Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Windsor Park Mall - "The Final Call"



San Antonio, Texas - 1976-2005


Found this on Google Video and thought it might be fun to share. Here's a cool little short film produced by Modsnap Films (of super-swanky-cool Modsnap.com), for my friends over at Deadmalls.com (hey, Modsnap! where's my Malls of America short? hehe). I get a little Carnival of Souls vibe from this myself (which I love). Here's the full description from their page for the film (some cool photos there!):

"Modsnap's Lindsey Cartwright goes on an excursion to the now DEAD MALL Windsor Park Mall located in San Antonio, Texas. Produced for DEADMALLS.COM.

Windsor Park Mall is located on the N.E. I-35 corridor in San Antonio, Texas. Modsnap.com presents an exclusive film and gallery for deadmalls.com.

"The final call" is a short documentary of Modsnap's Lindsey Cartwright having a bad shopping day at what she realizes is a dead mall.

In it's heyday WPM had full house with strong anchors such has Penny's, Wards (a once Modsnap favorite), Dillards, Joske's, and Mervyn's.

Today it is deserted with faint memories of shoppers galore, as Lindsey realizes she is the last one."

Note: Video is Flash format. If you see empty space at the top, you must disable your ad-blocking programs or extensions to see it.



43 Comments:

Anonymous Matt in CLT said...

That has got to be one of the coolest things I've ever seen...I especially liked the Herb Alpert-ish music. I'm going to have to track down that group in the credits!

Thanks for posting this!

Matt

Tue Mar 28, 09:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Pretty neat, can't believe it just went over and out like that. Used to go there all the time in the summers and shop and hangout around the mall just walking around. Used to spend alot of time there. I'm interested to see what they put in place of the mall. Would be neat as a UTSA Campus!=-)

Denis
Denny from the block

Tue Mar 28, 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cristian said...

I’m officially addicted to your site, and I don’t know why. I’m from San Antonio, live in Houston now, and looking on your blog makes me homesick. There was a mall I remember (besides Windsor Park; I grew up in that mall!) called Central Park Mall. It is completely gone now, but I think its one claim to fame was that “Cloak and Dagger” was filmed there. There were a few cool things about that mall, the coolest being the Churro Factory (I don’t know if it was called that, though) that had an FAO Schwartz-y feel to it with all the motorized puppets working hard to produce a churro. Think you could do a bit of research on Central Park Mall in San Antonio? Thanks!

Wed Mar 29, 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

Crime problems and the opening of Rolling Oaks Mall was the demise of Windsor Park.

Wed Mar 29, 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Matt: glad you liked it! I dig the music, too. I collect a lot of that kind of stuff--exotica, lounge, etc. Goes along nicely with retro malls.

Denis: It was planned to be used for rented office space at one point. Not sure if that's still the plan now.

Cristian: Glad you're addicted! I am, too. Honestly. And comments like yours keep me motivated man, so thanks! :) Central Park Mall now added to the upcoming que. I'll do my best!

Thanks for the feedback, guys, and I'm glad you enjoyed the entry!

Wed Mar 29, 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm, cute girl + dead mall. do i sense the possibility of a new online fetish? :D some should start a site featuring photos of cutely dressed young women trapedaizing through a dead mall, and i'm so there!

the appeal is fitting, in a somewhat ironic way: malls have been synonymous with teen/youth culture for decades.

btw, love your site too. lots of positive energy and attitude from the blogger. it really makes my day in the muck of cynicism that mires most of the internet. (or maybe i'm just visiting too many depressing sites, with the exception of this one.) :-|

Wed Mar 29, 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm, cute girl + dead mall. do i sense the possibility of a new online fetish? :-D someone should start a site featuring photos of cutely dressed young women trapedaizing through a dead mall, and i'm so there!

the appeal is fitting, in a somewhat ironic way: malls have been synonymous with teen/youth culture for decades.

btw, love your site too. lots of positive energy and attitude from the blogger. it really makes my day in the muck of cynicism that mires most of the internet. (or maybe i'm just visiting too many depressing sites, with the exception of this one.) :-|

Wed Mar 29, 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

The phenomenon of "dead malls" is fascinating. It's interesting that many of "newer" malls such as Windsor Park have proven to be the most vulnerable. The 1970's and 1980's were an era of excessive mall construction that the market couldn't sustain over time. Changes in retailing (e.g. the move towards big boxes and outdoor lifestyle centers) have also played a role.

