Remembering the Marketplace of the Midsouth

Tell Your Mall of Memphis Story Here...

Access to the mall site is gone. The mall itself is gone. Every one of the thousands of lightbulbs, handrails, escalator steps, glass windows, tiles - anything else you see in the pictures here or remember about the mall is gone. The green benches, the store signs, the trash cans. Trash cans? Gone. Those aluminum bleachers that were around the ice rink. Gone. The Zamboni, the projectors at the cinema, the acres of parking, gone. Everything. Gone.

Some of it was likely claimed by salvage firms, or a lucky passerby at the right time and place. Much of it lies in a some landfill (anyone know which one?), perhaps covered, perhaps exposed. Some materials may have been recycled, some just discarded as was.

The thousands of things that were collectively The Mall of Memphis will never be again. Too bad, so sad, your dad.

As unlikely as it seems, we can learn something from the old mall. We can learn about the impermanence of life's physical foundations. We can learn about racism and how people of all colors use it to their advantage. Especially politicians who have nothing but racial strife (real or media created) to keep an office they were never qualified to hold in the first place. A flawed moral compass seems to be a problem widespread in our city and county ledership.

Much more importantly, we can learn that we need to honor and preserve the history left for us by the past and still build our own story for future generations. Indeed, we can learn - but like the mall itself, many of the lessons about life from the story of the mall are already lost to history.

" Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Does Memphis feel like it's stuck in a loop to you?

If you remember The Mall of Memphis, have a story or memory, shopped it or didn't, loved it, hated it, feared it - whatever the case, you are invited to share here.

Maybe you feel more like just making a suggestion - tell everyone what you think SHOULD have been done with the Mall, rather than simply destroy it. Go here to do that: Mall Reuse Ideas

Did you grow up shopping at the Mall? Maybe you only visited it one time - either way, if you have a story about the Mall - a memory or experiences there, please share them with us. Just click the "Edit" link at the top or bottom of the page and share your story. The simple or the complex, just read a few accounts below and see how interesting they are. You story will strike others the same way.....What do you remember about this part of lost Memphis?

If you would like to leave your email address for others to contact you, enter it as your name, with no @ or dot notation - for example joeyahoocom - this will allow humans to email you but still keep the spammers away. Thanks for the suggestion, Deborah!

Of course, no registration is required, you can always just start typing....(please start at the bottom of the page, after any existing comments).


September 20, 2005
Steve J.
I had been gone from Memphis for about 15 years. I went to graduate school at University of Memphis (but then it was still named Memphis State University). Spent many a time shopping at the Mall of Memphis. You could tell even then that it was a hurting mall. Always plenty of open, unrented store fronts. I recently came back to Memphis to attend a conference and that was when I first learned the mall was gone. Was I heart broken? No - but it did take my breath away a little that such a large mall (hell, it had a full size skating rink in it!), even though struggling, was flattened and erased off the face of the earth. I find it hard to believe that a use couldn't be found for it. Where I live now, the city had an "old mall" that was closed for several years after the new big mega-mall was opened. Eventually, the state university located in town bought it and turned it into part of their extended campus.

Well, Memphis has changed quite a bit in 15 years, and I'm not sure it's all for the better!


November 16, 2005<< Deborah D.<< When we moved to Memphis in late 1994, the first thing that everyone told us was to stay away from the Mall of Memphis since there had just been a well-publicized murder and robbery there. Everyone told us about the towers where the parking lots were manned by police and I have to admit that I had never seen such a new mall with such a bad reputation. The first time that we visited it, we could not believe that such a spacious and well-kept mall had been allowed to deteriorate the way this one had. There were still anchor stores and quite a few others, but not alot to really make people want to go there and shop.<< The one thing that we will always remember was the first time that we saw the skating rink from the upper level. It was quite impressive to be able to sit down in the food court and watch the people or teams skating. Having grown up in the northern part of the country, skating was reserved only for the winter and always outside, but to be able to come inside on a hot summer day and strap on some skates was really something. Unfortunately, we did not get there much as the variety of stores was shrinking at an alarming rate. By the end of 2002, all that remained was a few "hip hop" clothing stores and only a few places were left in the food court. Quite interestingly enough, some of the larger stores had been concerted to state government offices for things like drivers license renewals and paying your taxes. You could even get married there (which my daughter did that year. You could go next door and get your license and then come back the next day to be married in a store-front chapel. Who could ask for anything more??<< I guess the thing that I find the most curious is that I have watched malls being built my whole life and we are just now starting to see when they are being torn down and I cannot understand why they other uses cannot be found for them. There were even quite a few people (like me) that even offered suggestions to the city government on how they could save the mall. Since they already had so many government offices and it was right over a major highway, it would have been very convenient to have city, county and state government offices in all the old stores. It would have involved minimal construction since there were already phone and electrical lines. Many of us even thought that the skaing rink could have been used by local school teams for ice hockey and give the local youth something interesting to do.<< Alas, no one listened and I watched while it was knocked down bit-by-bit until there was nothing lift but huge piles of rubble. I did manage to take quite a few photos and even managed to save one of the food court chairs from the wrecking ball!<< Thanks so much for creating this website and feel free to contact me if I can be of any help!<<


November 26, 2005
jawanenahotmailcom
Oh, how these pictures hurt. As I pass the mall on my way to a new job each day and looking at it slowly falls apart, I would grow upset or angry. I use to work in the EB in the mall. I stayed there until EB shut its doors due to lack of sales. We had a lot of kids always stealing from us. There were times when they would steal an empty game case, then go up to the toy store and ask to see a game. As soon as they look at it, they then would pass the empty case back to them. I think that may be part of why the store shut down. Lack of sales did not make it any better.
A lot of people do not want to go to work, but I looked forward to it. I loved to speak to everyone that came in the door about the new videogames and what is going on in the game world. I remember the day "Lil' Bow Wow" came into the store. I had no idea who he was, but my co-workers did. I could not figure out for the life of me why so many girls followed him into the store. He looked very depressed at the time. I asked him if he needed help looking for anything as he was looking at the game guides. He just shook his head, so I we on to my other duties. After he left, my co-worker told me who it was, & I freaked out a little. I think he found it strange that I spoke to him as a person and not as a star. The look in his eyes threw me off when I asked him if he needed help.
The Mall was not a bad place. We had our problems with people, but the mall security helped out a lot. The mall was like a home to me. EB was my home and the other stores were homes to my friends that worked there. A lot of my friends would come visit everyday. The guys down at Tilt (the arcade), one person from Tender Box, One from Gadzooks, a few from Toys R Us near the mall, and lots from the food court. We had a guy with no arms shopping to games, and he made 2nd place in a "Bloody Roar" Tourney we had. His Brother made 1st. I still remember his name among a lot of others. I miss those days a lot. As they demolished the mall I felt as if they were ripping at my soul. It was like they were killing my old home.// Most people blame the new owners of the mall for the death it had. I don't blame them at all. The new person in charge tried his BEST to revive that place. He had a lot of events to help it out. He had mall meetings to let every manager know what was going on in the mall. There was free breakfast for those who showed up. He can only go so far without the help of the store managers. He was always upset with the turn-out of how many showed up. There was always so few of us there. It seemed the managers didn't care. Most thought the mall was already doomed, and thanks the that way of thinking by them and people who did not want to visit, it really was doomed.// I do think crime paid a big part of the malls death, but I think it was more then that. If I recall, half of the people that shopped at EB were from Southaven and Hornlake, a lot of others were from Germantown. As Southaven grew bigger, our sales grew smaller. Our store was #1 in the Memphis area for a long time. When the Wolfchase location "EBX" opened up, we lost more sales. The few people that showed up from those areas even told us that they found it better to shop at a place closer to them then drive all the way out to us. We asked quite a few of them because we wanted to see how we could bring them back to us. As you can see, there was no way to get them to come back like they use too. The only reason they would show up from time to time was to talk with us and buy something the other locations may be sold out of.// I remember the day EB shut down. I had walked in to work and the manager of the Wolfchase EBX was standing there waiting for me to take my key. It hurt me a lot. First they take our sales, now it feels almost like they took out store. I know it was not the case though. At that point he gave me the choice to pick-up my things and go, or stay and earn a little extra money packing things for the store. I said that there was no point in it for I need to go out and find another job. That night, all of my co-workers and I had a going away party and talked about how much fun we had working there. We were all mad about getting fired without notice, but we tried not to let it get to us. Now I still try to keep track of most of them. I guess we share a bond thanks to that store. We knew the store would close one day due to the malls lack of people. I miss watching the ice skaters as I ate my lunch.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

I definately remember going to the Mall of Memphis many times during it's "hay-day." My mom and dad thought the MofM was the stuff as we were growing up as children in the late 80's and early 90's. We went EVERY year to get our picture taken with Santa, we would go just to do regular shopping, or even sometimes go just to eat and watch the ice skaters. My dad loved Service Merchandise so we would often times visit just the Service Merchandise store. I still recall when the mall put up it's infamous "guard towers" and thinking how scarry it made the parking lots feel. Especially as a child, the mall seemed massive (which it really was) and I usually hated having to walk and walk and walk it's long corridors. By the mid 90's though with the malls reputation becoming more and more tarnished (and for good reason) my parents started going there less and less. When Wolfchase was built we stopped going to the Mall of Memphis alltogether. I did visit the Mall of Memphis one last time in September of 2003 just to see the old place one last time before it was to be shut down and I was really shocked. It looked so pitiful. There were hardly any stores open in the massive structure and only like one eating place and the ice rink. The ONLY signs of life in the mall was the ice rink. It is somewhat sad that the mall is gone, but that goes to show you what will happen when the perceved threat of crime and violence leaks into peoples minds, especially when they have alternatives. I mean the Old Hickor Mall in Jackson, TN has just as bad a crime rate as the mall of memphis had, but it's still thriving. I think it was a combination of things that closed the mall, crime threat being number one and Wolfchase being a close number 2.

