Sunday, October 22, 2006

MOA Galleria - Universal Mall Zen Shopper

Warren, Michigan - circa late '80s

I wish this photograph was more vintage, as the late 1980s isn't very. However, I've always dug this image, taken in my own local "home mall", so I'm hanging it in the Galleria.

This is a 35mm snapshot I took myself, inside Universal Mall around 1988. I was taking correspondence courses from the New York Institute of Photography, and went to the mall one afternoon to practice. Saw this man sitting there taking a break and couldn't resist the shot.

Btw, I plan to start talking about Universal much more very soon (and I'm desperately seeking vintage photos of it!).

Mall history: 1965 - present
Current website: here
Info from Wikipedia
Current aerial view
Previous entries: none


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great shot. I read somewhere that it's almost impossible to take photos inside shopping malls these days - the security guards will kick you out if they see you pointing a camera at ANYTHING. I don't know if it's post-9/11 paranoia about potential terrorist attacks on malls, or corporate paranoia about potential marketing attacks by competitors.

Sun Oct 22, 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Parsons said...

It's post 9/11 paranoia, abuse of authority, and the penchant for calling anyone who doesn't agree with you a "terrorist." I've been called a terrorist by Security for taking a picture in a mall, even when I was invited by the mall marketing department to update my photos (due to a remodel).
Photographers are protected by law when taking pictures inside a mall, even if Security is terribly misinformed. You can also take a picture of any person, too. There are some limitations, such as using someone's imagine without consent under certain conditions. But you can imagine the confusing when it comes to taking a picture of the Empire State Building?
Take a look at:
Security can, however, kick you out without reason. I'm sure a lawyer is just WAITING for that case, but the bad publicity alone would probably make the mall back off (can you see the headlines: "Man Kicked Out of Mall for Taking a Picture.") In a related case, a man was sued by Taubman for his and Web sites. Taubman lost that case.
In this picture, Keith isn't using the picture for profit, so it's perfectly legal. Even if he did steal his soul! HA! (Shuddup, it happens!)

Sun Oct 22, 08:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was stopped by security at a dead mall a couple of months ago after I had already taken other pictures in front of her without her even noticing before she even said anything to me. And when she did say something she seemed rather shy to say it. And she actually believed I would delete those digital images from my camera after (lying) telling her I would.

Mon Oct 23, 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been called a terrorist _per se_ for taking pictures in a mall, but I did have a manager threaten to call the cops on me for taking pics in "his" mall. That was scary.

Tue Oct 24, 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who would want to take photos of malls TODAY, anyway? (I know, they'll become retro in the future).

On the subject I did an article on my own mall at wikipedia, at,
in Perth, Western Australia. So feel free to check out the shots I took (thankfully without being harassed by any security guards, probably since I don't live in the US of A).

Tue Oct 24, 09:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Universal Mall! We used to shop there back in the 80's all the time, it was so nice. I always thought it was the perfect sized mall, not too's too bad that it's pretty much gone down the tubes now...i'd love to see more pics!

Thu Oct 26, 06:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was only eight but I stil remember the flower pens that they gave away at the Grand Opening of Universal Mall it was a special event.

Sat Feb 17, 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wed Jan 25, 03:15:00 PM  

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