Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Southland Mall

Memphis, Tennessee - 1960's

You're looking at the "Strands of Mirror" fountain, in Southland Mall. I'm going to try to find a better shot of this, with more detail. Pretty unique looking for a fountain! Must have been cool to see close-up. Can anyone out there tell us more about it and what it was like in person? Here's Southland's current website.


Blogger Kelly said...

I remember going to this mall in the late 80s/ early 90s when my grandmother lived nearby the mall. It was still dark like the picture, but they had changed somethings. They added something to the ceiling that kinda looks like an upside down U.

They have since renovated this mall and now is a much brighter white.

They have a Macy's (used to be Goldsmith's) that still looks like its trapped in the 70s. At least it is how it looked when I was last there. It is near Elvis' home, so it might be worth a visit in person.

Wed Oct 19, 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

My grandparents lived in Whitehaven when I was growing up. We used to visit this mall frequently. I remember the stone animals scattered throughout the mall. My sisters and I used to fight over which ones we got to climb up onto. The last time I was here was around 1982, when I played a game of Gorf with my uncle at the arcade.

Sat Nov 12, 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Lawrence said...

A Pet Store That Sold Pets
Walden Books
Aladdin's Castle
The Fountain
My Uncle Snooks who would gather with other retired men in one of the gathering places with planters and benches.

These area all memories of Southland Mall. My Grandfather would take us to Picadilly cafeteria after church. It was an hour or so drive from our home in north Mississippi. I played some of the first video games at the arcade including Asteroids and Pac Man. You could walk into Sears and smell popcorn and candy being sold from a counter there. The Woolworths even had a diner in it. It also sold old, collectable coins. The fountain was neat. They would remove it during Christmas and put in a cool animatronic display. Southbrook Mall was across the street with it's Service Merchandise, United Artist Cinema (where I saw MANY movies growing up. Elvis used to rent this entire theater!) and Fred Montesi's grocery store. Even though Southland Mall is still open, it is now a blighted, high crime area.

Fri Jul 27, 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Whitehaven and remember when the cotton field was plowed over to build Southland Mall. The fountain was at the center of the mall just outside of Woolworth's. We used to throw pennies in the fountain and try and count how much money was sitting on the bottom. It was pretty impressive for its time.

Every summer, the Shelby County Sherriffs Dept used to host something called Safety Town. It was a miniature city neighborhood, set up on the Mall parking lot that had a working streetlight, about 10 or 12 miniature buildings, cross walks, etc. Kids would sign up for a session and the Sherrifs Dept wouyld have them ride their bikes around Safety Town and teach them the rules of the road.

Tue Jun 03, 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandparents lived in Batesville, Mississippi, and I used to go to this mall mostly in the late '60s and early '70s. My grandmother loved Goldsmith's (she used to go to the one downtown before the mall opened). As a kid I remember a Radio Shack and a bookstore that I liked to go to. Later in the '70s i went to the Sears there with my Grandad to buy tools and stuff for the farm.

But what always fascinated me the most about this mall were minature streets and working traffic lights they had in a fenced-off area of the parking lot. I think there even were some small buildings too. I was never clear exactly what this was or how a kid got to drive on the streets (or with what), but I always really wanted to do it!! Last time I was at this mall about 15 years ago, you could still see the little streets marked off, but most of the good stuff was gone :(

Mon Feb 08, 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duh!! I read the other posts after I left mine (above). I see that the little streets were a safety town for kids on their bikes. Like the other posts, I remember the stone animals, eating at the Woolworths, and the shopping center across the street -- I think the Picadilly was there, and maybe an El Fenix mexican food place. Also, I remember a restaurant called "Quails" there. One time around 1970 we went to see the "Gnome Mobile" movie a few miles away on 51 towards Graceland. Other things from my childhood that are gone from Memphis (but not nearby the mall) are the original location of Leonard's Bar-b-Que and the Cafe St. Clair (my Granddad loved both those places -- does anyone remember them??).

The other real mall of my childhood was Northpark Mall in Dallas (near where I grew up with my parents). Do a search on it & you will see two photos (recent and 1960s) -- it is virtually unchanged -- and it is still a really upscale place. But sadly, like others have said here, the Southland Mall area has gone downhill and is not what it used to be.

Mon Feb 08, 06:06:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Whitehaven in the 60's and I remember the grand opening of Southland Mall. The fountain was some sort of brushed steel or aluminum and we always thought it was the ugliest thing we'd ever seen.

Thu May 12, 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom gave me and my sisters 10.00 each and told us we could buy anything we wanted...I chose a pair of white ankle-high go-go boots...those were the days!

Sat Oct 20, 06:36:00 PM  

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