J.B.


I am saddened to know that the Mall of Memphis's doors have closed, I was planning to go Christmas shopping there for the first time in a number of years. I started surfing web sites only to find out that the mall had gone belly up two years ago. I did not know, how could I not have known living only two and one half hours away ? The truth is I do not to subscribe to a Memphis paper, nor do I watch the one Memphis channel that I get on my local cable network, alas these days of digital and too much HBO. It makes me very sad to know that it's gone, I remember how impressed I was by the ice rink the first time I saw it, could it have been that long ago, sure makes me feel old. I hope someone at least blew taps when the building came down.

Tbabe


Use to spend a lot of time here in the 2nd half of 1986 while stationed at NAS Millington. It was a vibrant mall then and my Navy buddies and I would sit at Chelsea's for hours and just people watch. I remember seeing Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Crocodile Dundee at the General Cinemas too. Hard to believe this mall fell on such hard times. Hard to believe that was almost 20 years ago...

KS


Feels like a part of my childhood has died. I really enjoyed visiting the Mall each time we came to Memphis when I was growing up. I was not aware of the many problems the Mall was having until I drove by a few months ago and seen them demolishing it. I could not believe my eyes. Seems just yesterday I would sit and watch the Ice Rink while we would munch on some Pizza. Very sad..


its gone blown up history progress January 19, 2006, at 12:11 PM by 70.236.19.233


from kimmi

hello i just loved to shop at the mall of memphis-i live in little rock and going to memphis was THE thing to do for me-along with going down beale street!

i frequented a few stores there-enjoyed watching people skating from the food court area on the second level, too. best shopping for me was at wilsons leather and goldsmith's. in the 90's the mall went through a massive change and i didn't go there as much. many of my favorite stores left and boarded up, some became smaller shops and some boarded up. i knew when the "eating places" (shoney's, golden corral, the olive garden)folded up on american way, and the stores adjacent to the mall dried up, the writing was on the wall. i hadn't kept up with all the bad goings on there in the 90's.

up until then, i guess that was the furthest you had to go to shop in memphis. then wolfchase galleria happened, and i guess the rest is history. now going out there is THE in thing to do. all the big box places are out that way and the traffic is there as well, costco, best buy, well, you can only imagine the mess!!!

i really miss the old mall of memphis, and i guess the big empty lot near the freeway and hotels will eventually get re-developed--

who knows when? sad sad sad

btw-we have a little bit of that going on here in little rock, the move out to the western part of little rock, and the death of university mall. most places are trying to set up out there in the coming years.

that's little rock's mall problem....


03/02/06 DHolmes dh1@iname(nospam).com

Well, I’m surprised the memory of the MoM still lives on! I grew up in Memphis and remember it well. I recall standing across the street from the future site near my friend’s house in the late 70s. He pointed toward the vacant field and said, “They’re gonna build a mall over there!” The heydays were the 80s and early 90s. I shopped in the department stores, dropped a few quarters in the Gold Mine Arcade, and watched a few movies in the General Cinema over the years. I stopped frequenting the mall after the Dillard’s closed. As the anchors started pulling up in the mid 90s, the huge mega-mall began drifting aimlessly in the sea of retail competition. The rise and fall of the mall is an interesting study in urban retail strategy. My theory of the demise can be summed up by demographic shifts, increased crime, and the modern retailer shift toward outside strip centers.

When I heard the doors were closing for the last time on Christmas Eve 2003, I went back to stroll through one last time. The place was a shell of its former self. It was a ghost town with a few ethnic stores still in business. There were are few ideas tossed around on how to save it but the powers that be eventually decided that the property would be more valuable as a possible business office complex. The building was demolished in 2005. One question I wonder about is if the mall ever paid for itself? Did the investors make any profit?

The latest “mall” to be opened in the Memphis area is The Avenue Carriage Crossing in Collierville. It’s not really a “mall” because there’s no indoor access. All of the stores have private entrances and store-front parking. Maybe the indoor mall is becoming a thing of the past…


03/24/06 ABC

Like many others, a little piece of me died when they tore down the MOM. My first job was at the Ice Capades Chalet. I started working there before the mall opened and was interviewed in a trailer in the parking lot. I remember putting skates together, watching the rink being built, painting the ice and getting to meet Dorothy Hamill who was there for exhibitions for the mall opening.

What an awesome first job to have. It was the early 80's and the mall was THE place to be on the weekends. Kids going to the Gold Mine, hanging out at the food court or Camelot Music, or waiting for their movie to start. Remember the restaurant across from Chelsea Street Pub--Around the Corner? You called your order in from a phone in each booth.

It wasn't like a job at all, it was like getting paid to hang out with your friends and have fun. And, on top of all that, I got to learn how to drive the Zamboni.

I also remember my dad teaching me how to drive in the parking lot when the mall was closed. He passed away 9 years ago, and that's one of my favorite memories of him.

After working there 5 years, I left for college, and a "real job". I only went back a few times after that to visit "my" mall. It made me sad to see the stores go, one at a time leaving the MOM to die a long, slow death and broke my heart to see them tear it down.

That was one of the best times of my life and will always remember and cherish.


04/08/2006 Clinton Yelvington

I have many fond memories of the Mall of Memphis. I used to go there all the time when I was a kid, and my favorite thing had to be eating chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A while watching the skaters below. I seem to recall that the Service Merchandise store had a rather neat interior -- vague memories enter my head of a staircase (instead of an escalator) between the two

floors that was either wound around (or directly next to) a column covered with wooden paneling. Seems very 80's to me. The wooden facade of the store was nice too. My parents used to shop there (at SM) all the time, and 9 times out of 10 I would be with them. I seem to recall having had my picture made with Santa there more than once. More recent memories I have are from the early 90's -- I recall playing my first game of Street Fighter II at the Gold Mine arcade and also trying out the Super Nintendo for the first time at the Software Etc. The most memorable thing I can recall, though, is when I participated in Merry Tubachristmas at the age of 13 (in 1993.) It was a large ensemble of Euphonium and Tuba players that got together, rehearsed at the U of M, and played Christmas Carols in public places, and it has one of the most amazing sounds you'll ever hear out of low brass instruments. That particular year, the concert (my first one) was held at the Mall of Memphis. The place was still bustling at that time. I also was the youngest person in the ensemble that year, and was interviewed by the Commercial Appeal due to my age. So yeah, when the Mall died, part of my childhood died too. I went on Christmas Eve 2003 to take a final set of pics and was totally blasted at the complete emptiness of the place. I wished I could've gotten security to let me into Service Merchandise for pics... I'd give anything to see pictures of what it looked like on the inside again, because the staircase I mentioned above is all I can remember of it.


11 May 2006

I was an 18 year old Marine stationed at NAS Millington in 1983-1984 for training (originally from CT) and enjoyed the mall very much. As a high school hockey player, I was pleasantly surprised the first time I walked into the mall to see the ice rink. It satisfied a need I did not know I needed to satisfy and was a great stress reliever. Funny, after all these years, that today, a thought would bring me back and prompt a search for a place I only visited a dozen times or so. I didn't think it would no longer exist...kind of sad knowing some good memories are of a place that is gone from the face of the earth.

Peace,

Tom


June 21, 2006, at 11:49 AM

The first time I went to the Mall of Memphis was in November of 1990. I bought a pair of M C Hammer pants in the Jeans West store. They were the thin black rayon ones with the crotch at the knees. I loved those things and still have them -- like new. I went to the Mall of Memphis several times from then until the mall went downhill, and was always amazed that Memphis didn't have more malls for a city its size. Mall of Memphis was the biggest and best before Wolfchase opened (which I've only been in once), but it didn't seem as big to me as other malls I'd been to, like in Nashville (Hickory Hollow). I never was in the mall after it started being "run down" in any way, so the last memory I have of it was when it was still a successful, hopping place. I guess that's good. The last time I was in Memphis, I was shocked to see anchor stores gone as I drove by the mall on I-240. I didn't get off to look at it.

Peace,

Chris


This posting is from the newsgroups by a man who worked in Mall security...

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fifty-plus.friends/browse_thread/thread/73fd98131c1f33b0/1fa1b3764b0f7ea3?lnk=st&q=mall+of+memphis&rnum=305&hl=en#1fa1b3764b0f7ea3

From: DittyDumDumDidy - view profile Date: Sun, Nov 30 2003 11:27 pm Email: DittyDumDumD...@webtv.net Groups: alt.fifty-plus.friends

Well, I'll tell y'all -- for some years I worked in a regional mall. The day after Thanksgiving, we had to park and walk from the farthest perimeter of the parking lot if we came in for the late shift. The shoppers and shoplifters were out in droves and hordes. And I can tell you, it was dark walking back to the car at 2300 hrs.

I loved the crowds. Most were in town visiting relatives for the weekend. Many had driven 100 miles to get there that morning -- the were waiting for the morning shift to arrive at 0600 hrs. Most were happy, laughing, enjoying looking at all the things --the choices -- I thought it was a manifestation of the primal hunting/gathering instinct; as if they had found a herd of easy game, or a large tree of abundant sweet pecans. (puh-KAHNS -- not pee cans).

I would get to meet their grandchildren, or sisters from Washington State or the Bahamas, or maybe their mother who was in a wheelchair and didn't get out much. I helped them find dresses to wear to the special occasions in their lives, to get things altered to fit well, so they would feel their best at weddings and parties, the opera or a play in the Big Apple, and, yes, the occasional funeral. I heard stories of where they were going, and why. A trip to Hawaii, a cruise, --it's really hard to find a swimsuit in the winter. It's really interesting to watch a beautiful girl select a fur coat, while her Marine stands by uncomfortably looking on. There was always the guy who wanted two identical coats, one for his wife and the other for his girlfriend.

