Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chris-Town Mall - Court of Birds

Phoenix, Arizona - circa 1964

An eye-popping shot of the colorful "Court of Birds" aviary section in the old Chris Town Shopping Center! This is near Woolworth's and Montgomery Wards, as you you can see in the picture--not a bad spot to be in.

This is yet another vintage '60s mall view that totally looks like something right out of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (I've used that apt description on this blog before)! The filmmakers could have used this mall for their sets, in fact, and I'm not sure we'd know the difference today.

I can just picture all the freaky little Oompa-Loompas running around inside Chris-Town Mall here, knocking bird cages over, getting the birds all riled up (not to mention the kids), and being a general overall nuisance to shoppers trying to mind their own business and not make bodily contact in any way with an Oompa-Loompa (which would be most of us, I'd presume)!

Redeveloped and renamed around 2002 (now called Phoenix Spectrum Mall--see resource links below for much more info), alas, the Chris-Town of old, is no more. But long live the photographs and memories!

And Oompa-Loompas.

Mall history: 1961 - 2002 (dead/redeveloped)
Current website: n/a
Info from Wikipedia
Current aerial view
Resource links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4


Anonymous didi said...

Everything about this shot is just colorful and fun!!!!!

Tue Oct 24, 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Those Oompa-Loompas are just freakin' wierd! Can you imagine encounting one (or more) of them today?

Tue Oct 24, 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

You did NOT just put a picture of the Oompa-Loompas! HA HA!
I must say, this photo has to be the one of the year. It's almost outlandish... and freaky! Right down to the tropical plants. Where's Augustus stuck in the chocolate tube?

Tue Oct 24, 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Bobby said...

You might want to change the "date of death" to 2006 - the mall was still "normal" in 2002. The partial de-malling didn't start until this year. Actually, the mall's lease plan indicates that part of the enclosed section will remain.

http://tinyurl.com/yl7bny Lease plan of Phoenix Spectrum

Tue Oct 24, 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most articles I see point to 2002 as the year the name was changed and large tenants left. Seems about right if you ask me.

Tue Oct 24, 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Bobby said...

True, but actual de-malling did not begin until 2006. The mall was still fully open and (sort of) alive until then.

Tue Oct 24, 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Kangoon said...

Incredible! At first I thought I was looking at a variation of the Clock of the World in the Rochester Mall! Do you think those cages could have been inspired by that?

The ooopa loompas? Forget them give the Lolipop Guild from the Munchkins any day!

Tue Oct 24, 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

I was just waiting for them to walk out from under the bridge and scare the hell out of the customers; then Gene Wilder walks into frame and says: "You lose! Good day, sir!"

Tue Oct 24, 11:37:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

To see more posts, click on the monthly links
in the "Archives" section of the sidebar.