Wednesday, October 04, 2006

International Malls: Arndale - Luton Shopping Centre

Luton, England - circa 1970s

Behold, the striking Arndale - Luton shopping centre (now called The Mall Arndale Luton). From Wikipedia:
"Arndale Centres are a large chain of shopping centres in the United Kingdom - they were the first "American-style" malls to be constructed in the UK."
Be sure and check out the 4th resource link below for a neat "virtual" look at this mall. Tip: you can control the camera in the topmost view window.

Mall history: 1972 - present
Current website: here
Info from Wikipedia
Resource articles: 1, 2, 3, 4
Previous entries: none


Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Seeing pics like this give me the notiion that the concept of an indoor shopping mall wasn't so much an American thing if other countries jumped onto the bandwagon early on as well.

Wed Oct 04, 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Intriguing mall. Loved the Webcam. I circled around and around. I noticed that a number of lights are either off or burned out. Seems like only every third light is on. Now why would someone want to make the mall appear darker? I already found it odd that in overcast England, there hardly is any natural lighting in this mall. Very odd. Not like any of the other UK malls I've seen.

Wed Oct 04, 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

The heavy concrete ceiling makes this look more like a bunker than a mall. They tried to brighten it up a bit in the new webcam pics, but the place still looks like an aircraft hanger in places. I agree that it does look unlike most other UK malls, probably because it's older than most.

The lack of light in some pics struck me as strange as well. In one of the interior pics, it looks as if both W.H. Smith (UK bookseller and newsagent chain) and Debenham's (department store) are closed.

Wed Oct 04, 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Kangoon said...

Their web site is very cool. The multiple 360 views are just great.
Interesting to see the UK versions of our stores like footlocker

Wed Oct 04, 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

... and you get cornered by some drunken greengrocer from Luton with an Instamatic camera and Dr. Scholl's sandals and last Tuesday’s Daily Express and he drones on and on about how Mr. Smith should be running this country and how many languages Enoch Powell can speak and then he throws up over the Cuba Libres ...

Sat Oct 07, 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I visited this mall today, as they have a very good shoppers' creche which agreed to accept our 2 year old twins. There is probably no other reason to visit! There is some natural light via the roof, but I'm not sure if this was added during a makeover. This was done in 1995 to Brent Cross which opened in 1976, again with no natural light. A very interesting mall which opened in 1974 was Weston Favell Shopping Centre in Northampton. This has a series of barrel vaulted roofs of various lengths which allow light in at each end of the barrels. This link has photos showing the mall as it was at opening and as it is now (select "Then and Now"): . I attended the opening of this mall in 1974 (I was 4 years old at the time!)

Sat Mar 17, 06:53:00 PM  

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