Oct 072017

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.)



 Posted by at 6:07 pm
  • Macguffin

    Mini arcologies?

  • Bruce

    There is a series of videos that one guy made that i think is in his twenties that had a chance to go to different abandoned malls, buildings, government facilities all abandoned of course and also
    had a chance and made a five part series of when he also got to tour Chornobyl as well but I don’t remember the title of the videos exactly.

  • allen

    the malls that are still structurally intact would make great places for drone racing. allow people to place bets and you can really make some good money and keep the place going.

    • B-Sabre
      • allen

        the DRL has done some interesting stuff, and definitely made the racing accessible. now they need to push the price down so that a small team can afford a good racer. once everyone can practice at home with real race equipment, then you’ll see much wider audience participation and acceptance of it as a real sport..

        • B-Sabre

          I want to see a Drone Combat League.

          • publiusr

            To me, I’d like to see Movie sets in Dead malls.

            When Hollywood makes a sci-fi picture–the set gets torn down.

            So leave the set up in a dead mall–and fill them. These then become tourist sites and re-opn as laser tag–if nothing else.

  • Thucydides_of_Athens

    Probably make for an interesting employment project to hire crews to tear these places down. Not only will it remove potentially dangerous places from circulation, but the physical removal of these buildings will help bring up property values and rents for remaining commercial spaces, continuing employment to maintain the newly created green spaces and provide opportunities for other people to buy the land and build something different on the spot without having to worry about tearing down the old mall.

    Cities should actually be using their tax dollars to do so since they can recoup the costs through resale of the lands and any building and development fees (and taxes) they receive from redevelopment at a future date.