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Subject: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 04/15/06 at 4:58 am

What are some things (Architectural features.etc) present in c.70s shopping malls virtually unknown today?

I can think of a few;

1. Bird cages and monkey cages (yes, it surprised me too when I saw the old pics)
2. 'Sunken' gardens with fake or real vegetation
3. Water fountains (they're so rare these days)
4. Garish scultures (like a huge sun, or a huge Horse statue)
5. Stairs instead of escalators.
6. Muzak instead of Top 40 radio
7. Wood veneer, linoleum, concrete, gROOVY colours!!!

Ah, pity I was born too late...


Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Dukefan on 04/27/06 at 7:45 pm

My local mall was built in the early 70s.  It still has some of the characteristics mentioned above, but was remodeled at some point in the 90s and modernized.

Most notably, it still has a huge water fall sculpture in the "hub"/center where all the corridors converge.  A large garden surrounds the fountain and there is a glass ceiling.

The mall use to be really colorful, but during the modernization the colors were traded in for a sandy/cream paint job.

Great website about malls of the 60s/70s:

http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 04/27/06 at 8:11 pm


My local mall was built in the early 70s.  It still has some of the characteristics mentioned above, but was remodeled at some point in the 90s and modernized.

Most notably, it still has a huge water fall sculpture in the "hub"/center where all the corridors converge.  A large garden surrounds the fountain and there is a glass ceiling.

The mall use to be really colorful, but during the modernization the colors were traded in for a sandy/cream paint job.

Great website about malls of the 60s/70s:

http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/


Finally, someone answered my mall posts...thanks for the input. Yes, I love the mallsofamerica blogspot; some of the malls look so exotic, and architecturally exciting. All those colours, designs, and 'foreign' materials use velour, linoleum, wood-panelling, lots of concrete (brutalist)...It seems to me the two main styles were 'brutalist' made mainly of concrete and tiling, and very flash, colourful 70s (like the Cherry Hill Mall in N.J., or the Universal Mall in M.I.). My local was built in 1970-71 (opened in '72) and I've only seen one small black and white photo of it in its early days (the early 70s) - which is better than nothing I suppose. All the other photos are pretty recent. What's the name of your local mall, btw?

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: velvetoneo on 04/27/06 at 10:13 pm

Most of our local shopping malls were built in the '60s/'70s, and reflected the design scheme of the period, with colors like aquamarine and mustard covering the inside. http://deadmalls.com This has great pics of some malls that actually remain like this...

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/13/06 at 1:13 pm

For anyone who's interested, I dug up this gem;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trKmk8eGCwM&search=70s%20commercial

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: robby76 on 05/23/06 at 9:49 pm

Great link. The Malls Of America is a great site. I'd love to have a browse round them shops now!

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 05/23/06 at 9:52 pm


For anyone who's interested, I dug up this gem;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trKmk8eGCwM&search=70s%20commercial



that's awesome! The only thing better than the retro commercial itself...was the fact that Ken Berry starred in it! Gotta love him! ;)

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: lorac61469 on 05/23/06 at 11:22 pm

I vaguely remember the way the mall looked in the 70's.  I remember it being dark, probably due to the color scheme...oranges, yellows and lots of wood and dark tile.  There were a few places for kids to play, large wooden structures (looked like they were made from railroad ties).  There were fountains and plants.  In the middle of the mall there was a place called "The Honeycomb".  Steps would lead you down to an underground shopping area.  The only store I remember being down there was a t-shirt shop.



Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/24/06 at 3:15 am


I vaguely remember the way the mall looked in the 70's.  I remember it being dark, probably due to the color scheme...oranges, yellows and lots of wood and dark tile.  There were a few places for kids to play, large wooden structures (looked like they were made from railroad ties).  There were fountains and plants.  In the middle of the mall there was a place called "The Honeycomb".  Steps would lead you down to an underground shopping area.  The only store I remember being down there was a t-shirt shop.






Which mall was that, by the way? There's an excellent site called 'Malls of America' - it's at http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/. I highly recommend you check it out. Heck, you may even find old pics of the local mall you went to when you were young!

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: lorac61469 on 05/24/06 at 10:41 am

It's the Staten Island Mall, SI NY.

I look at the site and didn't see it, but I need more time to really look through the site.

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: karen on 05/24/06 at 10:52 am

We don't have many huge shopping malls that seem so prevalent in America.  The nearest one to where I live is about an hour's drive away and was built fairly recently.

More common are smaller shopping centres and, discounting the two laughable small efforts in my town, the nearest one is probably in Nottingham.  Back in the 70s I remember The Victoria Centre having two climbing frame type things, one in the shape of a grasshopper and the other a long twisty snake.  That is about all I could say about the decor.  that and the wonderfully weird clock that manages to encorporate a fountain and sculpture into one piece.  It is in the right hand side of this pic.  (Sorry it's the best I could find!)

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/25/06 at 3:00 am


We don't have many huge shopping malls that seem so prevalent in America.  The nearest one to where I live is about an hour's drive away and was built fairly recently.

