lot of life-changing experiences there. Movies like Some Kind of Wonderful and Can't Buy Me Love come to mind, as well as the classics you mentioned.

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  42. What's with these stupid new malls? I'm baffled that anyone thinks people want to engage in shopping in this manner. It's an attempt to regain the old Main Street, but the whole concept is messed up.

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