There were also the professional thieves who could steal with you looking at them and get by with it. One we called Big Red who always showed up with her crew on busy days was met at the door by the security guy, Kenny. When they saw him, they just turned around and mooned him before leaving. They had their girdles pulled down around their knees, ready to be filled like Santa's pack.

I met people I hadn't seen since elementary school, some I had known on other jobs, other occasions, other better times, and some of my ex's relatives I had never met before. One woman I had grown up with brought me a snapshot of us in the 7th grade. She died shortly afterward she gave it to me.

One of the nicest days of all was a Christmas Eve I had off because my daughter was coming in from someplace up north. I picked her up at the airport, then I, and my other daughter and SIL, took her shopping so she could buy little gifties for Christmas.

I enjoyed all the Mallites who came to the Mall and all those Mallites who worked in the Mall. Fifteen years ago, it was the hottest shopping spot in Memphis. Now,this Christmas Eve, the Mall is closing. The anchor stores left two years ago. Mostly it is vacant now--a few shops, the ice rink, and the county clerk's office where you can renew your driver's license. A tiny town has died. Blake


7/4/2006

A GEM No More!

In the mid eighties, I went to work at the MOM. I drove every day from Arkansas to work for a local family jeweler, which, at that time, was located on the bottom floor. We had a Jeweler on premis that looked out onto the streams of shoppers going back and forth, our store was open on two sides and we had a wonderful client base. I got my first apartment shortly thereafter, not far from the MOM to make commuting easy. It was, a wonderful place to work everyday. The few photographs that are shown, just didn't bely the true nature of the place. I moved away in 1987. I brought my husband back to live here last summer (2005), only to find that fate of a had erased the place that, for me was unlike any other. It saddens me to know that a place once so vibrant, beautiful and easy to get to, should have fallen by the wayside, so easily.

Kelly


07/07/2006

Fun Time Working at the General Cinema

In the summer of 1988, I worked at the General Cinema at the MOM. Me standing and taking tickets in my white shirt, red vest and black bow tie. Also, after each movie, cleaning the theater and making sure the doors were locked. It was a great job and I worked with a lot of great people. (Katrina, if by some miracle you somehow read this, contact me at slouch34yahoocom. Add the @ and dot. I've been looking to talk to you and can't track you down.) I still wonder how I wasn't fired for accidently dropping the reel of Die Hard and causing the movie to break.

I lived in Florida, but my summer and winter breaks in Memphis. I loved getting back to Memphis so I could go to the mall and skate around the ice rink. This was before they put up the plexiglass, so there was nothing but a railing surrounding the ice, which was great because you could talk to people walking by and flirt will all the drop-dead gorgeous girls who would be leaning against the railings. There never always seemed to be an endless supply of them. The ice rink's DJs were also pretty cool. I remember a woman named Jennifer Hawk who spun records and would get upset because she wasn't allowed to play anything progressive, like Depeche Mode or Tears For Fears.

I almost cried when I read that the mall was being demolished and I was lucky enough to be driving through Memphis in August 2004 and I'm thankful I was able to drive by the mall one last time.

Jeff


I remember going to the Mall of Memphis when it opened. It was one of the greatest malls in the US at the time, and even attracted tourism. We moved in 1985 when my dad retired from the PD, and on one of my visit home trips I was amazed on how little the city has done to protect such a great asset to the city.

Well it goes to show you what the Ford's and Willie Herenton can do to a once great city.


7/19/2006

OH MY!!!!!!! I am a Memphis Native. I just found out today that the Mall of Memphis is now gone forever. I now live in Georgia for the past five years and had no clue that the mall had been torn down. I was there the day the mall opened and loved going thru all the goodies they were giving away. I spent all of my teen years at the mall hanging out with my friends. I went on my first date to the mall with my now husband of twenty years. We would go to the mall after hours in the winter just to spin around in the parking lot when it snowed or iced over. He will be just as shocked as I am when I tell him that it is now gone. It was the spot to go back to when we would come into town to visit relatives. I am so shocked that the city allowed crime and blight to close one of the best malls in the country. It doesnt surprise thought that is the sad part. We came into town one year to visit family and saw the guard shacks at the mall I was very shocked to see those. They were very intimidating to say the least. I just dont have any more words to say. Sorry to see such a once fine part of the city succumb to inner city problems etc. I will always remember the fun and crazy times I had at the mall.

sincerely Dena

OH MY GOSH again. It just dawned on my my husband bought our wedding rings at Zales in the mall and proposed to me on bended knee in the parking lot. I was 15 and he was 19.


7/25/06

I lost touch with the Mall of Memphis along time ago. When I was younger, I seemed to frequent it a lot more often. I ice skated there probably a total of three times at parties and field trips for summer camps. I remember it well and always used to like that mall. The arcade was great and Service Merchandise let you play console video games for free. The area went downhill and at a certain point it just stopped being a safe place. People may say it was the reported crime that killed it, but it wasn’t. The area started to get worse and worse. Towards the end of when my family and I stopped going there, there were big clusters of what seemed like gang members walking back and forth in the corridors at night. During the day, the mall seemed quite nice, but at night it just didn’t feel safe. Wolfchase didn’t kill the mall, Memphis did. People will always prefer to go to bigger malls rather than smaller malls like the Oak Court Mall, but they have to feel safe. I still have no understanding why they would tear something like that down! There wasn’t one use they could find for it? How about storage? An empty field is better than a former huge indoor mall? I drove past it for the first time the other day (7/24/06). I also drove past the Toys R’ Us and Office Max that used to be there. As I drove past at about 7a.m. two bums were sleeping in loading area of Toys R’ Us. How could Memphis let this happen?

rojolow gmailcom


9/18/06

LOTS of mall memories here! I attended the pre-grand opening they had before the opening of the mall to the general public. It cost $10 per person, which went to charity. That evening, the theme was "MAGIC" as in...magicians...the tie in was something like, "Discover the Magic of the Mall of Memphis" I believe. They flew in a bunch of the country's leading magicians, who performed continuously on various stages throughout the mall, and strolling about as well. There were white linen covered tables full of food...very good food...roast beef, fruit, cheese, the works. It was a lot of fun. I believe this was 1980. I never would have guessed the mall would be closed barely 23 years later. See BenefitParty

One thing I remember that hasn't been mentioned is that the first restaurant on the lower level to the right of the doors at the skating rink entrace...was called "Round the Corner." This was in the location that later became a Wendy's. It was a neat restaurant with phones at every table, and you "called in" your order. They'd call you back when it was ready and you'd go pick it up at the counter. There were 2 other locations in Memphis...one at Sears Laurelwood, near the street (freestanding) and another one in Germantown on Poplar. See RoundTheCorner

What is really amazing about the destruction of this mall is that it was in remarkably pristine condition, having gone through a multi-million dollar facelift just a few years prior. I walked through the place just a few months before it closed, and marvelled at how nice and well kept it was (although quite empty...).

Probably, there would have been no practical way to adapt the mall for use in any other context...after all, it was huge, and would have required maintenance and upkeep. And the problems that had plagued the mall before (area crime being one) would likely have been a problem even if it were converted to some other purpose. It was truly one of the nicest, most immaculate malls I've ever seen meet the wrecking ball far too early.

I expect the mall's footprint will remain an empty field for years to come, given the general retail decline in the immediate area.

But at least we have our memories!


The Mall's own web site (www.mallofmemphis.com) was created around 2001. You can see a handful of pages archived from that time here: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.mallofmemphis.com

Most are just bits and pieces though.

(The mall's web domain, obviously no longer affiliated with the mall or its previous owner, currently points to amazon.com.)

gman


September 29, 2006, at 09:40 AM by P Smith

I live in Jackson, MS, and I just love visiting Memphis!! I was thinking about doing my Christmas shopping in Memphis and decided to look for Memphis malls on the internet, and I was surprised that the Mall of Memphis has closed as well as LibertyLand!! I had never visited the Mall of Memphis but I'm really sad that I didn't get the chance. I know it's just a Mall but something about seeing the pictures and reading the comments, make it seem much more than a mall. Thank you for putting up this site.


October 06, 2006, at 0520am

I have lived in Memphis all of my life and loved the Mall of Memphis. In 1985 my grandparents bought a store called Wicks N Sticks on the lower level by a frame shop called Deck the Walls, that is what got me so in love with this mall. I spent most of my days after school and weekends there becuse my Mom worked as a manager at the shop, I would wonder around for hours. As I got a few years older I got into Hockey and of course would spend every Saturday from open to close at the Ice Chalet, with all my friends from school, some of the best memories of my life. I was really bummed out to find out that the only ice rink in Memphis was not going to exist anymore. If there is someone out there and reading this PLEASE let me know where an ice rink is close to Memphis, TN at Detmackey410 at aol dot com. Thx!! MOM is really missed!!


Oct 8, 2006 1:35 AM It is very sad that I have no memory of the Mall of Memphis. I moved here in 1996, didn't get out much, was trying to find my way around. I had heard about the Mall of Memphis and the Skating Rink, however, there were other malls closer to where I was located and I did not venture out to visit it. When I finally did get the opportunity to go shop there, it was almost empty, there were a few stores still open and one of the stores had something in stock that I needed for Christmas so I went. It felt very cold and empty while I was there, I took a walk all through the mall, just to see what it was like. It felt sad and lonely. There were people still skating I remember, and I sat and watched them for awhile. I am sure the Mall of Memphis was a wonderful place at one time and it is a shame that it is no longer there. I wish now, I had been able to say that I was a supporter of the Mall of Memphis Lovie


LAURA DePOUW, If you have pics from this event, please email them to mallofmemphis@gmail.com - thanks!