More common are smaller shopping centres and, discounting the two laughable small efforts in my town, the nearest one is probably in Nottingham.  Back in the 70s I remember The Victoria Centre having two climbing frame type things, one in the shape of a grasshopper and the other a long twisty snake.  That is about all I could say about the decor.  that and the wonderfully weird clock that manages to encorporate a fountain and sculpture into one piece.  It is in the right hand side of this pic.  (Sorry it's the best I could find!)




Yeah, the whole Shopping Mall phenomena never really took off in England like it did in America, Canada and Australia. The first shopping mall that opened in my local area was Garden City, Booragoon (I created the Wikipedia article on it  :)) which was constructed in 1970 and was officially opened in 1972. It's gone through three renovations, and is as popular as ever. I visit it at least once a week.

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Allie Fox on 05/25/06 at 4:02 pm

Great thread.  I remember regularly going to Smith Haven Mall (the one with the "phallic" sculpture).

Cool

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/26/06 at 4:41 am

When did your local mall open? And what are your early memories of it? I'd love to hear some stories...

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 05/26/06 at 5:49 pm

Our main mall, Sunvalley Mall, opened in 1967 and still has a lot of characteristics from that time and the early '70s. According to people who went there in the late '60s and '70s, Sunvalley Mall had a theatre, a food court, an ice skating rink. By the time, I was born, only the ice rink was still there. The theatre had been taken out. The food court also no longers exists. I guess they called the food court "Worlds Fair" because they offered all kinds of flavors and styles of food (probably not that varied compared to today's standards, though).

The County East Mall in Antioch use to be an outdoor mall in the late '70s through the late '80s. I remember it being an outdoor mall, but they demolished it for what it is now - an inside mall.

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/27/06 at 10:27 pm


Our main mall, Sunvalley Mall, opened in 1967 and still has a lot of characteristics from that time and the early '70s. According to people who went there in the late '60s and '70s, Sunvalley Mall had a theatre, a food court, an ice skating rink. By the time, I was born, only the ice rink was still there. The theatre had been taken out. The food court also no longers exists. I guess they called the food court "Worlds Fair" because they offered all kinds of flavors and styles of food (probably not that varied compared to today's standards, though).

The County East Mall in Antioch use to be an outdoor mall in the late '70s through the late '80s. I remember it being an outdoor mall, but they demolished it for what it is now - an inside mall.


Would this be the mall you were referring to? (the caption says from the 1960s)

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5883/1181/1600/Sunvalley%20mall%20Concord%2C%20California.jpg

Is this how you remember the mall? Of course it's gone through many re-modellings.

Got it from a great site http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com plenty of great old pics.

California - and Minnesota, Michegan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania -seem to be the home of the shopping mall. It would just be so surreal to go back in time and re-visit these malls. That's why I think architects/designers should come up with more 'retro' designs.

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/29/06 at 3:53 am


Our main mall, Sunvalley Mall, opened in 1967 and still has a lot of characteristics from that time and the early '70s. According to people who went there in the late '60s and '70s, Sunvalley Mall had a theatre, a food court, an ice skating rink. By the time, I was born, only the ice rink was still there. The theatre had been taken out. The food court also no longers exists. I guess they called the food court "Worlds Fair" because they offered all kinds of flavors and styles of food (probably not that varied compared to today's standards, though).

The County East Mall in Antioch use to be an outdoor mall in the late '70s through the late '80s. I remember it being an outdoor mall, but they demolished it for what it is now - an inside mall.


Interesting, I have this old cult Aussie film from the 70s (doubt you'd know it) which has footage of a shopping centre in the suburbs of Sydney circa 1976, with a food-court called World's Fair, this is probably one of the earliest examples of footage of a shopping mall in a movie I've seen. Other early movies with shopping malls I remember include 'Logan's Run' (1976), 'Dawn of the Dead' (1978), 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High' (1982), 'Mall-Rats' (1984). Anyone know of any others (preferably pre-1980)?

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 05/29/06 at 5:09 pm


Would this be the mall you were referring to? (the caption says from the 1960s)

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5883/1181/1600/Sunvalley%20mall%20Concord%2C%20California.jpg

Is this how you remember the mall? Of course it's gone through many re-modellings.

Got it from a great site http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com plenty of great old pics.

California - and Minnesota, Michegan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania -seem to be the home of the shopping mall. It would just be so surreal to go back in time and re-visit these malls. That's why I think architects/designers should come up with more 'retro' designs.




That's it. Wow... see.. that's even a trip for me because they've remodeled the mall a lot even since I was younger. I remember it looking more like that as a kid. It hadn't changed a lot in the 80's. I think that's where the Gap is now. 

Addendum *** I was wrong, the more I examined the picture, it was taken on the upper level of the South end of the mall where JCPenney's is. I walked down that middle staircase today (the one between the two escalators. Just below there use to be a theatre and then the Ice Skating Rink.

