Saturday, May 12, 2007

Retro Mall Video: '80s Mall Arcade Training Tape

(part 1)

(part 2)

This is a totally rad find (that I found on YouTube)! It's a 1981 "Space Port" Mall Arcade employee training slideset video.

Space Ports were a franchised chain of shopping mall video arcades that were especially popular in the late-seventies and early-eighties. Mallrats and pretty much any teen who grew up in those days, will remember these loud and funky shopping mall gaming wonderlands. The video above (in two parts) is an interesting (and oftentimes unintentionally funny!) relic of the '70s and '80s shopping mall landscape--albeit from slightly more on the "inside".

Lots of shopping malls had Space Ports--among the ones I can think of are: Aurora Village, and King of Prussia Plaza.

Also see this: Retro Mall Video - Mall Arcade '84 & MOA Galleria - Mall Arcade

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Blogger Kangoon said...

Wow.. what a complicated job! I loved the part about using "the appropriate level of force to protect...the store".

What was up with the painted coins? Why did they work when regular coins did not.

It looks like these places had a good amount of pin ball machines which were and still are superior to any video game.


Sat May 12, 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

I suspect that the painted coins were used in case of problems, so the "store money" could be easily separated from the daily intakes.

A friend of mine worked in a similar place in the early to mid 1990s. Though his duties also included servicing the machines, as he was a trained electrician.

Sat May 12, 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger sagefats said...

Sweet comb-over!

Sun May 13, 11:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh snap I remeber spaceport they had one in woodbridge center it was right by steinbach's when it was at that mall I used to go there all of time on friday nights when I was in high school

Mon May 14, 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Funky-Rat (a/k/a Railyn) said...

We had a Space Port in our local mall - The Susquehanna Valley Mall. Back in the mid-90's, it changed to TILT, and is now an outlet for FYE. I really miss the Space Port.

I haven't watched the videos - I'm on dial-up at home - but I can tell you I did have an experience with painted coins.

The guys who worked there (usually older guys - some of whom were just a tad creepy) walked around, patrolling the area in their Space Port jumpsuits. There was this one guy that was always there. He had gray hair, and he always had it slicked back. We all knew him as a fairly crusty bugger.

Anywho, one day I was walking behind him, and saw two quarters laying on the floor. To a kid who is running low, this is a godsend, but I'm honest to a fault. Both of the quarters had either red or orange paint on them (it wsa dark in there). I handed them to the crusty old guy, and he said that he liked to test people, and told me I could have the quarters, provided I put them in to a machine.

Tue May 15, 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked in the Space Port that funky-rat spoke of, from 1996 to 1998 - what memories it brings back to see those pictures!

Although I was a younger guy, not one of the old guys...:)

Thu May 17, 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Why do the geeks who work there look like they are going to man the next Apollo mission?

Sat May 19, 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a Space Port at Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg, PA. It used to be downstairs near the old movie theater, now Macy's Furniture. I don't remember the inside of it very well but it was pretty popular, as well as the Tilt that was located upstairs near the food court. Both have been long gone and now the only arcade is the Game Room in the food court... it sucks.

Mon May 21, 03:28:00 AM  
Blogger DCSportsChick said...

Oh, I forgot all about Space Port! We had one at the Concord Mall in Wilmington, DE. I spent a lot of time in there as a kid :-)

Tue May 22, 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Jay Amabile said...

Thanks so much for posting that! I have great memories of Spaceport in Woodbridge Center, N.J. It looked awesome on the outside and it was very cool inside as well. Keep up the fantastic blog!

Mon Aug 06, 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes!! The Space Port in Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg, Pa. had it all. All the new games, pool, foosball, air hockey, and those old gunslinger games with the big video screens!

It was LOUD too because they had a lot of their games turned up all the way. The arcade in Greengate Mall was a morgue compared to the Space Port.

Mon Jul 14, 11:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i totally remember the old spaceport downstairs at westmoreland mall in greensburg pa. right when you walked in there was a mortal kombat 3 machine, to the left and around the corner was a darkstalkers machine and on the right was primal rage. i really really miss that old arcade. tilt was good for awhile but nothing beat spaceport

Thu Jul 17, 12:39:00 AM  
Anonymous yaggy said...

i worked for spaceport as a manager and have been to many of the locations described above! i think this video was shot at oxford valley mall's old spaceport (original upper level location) as the home office was nearest this store. i had a jumpsuit for a long time but now i can't find it, i hope it's not gone. spaceport arcades always kept their games in great working order.

Wed Sep 10, 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This slide presentation was shot at Lincoln Plaza, a small mall in front of Oxford Valley Mall. This was an extremely low volume Space Port which was placed in this small mall so that no competition would develop with the Space Port located in Oxford Valley Mall.

Fri Sep 16, 08:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall (Allentown) Pa had a Spaceport.

Thu Dec 27, 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grew up right near the Susquehanna Valley Mall, use to ride my bike to it when it opened in the late 70's, Space Port was the place to be. I remember how packed it use to get, I spent a lot of time in there and remember the attendants in their blue jumpsuits with change dispenser attached to their belts, the murals on the wall, recall one was of the moon near the air hockey table. Also remember the guy Funky Rat described, recall he had a Navy style tattoo on his arm. When I had money, which wasn't too often I would be in there for hours. Remember all the games quite well, straight up through the 80's when those laserdisc games became popular aka Dragon's Lair and Cliff Hanger which I both dumped tons of $ into.

They always rotated games, new ones came and there was people lining up to play them and it was the place to hang out waiting for the movies to start at the adjacent Fox Theaters. Was L shaped with two entrances, Pinball machines were lined up along the side near the movie theater.

Those were the days, sounds and atmosphere. I went there often up until the mid to late 80's, last time was around 1993.

Sat Jun 28, 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, the arcade that I remember downstairs at Westmoreland Mall at the northeast end closed by the mid-80s. I even attended the auction where their games were sold off, so that arcade couldn't have had Mortal Kombat 3 and the other 90s games, as someone else said. Wasn't that downstairs 80s arcade called Space Port? Or was there still yet a 3rd arcade in that mall that came around later in the 90s? If not, then what were you talking about? That arcade closed up long before MK3.

Sat Apr 16, 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger Rudi Fischer said...

Very nice to see all the memories everyone had at the Space Ports. I read all the guesses about where the videos were shot. Unfortunately you were all wrong. The first video ( I only watched one) was shoot at the Montgomery Mall, in Montgomery, PA. The tall guy in the video with the curly hair was one of my night employees. The other two came after I left. I actually had to laugh about the comment someone made about the workers there looking like geeks from the Apollo Missions. Good eye my friend, or should I say "Good senses"? I retired as a High Altitude Meteorological Specialist. We were nor considered astronauts because we flew our missions in WB-57F Night Intruders. Our claim to fame is that we were the only non astronauts to actually see the curvature of the Earth. I miss those days but my previous work called me for 13 more years. Have fun and remember don't TILT the pinballs.

Wed Feb 07, 02:33:00 PM  

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