Friday, April 13, 2007

Retro Mall Video: Metrocenter Mall

Phoenix, Arizona - circa 1990

Here's a quick peek inside Metrocenter Mall around 1990. The footage is short (and I wish more vintage), but still nice enough to take a look at.

Metrocenter Mall appeared in the movie, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), as the "San Dimas Mall", and according to its Wikipedia entry, is the current location for the upcoming Universal Pictures film, Kids in America, starring Topher Grace. Here's more history:
"Metrocenter was a joint venture of Westcor, a regional shopping center development firm headed by a group of real estate investors and developers led by Russ 'Rusty' Lyon, Jr., and Homart Development Company, the real estate division of Sears, Roebuck and Company. The project was announced in November of 1970, the first site plans and artist renderings announced in the spring of 1972, and construction beginning in June 1972.

The mall was opened for business in October of 1973, and when it opened as the first two-level, five-anchor mall in the U.S., it was the largest shopping center in Arizona to date (housing more shopping space than the entire Phoenix metropolitan area had in 1957) and was considered one of the largest shopping centers in the United States."
Mall history: 1973 - present
Developer: Westcor & Homart Development Co.
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: none

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Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Heh, with the exception of the Sears and the two levels, it's almost m ore like Toledo's Franklin Park to me! Too bad though Franklin Park could've been more like this though, and I've seen Bill & Ted WAY too many times to get into loving that mall's architecture.

Sat Apr 14, 01:31:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

1990 is vintage enough for me. Love the neon just wish it did not translate so blurry.

Sat Apr 14, 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

What a great find! This was always my favorite mall growing up.

Since Goldwaters is in the video, it had to have been taken before 1989, as it was merged into Robinson's at that time.

Sat Apr 14, 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the mall of my teenage years! I logged quite a few hours at that food court and the Gold Mine arcade just past it.

You can see the "Round the Corner" restaurant in one of the pans. Can't remember if that was before or after the Houlihans went in there. And before that it was Farrells ice cream. Nothing seemed to do well in that location for very long.

This video would have been late 80s or very early in 1990; the ice rink was replaced in 90 or 91 with a huge video arcade and an attempt at an indoor amusement park with rides.

Wed Oct 03, 04:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phoenix Arizona Native..Very cool video, thats when metro wasnt so ghetto!! Pizza D Amore was the greatest pizza place ever!!of course then they removed the ice rink and filled the whole thing in and that was a total freaking waste..aaah the good ol days.

Thu Jan 17, 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Sallie Carey said...

The mounting excitement in 1972 when Metro Center was under construction was palpable. I remember when the food court just above the ice skating rink resembled the inside of an airplane. I had never seen an ice skating rink and loved being able to look down and watch the skaters. My favorite part of Metro Center was a boutique area called The Alley. Here, Lotions and Potions was the shop my friends and I would visit to smell all the fragrances and oils and sample the many lotions. My sister worked at Ferrell's for a short time. A couple of friends worked at Hot Dog on a Stick. My friends and I worked at Golf N Stuff in High School. When we weren't working on a Saturday night, we would cruise the parking lot for hours in a long line of cars! That is what passed for entertainment in the 80's when I was in High School.
Sallie F.

Sun Nov 23, 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. I may have actually shot this in 88.


Fri Aug 28, 02:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up going to that mall in the 80's. I remember in 1990's when they tore out the skating rink to put in an arcade. That was the beginning of the end for metrocenter.

Tue Dec 26, 09:11:00 PM  

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