Oct. 29th 2006 My god talk about blast from the past, and especially finding my name posted on this random website from an event that happened so long ago. I was wondering what year that All American Dog Pageant happened. BTW I was the the 10 yr old who won. I spent many many, many weekends there with my parents as a kid, Christmas shopping, trying to ice skate and being shoved down by some more experienced pain in the neck kid. I loved that mall. I'm ashamed to say I even went to see Hanson there when a friend from high school found out they were coming. Sigh, the good old days. It was there I won that pageant $100 dollars to the entire mall *bought my first tape deck boom box, $100 to the pet store and 1 yr suppy of dog food which I donated. (not to mention making the news was pretty darn cool as a 10 yr old) The mall of memphis kiosks taught me to see those funky colored dot photos that become 3D when you cross your eyes (Autostereogram-ed.), movies, spending countless hours in that department store where they sold jewlery (which I don't remember the name) learning what the heck a zamboni was and remembering what it is for the rest of my life, so ya I really loved that mall. It's too bad it ever spiraled downward, but that's just what seems to happen as malls go. -Laura DePouw and beloved Carry


November 14, 2006, at 04:00 PM by 64.136.26.226

I never visited the mall but ran across it on deadmalls.com. I was looking at the pictures of the mall and noticing it was not very well lit (or else it looks like in the pix). I live about 20 miles away from Boise Town Square in Boise, ID and the ceiling is almost completeley windows, there is hardly any lights. The Boise mall has many open storefronts as well, but this crazy lady at an ice cream kiosk said thier lease is up. and they moved out and different stores came in or they are remodeling. There website is Boise Towne Square

(ed. note-The Mall of Memphis was quite dark inside, especially in the early days. In September 1990 a multi-million dollar remodeling effort was started to add skylights the length of the mall to brighten it up inside. This did help, but did nothing to increase the perceived safety of the mall. During this construction, large pieces of the ceiling collapsed into the mall during heavy rains. No one who hurt, but the mall was closed while work conditions were inspected for safety.)


November 20, 2006, at 10:17 AM by 141.225.154.62

The other day I was driving down American Way and started to cry a little when I saw the space that once held the Mall of Memphis. I recalled many times during this time of year picking up catalog orders at JC Penney and shopping for Christmas gifts. I would always stop for a slice of pizza or a chicken sandwich and watch the kids and adults skate. I would sometimes wish I knew how to skate but it would be great seeing families together. Now we have outdoor malls where the outdoors is wet and cold going from store to store. There are no food courts or fun things to do just shop.


December 14, 2006, at 02:16 PM by Laura - my story

Thank you to the awesome person who put this site together, good job! How very interesting, and brings back so many memories.

My first memory of the mall is probably going ice skating with my brownie troop. We thought it was so cool to be able to ice skate, see a movie, have lunch AND shop at the same place.

As I got older it was THE place to be on Friday nights, all my friends would be upstairs new the food court. My best friend and I even met guys from the band Innocence there one night, we were SO very cool.

Remember the guy at the sports place who was always sitting in the window of that t-shirt shop air brushing something? Remember Merry Go Round? Corn Dog 7, with the deep fried cheese dogs? man!

I remember my mom dropping me off with her Thalheimers card and telling me my spending limit, those were the days. Eventually I worked there too; at JC Penney's. So sad it's gone I did a lot of growing up there.

Laura


December 15, 2006, at 09:04 PM by 169.198.254.6

I Really Really Miss this Mall!!!!

My name is Alicia Robinson I was born in 1980. My family went to the mall every weekend for my whole life up until JC Penney left. It hurt so bad when they left. The Mall of Memphis is where I got and did my first everything. I remember being little getting Popcon from the Pocorn and going to the Goldmine to play video games. I really miss it. I remember going ice skating and just chilling with my friends in the mall. Going to the Mall on the weekends was the Best ever. Then once I got grown I would go to Lane Bryant evey weekend. I really miss it. They should not have torn it down. I mean they really could have sold it. The building of the Wolfchase really caused the Mall's demise. I don't even go shop out there I refuse too. I mean if Raleigh Springs and Southland is still here the mall of memphis could have stayed too.


January 22, 2007, at 03:54 PM by 12.149.100.21

I have so many memories of the mall. I started taking ice skating lessons there when I was 9 or 10. It had to have been when the mall first opened. As I got older it became a place to hang out on the weekends. My parents would drop me off there around 5 or 6 in the evening on Friday and pick me up when it closed. Saturdays I spent the whole day there seeing a movie (or two), ice skating, having lunch and dinner and shopping. All my friends did the same thing. It was like our own little world where we could hang out in comfort and relative safety. I lived about 5 minutes away. I got my ears pierced at the little jewelry store that was by the front entrance near the arcade. When I was 17 or 18 I had a summer job at the pet store on the upper level just down from the food court. Funny, I can't remember the name of it. In high school we would hit the food court for lunch and watch the skaters. I used to shop for "cool" clothes at the Merry Go Round. I remember getting parachute pants and wrap tops there. And spandex. ;) I bought my senior prom dress at a little shop there. I spent hours (days?) skating at the ice rink trying to talk myself out of a high school crush on one of my best friends. It didn't work and I still think of him as the one that got away. It's all gone now. In a very real way it's like my hometown disappeared. How sad.


Mall Office Staffer, Linda Daichendt, Mall Marketing Director 1990-1991

March 7, 2007

My name is Linda Daichendt, I was the Mall Marketing Director during it's first remodel in 1990-1991. I've just found this site and thereby found out that the Mall of Memphis has been demolished. I'm devastated!! I remember when I was transferred to Memphis to oversee its remodel and work to get back its customers, I wasn't thrilled when I first saw it. However, as I got to know the Mall, the people who were a part of it, and the City of Memphis, I grew to love it and I hated to leave when it was done (in spite of the construction mishap during the remodel!!). But at least we got to have a great party with Johnny Rivers, and Larry Raspberry! I'll always have fond memories of my time at the Mall of Memphis; it was a wonderful mall and an integral part of the Memphis community. It will be missed.

ddslindaearthlinkDOTnet


March 24, 2007.

I remember the Service Merchandise in the MOM. Wasn't this originally a Wilson's? A great place to collect Star Wars action figures. Very early 80s design, as mentioned with the winding staircase (which I think wound around the elevator)that went straight to the electronics and musical instruments section near the interior entrance of the store. The staircase was a unique feature to that anchor, it didn't have escalators. Remember how the Walgreens store had the little knee high, electrically controlled swinging gate as you walk in, I guess to slow you down when you walk in? Very fond memories of the Goldmine arcade. And yes, I remember getting stuck in that creepy elevator located somewhere near the food court.

-Alex


I remember when the Mall opened! WOW!! An iceskating rink in the Delta?? We were all so proud! It made us all feel like we were metropolitan! Before Chelsea Bar, The Public Eye had a bar-b-que restaurant with the best bar-b-que and home cooking buffet in the world at lunch and the best live music in town at night. I remember a friend of my father's telling us that the mall was "earthquake proof" and whenever the load shifted so did the building as it was built on rollers. I also remember when the "powers that be" began talk of putting a mall in the Bartlett/Cordova/Germantown area probably 2 years before they started working on it. THAT's when the really seriously damaging press began about the crime and the muggings. I have to admit there were quiet rumors before but when they decided to build the Wolfchase Galleria the rumors began to become absolute fodder for the newspaper and T.V. news. Then the poor souls in charge of the mall put up guard towers. What were they thinking? For those of us who thought the crime stories were exaggerated, we believed them fully the first time we drove by and saw those towers. Rumors spread like wildfire that the towers were manned with armed guards who were trained to shoot first. I never went back and never allowed my (by then) teenage children to go back either. Such a shame. It was the easiest mall to find, get into and get out of that I have EVER seen. Even during the Christmas season you could run over there at lunch or after work and grab a few things without it taking forever to get in and out as it was situated in the middle of at least 2 exit/entrances to the interstate and the traffic lights were perfectly located to allow traffic to move fairly effortlessly. It was perfectly located for every part of town. It just needed a better PR group. It makes me cry to think of it gone. But that's Memphis. Tear it up and throw it away and spend 20 times the money on something NEW rather than fixing what's already there. Need I mention the Mid-South Coliseum versus the Pyramid? By the way, white flight had NOTHING to do with it. We lived in the suburbs and we lived downtown and we (and everyone we knew) still shopped there and my kids still hung out there on weekends as did everyone we knew. But then again, to Memphis EVERYTHING is either black or white. Sue


it makes me absolutely insane to think of one of the Memphis landmarks of my youth as just another thing of the past. gone. withered away, never to be seen again. the strangest thing is that since i no longer live in Memphis, i didn't even know until recently. my aunt lived in midtown, so it wasn't far from her house. i wouldn't say that i frequented the mall as i had only been a few times, but i do remember it as part of my childhood, and remember how impressive it was through the eyes of a child. it was the first mall i had ever been to that had indoor ice skating. the size of the mall alone set it apart from so many others at the time. perhaps what saddens me the most about the story of MoM is that it's just another example of what's happening throughout the city, and has been happening for a long time. there have apparently been theories that crime played a role in the demise of the mall, and then studies that disprove those theories, but crime has played a role in the destruction of the city as a whole, so it had to be at least part of MoM's downfall. the mayor, Dr. Willie Herrenton, has done very little that i can tell to make the city better, and as time goes on it gets harder to reverse the trend. it won't be many more years before Memphis looks like a southern version of Detroit. so much of the city is in shambles, i'm even afraid to go visit my old house and walk the streets of my old neighborhood it's all in such poor shape. many things i remember and count as parts of my childhood are gone, and the mall is just another thing to add to that list.