From an urban planning standpoint, "dead malls" present an excellent opportunity to redevelop land into "town centers" for the suburbs, with some new retail along with housing, offices, and civic services.

The video beautifully illustrates how the massive Windsor Park Mall lost its relevance to consumer society, rendering its existence useless. Let's just hope the site gets redeveloped before it becomes a blight on the community.

Mon Apr 03, 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Cody said...

Cloak and Dagger was filmed in Windsor Park Mall! If you search webshots for Windsor Park Mall you will find a whole treasure trove of pictures that I have acquired of the mall and more recent ones taken by myself

Thu Apr 06, 02:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul Eric said...

Great blog and great film! The music makes me feel like I am stuck in the 1970s. While Lindsey was searching for her color TV and bras I was imagining what the place must have looked like in it's heyday. I remember the movie Cloak and Dager as a kid, but the details escape me. Good film work oh and btw Lindsey is a cutey..she should be a "dead mall model".

Tue Apr 18, 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Didn't know this mall was featured in "Cloak & Dagger". Have to watch that again someday.

Sat May 13, 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aww I so miss Windsor Park Mall its real glory days was in the eighties it still had a seventies vibe when it had these fountains that resembled dandy lions (a sphere with cyllinders coming out of it like in all directions 360 degrees that spout water out in radial showers around the sphere. A very seventies vvibe. But The BEST in San Antonio was CENTRAL PARK MALL it had a greek style pool or pond in the center with classical statues of the godesses of the four season. Each one had a different mood lighting on it and there were also lion sculptures and other classical themed decorations. Yes Cloak & Dagger was filmed there and I totally grew up there , it had that 1980's dark mall with wood paneling leftover from the 70's feel . I REALLY MISS that as opposed to all this neo art deco stuff they do in malls now. :D

Sat Jul 22, 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh I meant art noveau.

I miss 70's and 80's dark malls w/ wood paneling :(

Sat Jul 22, 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there opening day! Jamie Farr (from M*A*S*H) made a celebrity appearance that day. Back then it was "the" mall. I remember Chelsea Street Pub was always crowded (the drinking age was 18 back in the '70s). And they had a movie theater with 5 screens! And they would sometimes show the same movie on two screens!!! Of course no trip was complete without eating at Chik-fil-a. Ah, the memories

Sat Jul 22, 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real reason this mall really died was because the exterior was so darn outdated. The renovaters must have been on crack not doing anything to the outside.

Mon Jul 31, 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In its heyday, Windsor was incredible. Gang violence really did this mall in. You could see it in the early nineties. Nobody wanted to put in the money needed for a real renovation of the exterior. The place filled with second and third tier stores quickly. I could not beleive that it held on as long as it did. It was virtually dead in 1994. The demise of Windsor is related to the demise of that whole area. Nobody wanted to live, shop or travel over there anymore because the gang violence was prolific. Many many youths with their red shoes or red t-shirts that signified a membership in the street gang the Bloods. Store after store was robbed at gunpoint until they just closed down and left. I was in the mall for one of the shootings and it was horrific. Hundreds maybe a thousand people all running from the food court, screaming in panic. It was unbelievable. The shooters missed their mark and innocent bystanders were hit instead. I quit my job at Waldenbooks the next day. All of this was despite the fact that the mall had created a Sheriff's substation across from the movie theatres. There were so many Sherrif's cars in the lower level lot and still the gangs kept coming. It was like an inexhorable tide that would not be stopped. It exceeded all bounds of reason or sense. The anchors hung on in quiet desperation for years but there was just no way that place was going to survive.

Fri Aug 11, 02:53:00 AM  
Blogger ocnj179 said...

Sadly I was in the mall during a shooting too. The one thing I'll miss about that mall was Aladdin's Castle (the arcade)once that and the movie theater closed the mall was so dead :(

Thu Aug 24, 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Smis said...

Hey.., I had an autograph picture handed to my by Darth Vader himself in the summer of 1977 just over her right shoulder. Outside of JC Penny's. Great memories of Windsor Park Mall. I grew up in a neighborhood close by and remember when the mall area used to be woods with a Bee Tree in it that we would harvest the honey out of. Now it looks like it is going to go back to a vacant lot. Used to spend hours and hours in the summer's of the late 70's and 80's hanging out in Aladdin's Castle plunking in quarter after quarter into those video games. Then i would get a slice of pizza across the hall and wander down to Orange Julius for a drink. Great mall in it's hey day. Joske's was a great store!!!!

Thanks for the memory bleed! Ciao!

