The world is full of places that have fallen into disuse and despair. Sometimes it’s because some idiots got likkered up and started messing around with an ancient nuclear reactor designed by Socialists, and they wind up trashing the countryside. Sometimes it’s a formerly vibrant auto manufacturing city that got wiped out by unions, politics and recovering post-war foreign auto manufacturing capabilities. And sometimes it’s a shopping mall that was once the hub of activity and is now abandoned and empty, because shopping malls have fallen out of favor, or because the local economy tanked, or because the people running the joint were idjits. Fortunately, there’s the Dead Mall Series on YouTube to show the world some of these dismal, empty reminders of times gone by. Some are truly abandoned, empty shells left to nature and vandals; some are still functioning, but on life support with only a tiny fraction of their stores still open.
If you are of my generation, the shopping mall was The Place To Be back in the day. It was where all the cool kids hung out. But of course if you have the misfortune of actually being like me, you weren’t one of the cool kids, so you didn’t actually hang out at the mall. And of course today a lot of the official function of a shopping mall has been taken up by WalMart, CostCo and Amazon; the socializing function has been taken up by Facebook and such. So there are a *lot* of malls that are now ghosts of what they once were, while still being perfectly decent enough structures. I’ve often wondered what could be done with a shopping mall to turn it, at minimal cost, into something else. Schools and hospitals and museums seem obvious choices, but I doubt there’s enough call for such. Some sort of office complex, maybe. Senior citizen or other assisted living facility with built-in gathering places, amusements, shopping (greatly reduced in scope, of course).
The Dead Mall Series gives tours of some of these places along with commentary, added music (the music *always* seems to fit right in with my 30-year-old recollection of 80’s malls) and often enough added vintage commercials with a few minor tweaks to make them a little more interesting. (The woman in the “Tan Perfect” commercial who doesn’t want wrinkles in this one, is, ummm… yeah.)