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Decline of Mall Civilization by Michael Galinsky


trj22487
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I am lucky to still live in an area where this is not a reality, as I still frequent three genuinely alive 70s/80s malls all within a 50 mile radius of me
But filmmaker Michael Galinsky has a new kickstarter book on the way about his tour of America taking photos of malls in their heyday.
His first book from 2010 is out of print and copies these days can go for over $1000. Here are a few of the photos he has shared
 

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Edited by trj22487
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Back when everything smelled like cigs. I still miss the days when I was younger going to the arcade/bowling alley and food-court.

Our local mall here has been gentrified and seems to be mostly occupied by rich immigrants now. A lot of the big box stores like Sears, Zellers, The Bay, and Eatons are gone and all the other box stores like Walmart and Bestbuy have been moved to copy and paste industrial parks on the outskirts of town. Now just fashion, make-up and shoe stores. Definitely not what it was 20-30 years ago when people would go just for the sake of going and socializing. 

 

Cool photos. I remember when this book came out. I was actually gonna buy a copy and never thought about it again. Too bad 😛

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I grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and as a youngun' often went with my family to the Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota. It opened in 1956 so I suspect I went there shortly after it first opened - although I don't remember for certain.

The parking lot had big colored signs with animals on them so you could find your car more easily.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southdale_Center

Edited by Wandering Tellurian
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43 minutes ago, Wandering Tellurian said:

I grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and as a youngun' often went with my family to the Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota. It opened in 1956 so I suspect I went there shortly after it first opened - although I don't remember for certain.

The parking lot had big colored signs with animals on them so you could find your car more easily.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southdale_Center

Southdale was the first indoor mall, made to capture sales during Minnesota's harsh winters. Eden Prairie Center would have been in your hometown when it opened later in 1976 and both are still there today. Fun fact: Mallrats was filmed in EPC though was portrayed as being located in New Jersey.

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17 minutes ago, The Count said:

Southdale was the first indoor mall, made to capture sales during Minnesota's harsh winters. Eden Prairie Center would have been in your hometown when it opened later in 1976 and both are still there today. Fun fact: Mallrats was filmed in EPC though was portrayed as being located in New Jersey.

We had moved out of Eden Prairie by 1976.  We lived there when it was pretty much considered the sticks rather than an affluent suburb.  My folks owned 7 acres then -  I wouldn't even want to guess what that would be worth today!

This makes me want to watch Fargo again don't cha know!

 

Edited by Wandering Tellurian
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I remember Westgate mall on the westside of Cleveland still had this look in the mid 90s.  Brown hexagon tiles with tan accents.  Decorative planters with bark mulch scattered throughout the mall.  Recall a few benches of smokers around them.  Still had an arcade at the far end.

Mostly before my time but it was cool to have one in the area. Went to a mall a few years back and I won't be returning.  Don't care for the lifestyle centers that replaced malls either.

Edited by zeppelin03
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39 minutes ago, Mario_Friend1982 said:

What do malls have to do with video games?

Sometimes video games are sold there. 

Malls and video games tap into a shared nostalgia.

This is Everything Else, which means anything can be discussed. I mean, we have a thread on impeachment, threads about sports, about Star Wars, wrestling. Why not malls?

 

Take your pick.

Edited by Tulpa
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3 minutes ago, RalliArtEvo said:

Very cool. Definitely brings back a lot of memories hanging out in malls during the late 80s - early 90s.

I remember when Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby was just 2 malls instead of one. One of them had a Rainforest Cafe, an Eaton's and Playdium.

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Member · Posted

It's amazing.  This guy was doing the Lord's work and didn't even know it, recording the mundane life of just hanging out at the mall.  Photos like his were partially a dime-a-dozen, if you were a kid with a cheap camera and just liked to snap photos. But those photos are obviously scattered across shoe boxes and now under beds or buried in closets, if they've not yet been tossed.

But, seeing a collection of casual, American mall life really does show just how much as a culture our shopping has changed in the past 20 years.  I loved the mall.  Who didn't?!  It was busy, there were 50 shops to browse and look in, people went to hang out and as a young kid, there were arcade games and those small little kid rides.  It was basically an amusement park that was "free" to enter, but your payment to be there was whatever you bought!

I might consider joining the kickstarter.  You see videos of "dead malls" on YouTube but you don't really see much that catches the every Saturday essences of what being in the mall was like.  I've not seen images of malls like that in a long time.  Thanks for sharing this.

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Malls were great. You could hit up the arcade, foodcourt, the movie theater all in one place. It was even socially acceptable for a date. A part of culture that is well misses.  

Columbia Maryland still had a nice mall. I was out there for training earlier in the year.  Most the malls around here are basically dead. No anchor stores left just trinket shops and gamestop. 

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2 hours ago, themisfit138 said:

Malls were great. You could hit up the arcade, foodcourt, the movie theater all in one place. It was even socially acceptable for a date. A part of culture that is well misses. 

When my local video store went out of business a few years ago that was something the owner brought up in the press statement, that there was a time that you could bring a girl you liked or a guy you liked to the video store to break the ice, flirt and find out stuff about each other while browsing the movies. He witnessed it every weekend. Netflix replaced the movies, but it didn't replace that simple experience of going there with someone new

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2 hours ago, guitarzombie said:

Im curious to know if they have any pics from the late 70s Monroeville Mall.

His pictures are specifically from 1989 when he was 19 years old, he was doing this as a college assignment or filmmaker assignment I believe, and then basically forgot about the photos for 20 years until he found them in a shoebox or whatever and realized what seemed like average photos back then were now amazing all these years later, a lost era.

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I visited my own local mall for the first time in several years (it's quite a distance away and I can't drive) and I couldn't get over how lifeless it was...half the store spaces empty, at least have the ones there have way too much empty space (if you get what I mean)...I mean I grew up right around the golden age of teens/youth hanging out at the mall when that was the go-to place to do so (80s/90s)!  And it was at UK (Lexington) I got to ride on an escalator for the first time (yeah I live in what my wife likes to call "HIcksville USA" where our mall is only one story and thus doesn't get escalators). 😄 

I mean I'm super guilty as sin of contributing to the decline of malls/traditional stores (hey it's not my fault most of what I like must be bought online/Ebay/etc because you can't find things like that in stores/mall!!) but seeing it for myself was still kinda sad...even or perhaps especially since it's been inevitable for several years now.

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