Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Town East Mall 1978

Cotton Candy (1978)

The 1978 TV teen movie, Cotton Candy, directed by Ron Howard (starring his brother Clint, and Charles Martin Smith), contained extended scenes that were filmed inside the Town East Mall in Mesquite, Texas, which is still there today. And luckily for us vintage mall lovers, that footage has turned up online (courtesy of YouTuber rauch77). I'll try and cover this mall in more depth soon.

Anyway, the movie itself centers around a group of high school friends who form a rock band (they stink) and enter a Battle of the Bands contest (at Town East Mall!) against the local bad boy rock band (who also stink but have better hair and outfits).

But hey, none of that really matters for our purposes here... just enjoy this very groovy (and rare) video look inside the Town East Mall in the late-seventies! If you can stand the ultra-funky hair, clothes, and "music", that is. ;)

Mall history: 1971 - present
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none


Blogger BIGMallrat said...

The mall, as a basis for community? Wow, what a concept!
They lost that some time in the Eighties I think.

Wed Jan 10, 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Kangoon said...

Um... I think I am glad the late 70's are long past.
Good thing Opie started making better movies. He still puts his brother in his movies and that is nice.
What were the words to that first song? "Disco Pop" repeat repeat repeat.
Thanks for the post it was great!

Wed Jan 10, 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was the mall that eventually put Big Town Mall out of business. :(

Wed Jan 10, 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

I really like those tentlike roof structures which seem to be found in many malls of that era.

Also, I didn't know that Ron Howard started directing so early.

Thu Jan 11, 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cora said...

Looking at the current aerial view, the tent roof is still there, too. Great.

By the way, am I the only one who thinks that Athlete's Foot is an incredibly awful name for a shoe shop?

Thu Jan 11, 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was before the mall's major expansion in 1986 when they added two levels of stores and a third level food court. The stage area is now the center area. I noticed that there were no windows on the roof. No wonder why it looks darker inside.

Fri Jan 12, 12:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for finally putting up something about Town East Mall! Yes, I grew up in the Dallas area and my mother took me to this mall a lot. I remember sitting on those giant steps in the center of the mall, and those enormous ramps! (And I also watched this TV movie when it originally aired on CBS!) Please find vintage shots of this mall's interior -- Town East looks nothing today like it did in the 1970's. :-(

Fri Jan 12, 04:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And is it just me or does Charles Martin Smith sound/look a little like Ben Folds in this?

Fri Jan 12, 04:37:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...


Okey-dokey, the late 70's were definately a bad time. The performances reminded me of the Brady Bunch singing and dancing to goofy songs with equally as goofy costumes. I want this on DVD, damn it. So I can mock all night long.

I love the logos of stores I have never heard of. What is Tiches (sp?)?

Sat Jan 13, 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Richard Rauch said...

I did see someone smoke in the background and there's a ash tray next to the trash bin. Did people used to smoke inside of the mall? Weird!

Sun Jan 14, 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

People smoking in malls was not unusual back in the 60s and 70s. Not sure when the practice stopped. I vaguely remember it in the mid 80s as still being a presence.

Wed Jan 17, 07:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, I used to smoke in Town East Mall, and I was only 13!

Sat May 05, 04:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a major department store, long before Dillards. It was started in downtown Dallas and was then found in every major mall in north Texas until it was bought out by Foleys and then Dillards.

Sun Mar 25, 06:21:00 AM  

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