-m.c.

as an aside, does anyone have any pictures of the guard towers i keep reading about? those must have been installed after i left the city.


4/13/2007

I was 13 when it opened; ice skating; having my bike stolen; arcade; hanging out at the south entrance (at the rink); going to more movies than I can count and be carded at the R rated ones; going to Spencers with girlfriend of the month; buying my chewing tobacco at the drug store (east end, second floor entrance); airbrush t-shirt guy in the window (him and his brother went to my high school, Foust I think, Kevin or Keith maybe?); buying cliff notes at the bookstore (west end); food court; passing the hot girl going the other way on the escalator, high school drinking on the south bank of Nonconnah below ServMerch; leaving Memphis in '91 and watching the slow decline when I would return to visit; and finally, going to Dillard's sale in late Dec '03 as it looked like an abandon warehouse, quite different then I remembered as a 13 year old in 1981.

Tim


5/11/2007

The MOM was always a favorite stop of mine when I visited Memphis. I have memories going back to the mid-late 80's when I would drive over from Arkansas with a car load of friends to see concerts. We would usually hit the music stores and then watch the ice skaters while chowing down on our favorite food court goodies. My first year of college, I fell hard for a girl named Amy, and our first date was a Guns & Roses concert at the Pyramid in 1992. I remember taking her to the MOM and sitting across from her in the food court wondering how I got so lucky to be on a date with the hottest girl on campus. Being in my mid 30's, I don't go to concerts as often as I used to, but I managed to make it to the Beale Street Music Festival this weekend. I found myself needing a few items, so I headed to the MOM not knowing that it had been demolished. Initially, when I got off on the Perkins exit, I thought I was confused, because I had not been there in a few years. Then I saw the MOM road sign, and my heart sank realizing that it had been torn down. Although I am not a Memphis native, I have tons of great memories from the MOM. I'm very sad that it's gone.

Carey carey.hilburn(at)gmail


5/18/2007

I grew up in Memphis and I am absolutely heartbroken about seeing that beautiful property unoccupied. I graduated from East High School in 1993. I had a summer job at LibertyLand the summer of 92. Guess where I bought my gear for the school year? If you said the mall of Memphis you are absolutely right. Oaktree, J Riggins, and US male were my spots!!. I liked seeing all of my friends on the weekends. Spending hours in the arcade and hitting the six dollar Malco theater for the 7 p.m. feature. Times have changed! Especially that price on a good evening feature! lol

Now I think its fair to address some underlining issues. I left Memphis for Nashville in 1999 for better career opportunities. As an African American, I can recall some not so fond memories of my hometown. It wasn't until 1992 that Memphis elected its first "black" mayor. I'm old enough to remember the repressive years of Dick Hackett and the Mud Island fiasco. Hackett's performance isn't an indictment of being "white" but an indication of a mayor who was incompetent. This man couldn't move the city forward.

Memphis has struggled economically because of our unwillingness to come together for the betterment of the community. Affluent blacks and whites have fled to other counties and even lowly North Mississippi!! I remember when Southhaven was a blip, now look at it!!

Crime has long been over exaggerated in black neighborhoods. This paradigm feeds the proverbial monster of white supremacy. There has always been the dishonest black politicians who wasn't anymore interested in positive social change than any other white politician was. In fairness it works both ways. SO where does that leave my home city? It leaves us in state of hopelessness and despair that we all know exist. I almost had a wreck when I was home the first time I looked off 240. I thought David Blaine made it disappear for a few hours using one of his jedi or sci-fi induced "illusions". I agree that race isn't the only culprit to the demise of my high school hangout. However I'm not naive enough to think that the elements of white flight, crime, (or the perception)racial tensions and greedy community leaders are devoid of their own responsibilities.

It is my belief that Memphis failed to invest into ALL of their communities just like other American cities. Hickory Hill, Southland and other malls in Memphis made the adjustment to its clientle. The question is why didn't the Mall of Memphis follow suit? Want the answer? Ignorance, prejudice, racism, and a biased media. All of these factors are in bed with each other. My generation has learned to deal with race to a degree. I don't know if we are any better. I've longed maintained that the Christian community in Memphis did/does a piss poor job of taking up the fight of positive social change in our beloved Memphis. I still cheer for the tigers!! I still drive downtown when I come home. Just to bad I can't visit my old spot and for what. Plain old ignorance!! ALL of our citizens of Memphis past and present are responsible!! Thanks for the good times Mall of Memphis!! Let's revitalize the area!!

Andrew Patton

andrewleepattonAThotmailDOTcom


6/3/07

I remember the first time I went to the Mall of Memphis. It was the Christmas season of 1981. Mom had visited from our home in Cleveland, MS before the three of us (Mom, Dad, and I) went as a family. There was a place that sold funnel cakes at the Food Court. I ate a cherry compote-covered funnel cake there.

Not all of the anchors were open yet. There were still some walls with the name of the store and the anticipated opening date listed as a season and the year (ex: Spring 1982). One anchor was to be Maison Blanche. Before their store was complete, however, Thallheimer's (sp?) bought the chain, abandoned their original proposed store site, and opened the Maison Blanche store as a Thallheimer's. I forgot which department store later opened in Thallheimer's original spot. I think Dillard's later bought Thallheimer's, which is why two Dillard's operated at the Mall of Memphis for several years.

Throughout the 1980s, I looked forward to our Christmas shopping trip to Memphis. Sometimes we would only go to M of M. Other times, we would go to Hickory Ridge, too. My routine was to hang out in the book stores, like Waldenbooks or B. Dalton, while Mom and Dad did the shopping. Later we would meet at a designated place at a designated time, so we would be less likely to get lost.

Another one of my favorite stores in the M of M was Hickory Farms. I loved sampling the Beef Stick and cheese spreads! Sometimes Mom or Dad would buy an assorted pack of dip mixes for me. Of course, watching the ice skaters was a part of the M of M routine. I never had the courage to try it myself, but considering my experience roller-skating, I would have fallen right away.:-(

When Aunt Lena and Uncle Joe moved to Cordova from Texas in the late 80s/early 90s, Uncle Joe worked security at the M of M. I remember hearing about a murder in the parking lot. Still, I wasn't afraid to go there. In fact, I went there alone when I was a student at Ole Miss.

I know the fear of crime and the changing demographics of the neighborhood changed the attitude of a lot of people toward shopping at the M of M. Ultimately, the opening of Wolfchase Galleria doomed the mall. Sure, it is farther away unless you already live east of Memphis, but its more "affluent" surroundings made people think they were safer. Once the M of M's anchors moved to Wolfchase, it was a matter of time before the rest of the mall closed. Big stores are the ones that bring in the most money, and a big piece of property like a two-story mall needs a lot of money to keep going. In twenty-five years (1981 to 2006), the Mall of Memphis went from destination to desolation. Hard to believe. At least we still have our memories. God bless.

Cbalducc


06-25-2007

Kenneth kparks1bellsouthnet

The memories of the Mall of Memphis. Before the mall construction, open land, the creek near by, and transmission towers dominating the flat property. When word got out about a new mall locating walking distance from my parents house, how exciting! Especially when a number of stores around home were closing due to the recession in the late 1970’s. Site prep started quickly and the transmission towers lifted for additional height. I thought this was going to be big; someone had the authority to request the utility company alter the towers. For many days, a fleet of long dump trucks brought in fill to build grade to meet level two. See 100 Year Flood Plain.

Shortly the steel frame started to appear where the ice rink once laid. The mall terminated at each end, and then construction of Dillard’s and JC Penny started rapidly. If I remember correctly, Thallhimers(sp) opened shortly after the grand opening, a short time later the last anchor store Wilson opened. (A time later, replaced by Service Merchandise). At the main mall entrance, shop lights in the interior could be seen, and how I wanted to go inside to have a look around.

From the opening day and years afterwards, shoppers came in volume, and parking during Christmas was difficult, similar to Wolfchase.

The Mall of Memphis brought several new items to the Mid-South: an ice rink, a two level mall, economic growth to the area, entertainment, a place for teens to hang out. I remember the vibration issue of the second level that made some customers nervous, additional structural elements was added to stiffen the level.

Fond memories of my brother and I walking to the mall to eat, watch the ice skaters, and visit the Goldmine and the Tilt arcades. My favorite store was ‘Toys by Roy’. They had a good variety of games, scale models, and other stuff. The business that served multi flavored popcorn was a unique place. Never had watermelon flavored popcorn, tasty, and they kept the customers coming. I also purchased an engagement and wedding rings there.

When the construction first started and opening day arrived, I thought that the Mall of Memphis would always be there, well at least for four decades or more. Sadly, the Mall of Memphis did not have to be demolished at a young age, due to the lack of responsibility from the City of Memphis in regards to fighting crime. If Wal-Mart plans to build a store on the same site, they two may have the same fate, because the crime problem has not been seriously confronted. Thank you for hosting this website!


7/17/2007

My first encounter with the MOM was Fall/Winter 1981. I was a patient in Charter Lakeside's children's unit at the time, and two or three of the more trusted kids and some staff had gone to the Mall to fetch new games, puzzles, etc, for the rest of us in the unit. They returned with bags of goodies and tales of the two-level mall and its escalators.

Escalators. The most I'd known up to that time was the Old Hickory Mall in Jackson, Tennessee, a single-level mall. As a side note, I'll mention that the OHM was built opposite from the MOM - hallways and side-stores built between pre-existing anchor stores.