Fri Apr 20, 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger S said...

What was the name of the German import place with all the gummy bears and european foods? The logo had a little guy with lederhosen on him. I had my first beck's beer there. Great sandwiches to? It directly across from Swiss Colony on the lower level by Chik-fil-A.
Thanks!!!!

Fri Apr 20, 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the Nacho's at Chelsea Street Pub?

Ahh.., blacks and guns. What goes better together? They creeped up from the lower east side and just destroyed that part of town now. Walzem is a dead zone! Windcrest is the last hold-out!

Fri Apr 20, 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mall died because the neighborhood went to C R A P. No other reason than that. No racial slurs just 'keepin it real'. The population began to turn south back in the late 80's as the element began to creep up the east side of San Antonio, through Camelot.., stopped dead at Windcrest, but ate the mall!

Fri May 11, 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The German import place was called Mr. Dunderbak's. They had everything.

Sat May 19, 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in early 2000 or 99' the movie theatre was made to a Baliwood theatre for a few weeks or months w/ Indian food/snacks at the concession stand.

Aladdin's Castle was similiar to the one at Ingram which is now gone of course as are all wood paneled arcades.

Sun May 20, 07:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is it.., Mr. Dunderbak's. That was great. So were the mountain of Nachos at "Chelsea Street Pub".., until they began to water down the cheese and it turned to CRAP. "What-A-Burger" had saddles for seats. I used to love to eat there. Great char-grilled burgers! Joske's had it's own toy section as well. Back then, all the department store's had their own toy sections. I bought my first Star Wars figure at JC Penny's for $1.99. It was a Darth Vader as I just had him autograph a picture of himself out in front during an appearance he made in 1977.

Wed May 23, 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Bluebonnet Mom said...

So glad to hear that the beloved Central Park Mall has been added to the que. That is a great old mall (now demolished) that was dark and mysterious with magnificent fountains and these miniature horse sculptures. Any information and pics would be so appreciated!

Tue Jan 08, 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Sally D said...

The malls took over but I have always prefered the humble shop, I bought a Buschbeck bbq a few weeks back and drove straight past the local mall to my trusty local shop, I think they have a purpose, theya re indoors therefore weather it is not an issue, they all have air conditioning units spread around so not too hot in the summer, and then there is the competition and choice angle, but for all their good points and the convience I still prefer the local single shop.

Fri Feb 29, 05:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember the gang shit and the sheriff station they had there and the didn't let us walk more than 3 in a group and they made us turn our caps forward

Sun Mar 02, 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally dug that creepy video game area right out to the left of Sears across from ToyBox before that mexican restaurant above that chic fil e

Mon Mar 03, 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude remember the movie theater there that had that freakin lame dragons layer game that totally stole your quarters and those killings during that movie called "Colors" ?

Mon Mar 03, 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that entire mall was bought by rackspace ..

Mon Mar 03, 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shit, I wonder who got the the stone ponies from central park mall..some kook church bought the carousal

Mon Mar 03, 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stole shoes from mervins .. I took my dirty duct taped Vans slip ons and replaced them in the box with some rad airwalks and walked out with them on my feet and skated that rad ditch by some comic book store across the street right by some comic book store

Mon Mar 03, 11:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PURO SAN ANTO!!

Mon Mar 03, 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the name of the bakery in Windsor park mall, it was circa 1986, they sold churros and had mechanical puppets on display? It was the coolest!

Fri Jan 02, 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

I used to work at that mall back in 1990-1992 - specifically in that very Waldenbooks store. I have fond memories of gangs hanging out down by the theatre, of Mall Security tackling shoplifters right outside our store (which was on the second level in the Montgomery Ward's wing). We were right next to The Go Round with its super-trendy crap 80s fashions (but the ladies were cute, of course).

I went to Ed White Middle School nearby...grew up in the area. It went downhill pretty fast unfortunately. The mall was awesome even before the renovations it made in the late 80s. Aladdin's Castle, right next to the theatre, was a home away from home in the early 80s.

Thu Oct 01, 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really saddened me to see this mall close...so many good memories there. As I recall everyone in the community was excited to hear of this malls opening and I remember, as a 14 year old kid, riding my bicycle up there just to watch it go up during the construction phase. Spent many hours in the movie theatre and in the adjacent game room as well. And, as a teen and adolescent, did the Chelsea Street Pub thing too. The whole Windsor Park area and Walzem road is today but a shadow of what it once was. Again, what a sad ending to a place that gave me so many good memories.