That mall holds SO many memories. Everytime I go there I think of all the stores that have closed down and the ones that replaced them since. It's a strange feeling. I also think of what it use to look like before they installed an elevator in the center of the mall. Too much.. 

Some malls around this area have very similiar looks (Sunvalley, Stoneridge (Pleasanton) and Hilltop (Richmond) all have the same look because they were all owned by the same company, Sunvalley being the first of the three.

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 05/29/06 at 5:57 pm

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5883/1181/1600/SUNVALLEY-SHOPPING--MALL.jpg

This was Sunvalley in the '60s and pretty much the way I remember it in the '80s. They did some minor remodeling after the 1985 airplane crash in the center of the mall (killing Santa and some kids waiting in line to see him  :( ) But, around 1989-1990, they did a major remodel, tearing out the tile you see in the picture and removing the iron wrought and replacing it with glass. They also tore out the wood panels on top. Don't know why, all that stuff is coming back in style again - those warm colors  ;D

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/29/06 at 10:30 pm


http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5883/1181/1600/SUNVALLEY-SHOPPING--MALL.jpg

This was Sunvalley in the '60s and pretty much the way I remember it in the '80s. They did some minor remodeling after the 1985 airplane crash in the center of the mall (killing Santa and some kids waiting in line to see him  :( ) But, around 1989-1990, they did a major remodel, tearing out the tile you see in the picture and removing the iron wrought and replacing it with glass. They also tore out the wood panels on top. Don't know why, all that stuff is coming back in style again - those warm colors  ;D


Wow, that's amazing!
I wish there were pics that old of my local (there is a small black and white one dating from 1972 I know of, and pics of it during its construction). My earliest memories of my local shopping centre date to about 1989, I think after it had had just one major and one minor re-modelling, but I remember many malls in the 90s were still sort of unchanged, and many retained a 'retroness' about them which went when they were re-modelled. I can think of very few malls which remain like their original form.  :(

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 05/30/06 at 2:23 am


Wow, that's amazing!
I wish there were pics that old of my local (there is a small black and white one dating from 1972 I know of, and pics of it during its construction). My earliest memories of my local shopping centre date to about 1989, I think after it had had just one major and one minor re-modelling, but I remember many malls in the 90s were still sort of unchanged, and many retained a 'retroness' about them which went when they were re-modelled. I can think of very few malls which remain like their original form.  :(


I agree. A mall that I saw from its beginnings change into what it is now is our County East Mall (now renamed to Somersville Towne Center). This one was an outdoor mall. It had 3 department stores that anchored it. Then one day, the bulldozers came in and built it into an indoor mall. I'll never forget how excited I was to hear that they'd have a Kay-bee Toy Store there. They had one at the Concord Mall, but this was going to be so much closer now. Unfortunately, Kay Bee is gone from both malls, but I still will always remember exactly where they once were -  :)

Some still barely hold on to that retro look. It's really too bad that we can't hang on to this stuff from 40 years ago. I mean, 100 years from now won't people want to see how we lived back then  ;D

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/30/06 at 5:52 am


I agree. A mall that I saw from its beginnings change into what it is now is our County East Mall (now renamed to Somersville Towne Center). This one was an outdoor mall. It had 3 department stores that anchored it. Then one day, the bulldozers came in and built it into an indoor mall. I'll never forget how excited I was to hear that they'd have a Kay-bee Toy Store there. They had one at the Concord Mall, but this was going to be so much closer now. Unfortunately, Kay Bee is gone from both malls, but I still will always remember exactly where they once were -  :)

Some still barely hold on to that retro look. It's really too bad that we can't hang on to this stuff from 40 years ago. I mean, 100 years from now won't people want to see how we lived back then  ;D


They should have preserved some of those old 'dead malls' and converted them into musuems of mid to late 20th century American culture. Or else build new malls which replicate the 70s look. It's a pity not enough people would be interested enough to get such an idea off the drawing board.

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 05/30/06 at 1:05 pm


They should have preserved some of those old 'dead malls' and converted them into musuems of mid to late 20th century American culture. Or else build new malls which replicate the 70s look. It's a pity not enough people would be interested enough to get such an idea off the drawing board.


It would be nifty if they did something like that in Las Vegas ( which is another one of those places whose identity is getting lost due to tearing down their legacy of old casinos and building ones that cater to the "younger" crowd)

They should call it Retro Land, or Step Back in Time. Who knows, if I had money to burn, I'd love to do something like that.

Subject: Re: Going to the shopping mall in the 70s...

Written By: Trimac20 on 05/31/06 at 6:33 am


It would be nifty if they did something like that in Las Vegas ( which is another one of those places whose identity is getting lost due to tearing down their legacy of old casinos and building ones that cater to the "younger" crowd)

They should call it Retro Land, or Step Back in Time. Who knows, if I had money to burn, I'd love to do something like that.


So would eye...we should petition Bill Gates or Donald Trump to start something like that. It could like a Retro Mall Theme Park of something.

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