Anyway, later in 1981, perhaps near Christmas, I finally got to go on an outing with some of the other kids in the children's unit. The MOM was everything those first kids had said and more. I clearly remember the sense of space in the mall, especially with the skylights overhead. Granted I was kind of small at the time, but even so, it was the largest building I'd ever been in. I recall being ready to sit down and rest on more than one occasion. I do remember the characters used in the opening campaign of the MOM and how they'd been painted onto some of the walls. The whole idea seemed kind of silly. Still, with the escalators, open spaces, and ice rink, the MOM was easily one of the coolest places on Earth.

And Toys By Roy was the coolest toy store on Earth.

As years went by, I continued to visit the MOM, usually each time my family took a trip to Memphis. We'd "ooh" at the Pink Palace, "aah" at the MOM, then get something to eat and drive home looking forward to next year's pilgrimage.
In the late Nineties, I moved to Memphis and made enough visits to witness the decline of the mall. It was a sad process. A few months before the closing, I made one last visit. Turning at the intersection of Mt. Moriah and American Way, I remember seeing a billboard for the new big mall, Wolfchase, asking, "what are you doing here?"
I was there to say goodbye. I entered the same way I first had, through the main entrance by the ice rink, and compared what I saw to my first visit. Anchor stores: gone. Fun: gone. Hope: gone. I promise you, no words I could write here would convey the sense of loss. I don't even recall seeing just one person there in the mall with me then smiling or laughing. It was just...sad.

Now, every time I drive by the Crater (which is what I call the MOM's former site), I remember the mall and shake my head. I can't say what will be built there next, but for me it will always be where the Mall of Memphis, once one of the coolest places on Earth, used to be.

Godai
godaicomcastnet


8.5.07

This site brings back a lot of memories. My Mother was a resident manager at Camelot Manor and my brothers and I attended Sheffield Elementary. We would take our allowance and blow it at the Mall of Memphis, playing video games and eating junk food. I can remember watching Rocky 3 at the Theater. I had my Cub Scout soap-box derby here also. It's just sad to see how times have changed for the worst in most of these neighborhoods such as Parkway Village. I drive through these areas sometimes and wonder what happened! White Flight to Germantown, Bartlett,Cordova,Southaven and elsewhere. It's just sad. I'm a proud Memphian and will continue to live here until someone physically makes me leave.

csanderson[a]yahooDOTcom


9-15-2007

I grew up as a young child in Parkway Village: 3246 Forrest Glen to be precise. My mother went to Sheffield high school, and like all teenagers in the 1980's, she went to the Mall of Memphis all the time, even skipping school in many cases just to go have some fun. She was there on opening day, as she would be on closing day. When she was pregnant with me, she went there, so in a way, my memories of the mall come from before I was even born. We went to the mall often when I was a baby, to see Santa, to get me clothing, toys, ETC.. it was a nexus for me as a small child.. Then we moved out to hillshire, near the area that would become Wolfchase. We occasionally went back out to the MOM but eventually, the distance became too much.. this was in 1991 and onward, so this conicided with the rash of bad news relating to the mall, so I am sure that was a contributing factor.

Anyhoo, I can remember going to the mall around 1995 to see the Power Rangers Movie, or at least, I belive I went there: I cannot be 100% on that, but I would belive the theatre was still in operation at that time. Whatever the case, that would be the last time until December 24th, 2003 that I would go the the Mall.

When mom and I arrived on that final day, we took in our Video camera, to film the place, for archival purposes. Now, me being the son of my mom that I am, I had developed a history of going to mall, first Raliegh Springs, and then Wolfchase.. and I learned early on that they despise film or photos in the mall. However, I thought with this being the last day of the malls existance, they wouldnt care. Boy, was I wrong. The woman came up and immidiatly yelled at us to take the camera back to the car. So, we did, and did not have a normal camera or anything to take images with.. so we walked.. talked... mom asked me what we I may have remembered, and I discussed santa.. I sat in a bench that I loved when I was a baby... I walked around, trying to remember the place. It was beautiful, incredibly clean, and spacious. I jumped on the 2nd floor bridges, just to feel them bounce. Mom told me stories about her as a teen, funny ones like one of her skipping school and seeing her own mother up there shopping for clothes! we stood on the exact spot where the event occured, near one of the anchor stores, and I looked in my moms eyes wondering just how this was affecting her.. her knowing that the mall was dead.

I find it funny.. it affects me more than it seems to her.. Maybe it is becuase I am a history loving person.. maybe I am a guy who wishes he could have lived in the 1980's, and that mall was, to him, the definitive sign of 1980's memphis.

I'm 22 now.. I was born in 1985.. early 85. I have been alive now longer than the mall has. I look at it, and I think it truely was a terrible decision to just kill it off. Much older malls are still rotting away, and, like Pripyat in Chernobyl, I think even if the mall was to never re-open, it could have been left, as a standing memory.. at least a hope of its return would be there for us to wish upon.

Thank you for reading. Please, feel free to contact me. Chris Eldridge KurisuX(a)hotmail.com

EDIT: On the topic of the "vibrating floors" On the last day I did a little test: I walked over one of the walkways and jumped up and down on it: Sure enough you could feel it move, quite a bit honestly. I remembered it as a young child and HAD to see if they still moved.. or if they would move with just my own weight, and they did.

They had to be my favorite part of the whole building, honestly. ^^ ~Chris


Understanding....

To understand this site (and many people don't) you really need only look at the stories people tell about their memories, their experiences; their life - as it intersected with the Mall. Doc Hancock relates his story below and describes the connection he and his family had to the Mall. He also relates how visiting the mall later in life reconnected him with the memories of his grandmother, Camilla Grant. The experience brought him to tears. He is not alone; people of all ages shared a bond with the Mall in many different meaningful ways. Many tears have fallen to those lost, treasured memories of family, fun and life.

Thank you Doc, for sharing your story. God bless the family of Camilla Grant.


10-5-07

On October 8, 1998, my grandmother, Camilla B. Grant, lost her seven-month battle with cancer at the age of 64.

Five years later, her favorite mall, the Mall of Memphis, a place where my mother, she, and I would spend countless days at during my childhood would die a premature death on Christmas Eve at the age of 22.

I bring this up because for much of my childhood until the summer of 1998 when my grandmother's health worsened, that mall on American Way was our mall. It's hard to believe that in a matter of weeks, I'll outlive the mall that in my opinion, was Ebbets Field and Disney World rolled up in one.

And it's hard to write through the tears.

I grew up in suburban Orange Mound, Tenn, went to elementary school at Hanley Elementary where the legendary Ruby Jackson Payne was and still the principal at 680 Hanley Street, played sandlot football alongside Cedrick Wilson's brother, and was a high school classmate of WNBA rookie Ashley Shields.

But for most of my life as well as many around my age, that mall off I-240 was my second home.

It was where my mother would give me what she called "a hot five" to shop at Everything's 1.00.

A place where I could try my hand at cutting flips in the playcourt, where I met Santa Claus four times in five years until I found that Santa was a drunk that slept in front of our house.

Where on Fridays, my two cousins and I would sit in the Food Court and watch the skaters go around the ice rink to the tunes of CeCe Peniston, Hi-Five, and others.

It was the place where I flirted with a many a girl, where I would beat Street Fighter during Spring Break of 1996.

The last time I ever walked into that mall was on October 8, 2003, five years after my grandmother died.

I walked around the building and looked around and began to cry at the fact that a place where my grandmother used to talk with strangers she didn't know from last week's Subway special, where she would come even though her illness was taking her away from her family, one thing she loved above shopping was a ghost town.

The magic was gone.

When I went out east with a friend to watch the demolition of the mall across the street in American Way Park. I again cried at the fact that the mall I grew up in, a mall that was so close to my family's heart was gone.

Monday will mark the nine-year anniversary of my grandmother's passing and if I'm not mistaken, she's probably making a trip to that beautiful mall in Heaven, where everything's half-off.

I miss you, Grandma and MOM

Doc Hancock


10-16-2007

I grew up in Jackson, TN, but we would often come to Memphis for doctor's appointments, but also just for fun. I remember one weekend my family spent the night in the Wilson World hotel right near the MOM. We spent the whole day shopping. I remember buying an outfit at Gadzook's, buying a goldfish at the Pet Store, and of course, Ice Skating. I do remember a restaurant/eatery that wasn't on the list though - Grandma's Ice Cream. It was in the food court, not sure exactly where though. I remember a Wendy's next to the ice rink that I think used to be a cafeteria of some sort, because it was HUGE and had it's own salad bar. I also remember the Candy coated popcorn store that wasn't in the food court. It was downstairs, near the ice rink.

So sad to see the pictures of the mall dark and abandoned.

Oh! Just found this website with pics of the mall from 2003 -

Urban Exploration at The Mall of Memphis

- Kathleen L.


10/26/2007

I nearly burst into tears when I clicked on your homepage and saw those wonderful images of the mall. I practically LIVED there when it was open. It holds a very fond place in the memory for people my age. When I had my first job, as newswriter for Channel 5, I was barely making above minimum wage and I had an apartment and a car to pay for. But even if I just had $10 to last me until payday, I'd go to the Mall of Memphis and hang out for the whole day and spend it little by little. It was wonderful. I still really miss it when Christmas approaches.

Bonnie


12/18/2007

Several times a year we'd take a family trip from Louisville to Memphis to visit both sets of grandparents who lived there. The mall was right by where one set lived, and we'd go skating at least once a year, twice if we were lucky. I can barely remember the decor, the stores, or even the surrounding area. Just the skating rink. I haven't been to Memphis in a few years, so I never got to see the eventual decline and demolishing of the mall. Now, with all my grandparents passed away, I need never go back to see the reality of the "crater," as someone else named it. I can simply enjoy the memories of that rink.