Mon Nov 23, 01:59:00 PM  
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Tue Sep 20, 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger manisierra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Fri May 24, 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger manisierra said...

I use to work at Windsor Music in the early 1980's. It was above the movie theater next Chelsy's street pub and the bus stop. I remember one of the stars of "Welcome Back Kotter" Act that played Epstien....he ate at the mexican restaurant upstairs, he had a party of 20 and left no tip. Also World renowned guitarist Steve Morse did a TV interview at Windsor Music then he ate at Pizza place down stairs across from theater. On our break from work a customer found a 1/4 pound of pot and told us to take it to Mall manager. We said.....OK!!
Memories....

Fri May 24, 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jd Price said...

i dont know if anyone will read this but here goes i work in the mall for years from being the buss boy at the Mexican restaurant next to jc penny to Aladdin castle spent more time there then at home does anyone remember Donna frezehon in the 80 she left with two guys and was found dead in a empty covelsac i have more story than that remember the wall . sucurty wouldn't let us rockers hang out on it. or when the manager of Aladdin got rob . that remind me at lest our rockers didn't close a mall haha. i got my first earring in the movie theater . it was done with a sewing needel and ice lol that hurt . and more and more anyway i would like to talk to someone from that time if you were there than you had to know of me e mail me ai fixnojd@yahoo i hope this works i don't live there i am in utah now and buy the way were did all the bloods come from the high school next to the mall was mostly white it was east high right i should know i went there and Sam Houston high yes im white and yes i did make it alive in fact i was the only white boy for two years any way i going to visit this summer so hit me up ooo buy the way i went by jd and i was the ast manger at Aladdin oh i wounder what happen to tha little older mex guy work there what was his name if you went there you know you im talking about . air hockey was big . and thank to the pizza place for great pizza and for not i d me for beer wink wink so that you for reading ohh i think his name was George i believe god i could kept righting

Sun Dec 15, 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger Jd Price said...

i dont know if anyone will read this but here goes i work in the mall for years from being the buss boy at the Mexican restaurant next to jc penny to Aladdin castle spent more time there then at home does anyone remember Donna frezehon in the 80 she left with two guys and was found dead in a empty covelsac i have more story than that remember the wall . sucurty wouldn't let us rockers hang out on it. or when the manager of Aladdin got rob . that remind me at lest our rockers didn't close a mall haha. i got my first earring in the movie theater . it was done with a sewing needel and ice lol that hurt . and more and more anyway i would like to talk to someone from that time if you were there than you had to know of me e mail me ai fixnojd@yahoo i hope this works i don't live there i am in utah now and buy the way were did all the bloods come from the high school next to the mall was mostly white it was east high right i should know i went there and Sam Houston high yes im white and yes i did make it alive in fact i was the only white boy for two years any way i going to visit this summer so hit me up ooo buy the way i went by jd and i was the ast manger at Aladdin oh i wounder what happen to tha little older mex guy work there what was his name if you went there you know you im talking about . air hockey was big . and thank to the pizza place for great pizza and for not i d me for beer wink wink so that you for reading ohh i think his name was George i believe god i could kept righting

Sun Dec 15, 04:59:00 AM  
Anonymous jd said...

i dont know if anyone will read this but here goes i work in the mall for years from being the buss boy at the Mexican restaurant next to jc penny to Aladdin castle spent more time there then at home does anyone remember Donna frezehon in the 80 she left with two guys and was found dead in a empty covelsac i have more story than that remember the wall . sucurty wouldn't let us rockers hang out on it. or when the manager of Aladdin got rob . that remind me at lest our rockers didn't close a mall haha. i got my first earring in the movie theater . it was done with a sewing needel and ice lol that hurt . and more and more anyway i would like to talk to someone from that time if you were there than you had to know of me e mail me ai fixnojd@yahoo i hope this works i don't live there i am in utah now and buy the way were did all the bloods come from the high school next to the mall was mostly white it was east high right i should know i went there and Sam Houston high yes im white and yes i did make it alive in fact i was the only white boy for two years any way i going to visit this summer so hit me up ooo buy the way i went by jd and i was the ast manger at Aladdin oh i wounder what happen to tha little older mex guy work there what was his name if you went there you know you im talking about . air hockey was big . and thank to the pizza place for great pizza and for not i d me for beer wink wink so that you for reading ohh i think his name was George i believe god i could kept righting

Sun Dec 15, 05:00:00 AM  

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