Matthew


12/28/07

I worked security for the Mall of Memphis for a time in 2000-2001. At that time, it was a relatively safe place to be. The pictures of the demolition on this site make me very sad. The mall had a life of its own. Some of you will remember when the ice rink was reconditioned in 2001. I remember thinking that it was too late for that kind of expenditure. Some of my fondest memories are providing security for Mark Consuelos and Hanson when they visited the Mall. We had a very fine group of security folks and going to work was a pleasure. The manager of Dairy Queen made me a very special Strawberry Slush every night. I have all kinds of memories to share and I am so glad that I found this site. It is like meeting an old friend. jpugh1980yahoo


Dec 29,2007

I grew up in Memphis. My family left Memphis when I was 20 in 1999. I was told about 3 months ago from my Father, that goes to Memphis often for work, that the Mall Of Memphis was no longer there. I kinda laughed thinking he went crazy. Malls the size of MofM does not just disappear. I looked it up on the internet and found your website. It took my breath away, I could not beleive that the Mall was gone. I never really "hung out" at the MofM, I was much too young. And the mall our family went to for everyday shopping was the raleigh springs mall, It was closer. But, the MofM was the place we went when we had serious shopping to do. I am heart broken that our elected public officals could not do anything to save the mall and the other places that are mentioned in Lost Memphis. I guess if a well known black man was shot and died there, they would have made a museum out of it, insead of getting rid of it and everything that has to do with whites folks. case in point, If Elvis was black the Zippin Pippin would be made out of 24k Gold. Thanks for the momories, and keep up the good work on the website.

Heather


February 1, 2008

I also grew up in Memphis and remember well when the Mall opened in the early eighties. I worked in the Whitehaven area and would go over for a long lunch every now and then and enjoy watching the skaters. As I drove to and from work each day on I-240 in late 2004, I watched the demolition of this once wonderful building. I was so irritated (and still am), I wrote this letter to the editor to the Commercial Appeal in November of 2004. This is the original letter; the CA edited some of it out.

"As I drive to work everyday on I-240 south lately, I have been watching the slow destruction of the once, proud Mall of Memphis. The demolition has now made the mall totally unrecognizable from its original, sparkling beauty. I have been to many cities and can not ever remember seeing or reading about the destruction of a huge, shopping area that was less than 20 years old when it stopped functioning. We are talking about a site on one of the main interstates going through the US that is heavily traveled everyday. The tax revenue loss alone is staggering! What about the jobs in the Mall, distribution jobs getting products to the Mall, the other businesses around the mall that did well when the Mall was doing well, etc., etc. What happened? What’s the problem? How can this be stopped from happening again? Does City Hall, the Chamber, Memphis Visitor’s Bureau, whoever, even care?! You, as a taxpayer, should care. If this lackadaisical attitude continues, Hickory Hill and other shopping areas will be next in line. Southaven will soon join in with bigger shopping venues that will continue to cripple Whitehaven. The City and County want to jack up your taxes and meanwhile they turn their back on revenue producing venues. The Pyramid, Coliseum (again, tell me why the River Kings and the indoor Football league are not playing in either facility…they do have “Memphis” in their names), Fairgrounds, and countless businesses closed in Memphis, have all suffered in large part to total indifference by the so-called city and county leaders. There is little or no vision in turning privately owned and publicly owned facilities into community shopping and entertainment venues. No extra dime of tax should be collected until these issues are addressed and it can be determined if revenue can be derived from restarting a currently, dormant facility. But, back to the Mall of Memphis. I have been in another city where the Mall closed down on Saturday at 7:00 PM. Can you imagine?? Can you imagine why? “Parents”, and I use the term lightly, were dropping off their children and the mall became a huge, day/night care center for these roaming, hordes. They were disruptive, rude and, in some cases, criminal. So, when you can’t control the brats or the “parents”, you do the next best thing. Lock down the facility and keep tax paying, good behaving citizens out. Where is the logic in that? The Mall of Memphis suffered from one murder but the day care center stigma was the bigger problem. Hordes of unsupervised “children” roamed this mall as well and no one did a thing about it. The City of Memphis, Mall ownership and store ownership should have all worked harder in providing a pleasant, shopping experience for everyone. The main point though is it is up to the suspect “parents” to raise their children better and when they are out in public to act with respect to their elders. They do not need to drop off their children totally unsupervised so that they can go party or whatever. If they can’t or won’t do this, then stay at home and shop online."

Jim W.


February 02, 2008, at 04:17 PM

i remember going to the mall of memphis. hell, the mall more or less, like many memphians runs in the family. i remember my first mall though, the hickory ridge mall, when it was still in the county, when i was in preschool. i never went to the mall of memphis until i was in the second grade. i remember seeing the commercials on tv, and ironically, that day, my mom had to go there for something. i still remember walking in and seeing all of these stores, an ice skating rink, and more. thats when the wendys was on the right of the main entrance and the sun studios cafe was to the right. it was awesome. my sister, shortly thereafter graduated from hs and went to jackson state for college, but that summer, she moved in with us for the first time and got a summer job at the jc penney. for the next 2 years, i got clothes for school on discount and xmas gifts. i remember my mom would go to the mall every 2 weeks(her pay period) and drop me off in the arcade. playing street fighter and schooling memphis state students, can you believe a kid in his single digits annihilating law and journalism students?!!?! I LOVED IT! as time went by, the bad things began. my sister worked at the mall the day that first woman was shot at the mall, and my parents left and ran to the mall as soon as possible. i remember when i was like 8 or 10, we moved. we moved from west of getwell, to a neighborhood across getwell. i remember when my parents bought the house. the realtor said "its a good neighborhood! the best schools in the city, and the mall of memphis a mile away!" i remember the night we moved in and i could see the large SERVICE MERCHANDISE logo across 240. if we went a block up from us, you could see the "ENNEY" of the jc penney sign. my other sister turned 16 and began working at spencers. i still remember this because this is the first time i saw a dildo, or what looked like a dildo in the store. i would always go there and have fun and tinker with stuff. my mom began working in the mall to help get my n64. she worked as a nurse but working there helped make the purchase easier, and make me happy. i still look at the n64 in my closet and smile. besides having family roots there, i had my own roots. i remember in 2000 when x-men came out, my mom begged me to not go to see it alone because she wanted to see it that weekend. i hung up and ran to the mall and went to see it. i saw it at least 4 times that weekend, another time with my friend, another time with him and our friend who came to crash that night, and again with my family. i never got tired of it. i had my first summer job and my first check ($700) which was alot for a 14 year old, i ran from the check cashing place to the mall and bought games, stupid stuff, and clothes. my mom snapped and made me take everything back and buy clothes for school. for my freshman year of high school, i had 3 pairs of shoes, baseball jerseys and fitted caps which lasted me forever! i also since i was a teenager could go to the mall on my own, and living near the mall, it was accessible. my friends who lived further away would just meet me there, we would hang out, and try our damndest to get the girls. by my junior year, it was obvious the place was dying. most of my friends who i went to the mall with had cars and began hanging out at wolfchase, which i found odd because most of them lived in whitehaven and orange mound and other areas which were light years away from them. when i got my first real job at fedex, the week prior, i was in sam goody, and i saw a rare 50 cent cd, not get rich or die trying. i saw that cd and said "when fedex calls me, im gettin it!" 2 weeks later after getting my first fedex check, i went to the mall, and sam goody was shuttered. closed saying to to the store in hickory ridge. i was saddened. this was in 2003, so the drivers license place was opened in the mall, and i remember the last time my mom went. she had to renew her license that week jay z's the black album came out, so we went that tuesday, and we went in the mall. it was so silent. we walked the entire mall, and could still name every tenant. service merchandise, dillards, jc penney, software etcetra, b. dalton, victorias secret, kb toys, electronics botique, the gap(across from electronics botique) gadzooks. when she got her license renewed and coming out, i asked her what was wrong. she began crying, and i knew why. for the first time, you could hear the heaters whirring. saddened, we left. i went one last time on christmas eve. i put on my u of m hoodie i bought at footlocker a week before and walked around until 6pm. i walked home sad because that mall had so many memories. i remember my first day at the u of m, my freshman year. i guess it was cyclical. i went to gamestop to buy none other than street fighter anniversary edition for the ps2, and that day, they began tearing down the mall. they fenced off the area and began tearing down the catalog recieving area of jc penney. you could see through the corner of it. it saddened me. we moved from our house near the interstate, i miss it, but i doubt i will for long. the noise wall put up 10 years ago dulls the pain of what you cant see anymore.

mrzero1982pt2aolcom


Does anyone remember the restaurant that was inside Thalheimer's? It had huge windows that overlooked the parking lot towards Service Merchandise. And not to forget Mr. Bulky's candy store and the infamous Glamour Shots!!! Jenn


March 27, 2008

I was born and raised in Memphis; Frayser to be exact. I have only been at the MOM no more than four or five times in my life. I'm only about 19 now but my few memories of the MOM and the places around it are as strong as yesterday's lunch! I remember when my mama told me about the times she and my uncles and aunt went to the mall after it first opened and went ice skating...and how my uncle used to fall on his butt. My Dad told me about the time i threw a tantrum in the mall because he wouldn't let me go on the huge boat and truck...and i remember when i finally got a chance to play on it. I remember when i was 4 years old and The Lion King was big, and i saw the huge dolls in the center front display in the Disney store. I wanted that Simba doll sooooooo bad, but my mama got me a Minnie Mouse canteen instead (which I kept for a really long time because of memories). I found it so amazing how big and fun the MOM AND the trip from home to there and back was.

Not only was the MOM THE place to me, X-cite was coming to be my second home until they closed it down the second time...alongside the Toys R Us.....and everything else. Even though i was still practically a baby when i first went out in that area, i remember the life the area had from Perkins and Summer Ave. to Perkins and American Way. I cried every time i left the mall... or anything else around it for that matter. From that time I had this strong love for the MOM. All of the energy the mall had...

It was such a long time before i went to the MOM again. I guess that was due to my parents' breakup and the news constantly telling us not to go there because somebody got killed in the area...as if it never happened anywhere else in Memphis but somewhere in the proximity of the great Mall of Memphis...Besides, it was about time I went to explore other malls, like Oak Court and Hickory Ridge. To add to that, Raleigh Springs Mall still looked nice and was booming with the type of energy I got from the MOM....that is another story though. Since my parents broke up, I was forced to be seperated from my favorite part of town. I only went out into the area two more times prior to the destruction of the MOM; one was for my 10th birthday at what was then X-cite America(X-cite without the bumper cars). The only reason why I went to the Mall of Memphis the last time was because it was going to close for good. It was November 2003, and I couldn't help but constantly hear all this news about my second home. The mall was like my friend, a living, breathing friend. It hurt me to see the irony around the mall; The building looked sparkling clean and modern, as if it was about to have a grand opening on Christmas Eve 2003. She(MOM) was slowly breathing her last breaths as i spent this last time with her, my mama and my grandma. I went to one of the very few stores still open..I think it was a Victoria's Secrets. The energy was gone, the life i felt from her a decade ago was gone, the life my mom felt when it first opened was gone long ago. More irony hit me when i saw the many posters which told of the mall bringing something new and promising to the area. It told us to be part of it. However, it was too late to put that out after everybody gave up on my MOM...they left her to die an almost pointless death. As i walked the once lively corridors of MOM, i didn't cry, nor was i really happy. I had no emotion. All i really did was absorb as much of MOM as i could before she parted from us forever. The mourning was to come later. Not only did MOM die, but EVERYTHING there died. American Way is nothing but a shell of its former self, and it hurt me everytime i went out to my boyfriend's house and saw what used to be my Disney World.

As i read in the Conclusions section of this site, the media played a crucial role in the reputation and the fate of the mall, as MOM wasn't struck with the most crimes, and demographics didn't play as big as a role as people thought; as the study showed, Hickory Ridge Mall and Southland should have died as well as MOM, yet they still stand. The news treated MOM like the biggest celeb in all of Memphis; They made sure to point out every bad thing that happened at or around MOM and advised everybody to not go there.

Sometimes i wish they would rebuild my MOM and restore the area to its former glory...I have nothing to show to my kids of my memories...they are mostly closed down or destroyed(celebration station, Sears Crosstown[i only went there once before it closed; i was so young] libertyland, the pyramid, the colloseum[sorry if i mispelled that])...I wish they would restore Memphis as a whole. I love my city; I just don't like what the people over the city has allowed to happen and/or done about it. Neither do i like the fact that the people of Memphis just look at what's going on and do nothing about it as if this is the way it's supposed to be. If i was old enough to fight for my MOM I would've fought to the end for her. All i can do now is try to save the rest of Memphis and keep my past, and everybody else's past alive. I believe you should never forget where you came from, and you should be connected to your past. I'm not saying live in your past however. Fight for what you love...don't run away from your problems, confront them and overcome them...

I miss you MOM... Lots of love

Jasmine baybiboom07ATyahooDOTcom


I remember the day the MoM opened. My dad kept me home from school to go there. There were families there, droves of school buses and kids from all over. Wolfchase the day after Christmas couldn't hold a candle to the amounts of people that were there that day. Dena in Ga, we probably ran across each other somewhere there! All the talk of Goldmine arcade, it was so popular they eventually opened 2 in the mall (the one across from the chalet) and then the one a few doors down from the chalet entrance. I saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off there. There was a little boutique that sold all sorts of odds and ends (Unique Botique?). EVERYONE in the mall had these little plastic "whistle" like things that had a little metal impeller inside of it. All through the mall and the theater, that was all you heard was a noise that sounded like something taking off. Anyone remember those, would have been around the summer of 1986. I went there the day the mall closed and the stupid batteries in my digital camera died before I get really get any shots. The sad part about it, there was no place open inside to buy batteries. Thanks for the memories!

Mike scsomikeATyahooDOTcom


I had been seeing a lady named Beth for about 6 months when we decided to spend a week in Memphis in very early 1992. We visited most of the usual sites, and discovered the Mall of Memphis. Until a few hours ago (I haven't been to Memphis in years!) I assumed it was still there- it was such a beautiful mall, that even now I have vivid memories, especially of sitting and watching the people in the ice rink doing their thing. I was visiting DeadMalls and saw "Mall Of Memphis" and was stunned! How could this be? I looked at the photos, and it was as beautiful as I recalled. How did such a great place die so painfully?

I've been visiting as much of the site as I can this evening, and have felt tears threaten a few times because of great memories attached to the visit so long ago.

Thanks for this site- it's been sad to see, but at the same time brought back some wonderful memories.

David in Atlanta


I was one of the people who opened the Thalhimers store in MOM in the early 80's. The senior staff, including me, was a mix of Thalhimers employees from other locations and local Memphis retail managers (mostly from Goldsmith's and Dillard's). The store manager was Dorman Hartley, the assistant managers were Ann Allen and Keith Darling. David McDonald was Operations Manager, Forrest Smith was in charge of the Loading Dock and Maintenance, Robbie Robertson was Security, Debbie Jacobs was Special Events, and Steve Danz was in charge of the Sword and Kilt Restaurant. The opening of the MOM store was Thalhimers bid to expand beyond its traditional Virginia-NC-SC trading area. I remember that the store opened to great fanfare. The extensive use of marble throughout the store provided a very sophisticated and modern atmosphere.

I left a year or so after the store opened so I don't know what happened after that, other than changes in ownership of the Thalhimers chain in the late 80's or early 90's quickly spelled its demise. Ironically, I went to work for H.J. Wilson in Baton Rouge, LA, the owners of Wilsons - which soon became Service Merchandise.

MOM was a beautiful mall, and had several innovative features for the time (the skating rink for one). I'm sorry to hear that it died such an ignominious (sp?) death.

Scott Lippmann LippmannDOTScottATgmailDOTcom


07/04/2008 Jonas

I just stumbled across this website and I must say, it really makes you feel sad - even though I have never been to the Mall of Memphis - I live in Germany. As a kid I used to hang out in a mall that had been built in 1980 (http://www.breuningerland-sindelfingen.de), so I can relate to the style of MOM and the sad stories that fill up this page. It is somewhat fascinating, how many lives connect to a place like this mall and it touched me to see that even my own memories made me feel sorry for all the people that used to go the Mall of Memphis. Thanks for sharing!


I believe the band playing on this page( http://www.mallofmemphis.org/Main/DevinGreaneysCollection ) Thrust I believe I knew the guitar player, Ty Crook and I also knew his family too he is the one wearing the black leather jacket on the left in the top pic and his face is looking down and hes on the left side of the stage in the bottom picture I think the music was hard rock because that was the kind of music Ty liked.


from Memphilter Reposted 8/08 from another sir on June 16, 2004 10:47 AM

I have very fond memories of the Mall of Memphis. It's the only place I've ever been ice skating, which used to be one of my favorite things to do! They also had a fantastic arcade at one point that I think disappeared by the time I was in college. One of my first dates was at the Mall of Memphis cinema - I think we saw "Hoosiers". I loved that mall when I was growing up and am bummed that it finally died. For the record, that's also where Will and I got our marriage license! Mall of Memphis - good times. melissa


from Memphilter Reposted 8/8/08

I almost got beat up at the Mall of Memphis once after seeing Red Dawn. I was too busy looking for nuclear mushroom clouds and helicopters on the horizon to see the nuclear ass whoopin' I was about to receive. Fortunately, the grocery-getter pulled up and whisked me away in the nick o' time.

Speaking of dying malls, Memphis is full of them. Raliegh Springs Mall lost its anchor stores awhile back and is hanging on by its fingernails. The most recent owner of Hickory Ridge bought the whole damn thing for around $150,000 on the courthouse steps from the former owner, who was in bankruptcy. Germantown Mall, which at one time was the coolest mall of all, turned itself into a strip shopping center, as did Park Place Mall. All of the remaining malls may be crumbling when the new Collierville shopping behemoth opens. Even Wolfchase Galleria will feel the pain, especially in five to ten years when Cordova turns into the new Hickory Hood. The only mall that bucks the trend is my personal favorite, Oak Court, which is in the center of the city, has a giant floating marble, and manages to keep its tenants.

3/07/2009

WOW! I just stumbled across this site while trying to Google to locate an old Memphis friend. I grew up in Parkway Village and actually lived right off of Goodlett Rd. I turned 13 the month after the MoM opened. When I say I grew up there, I GREW UP THERE. My friends and I had to be there EVERY Friday and Saturday night. If we weren't, then we were not cool. This went on for years until we could drive and then we still frequented the mall. I moved from Memphis in 1994 and was blown away the first time I saw the empty Mall field. I had no idea it had been demolished. It was a Dejavue moment for sure!!! I worked at Stuarts in the Mall one summer. It was a large female clothing store on the lower level. I considered it to be the perfect check guys out while you work kind of place. Stuarts practically paid me that summer to meet guys and go on dates. Oh the memories......I could go on and on, but the night is short and there are just too many.

Thanks for this site!! SAM swirbutt at yahoo/com


6/17/2009

LOL, I can't believe I stumbled upon this site! The Internet really does have something for everyone!

Anyways, my memories of the mall are vague, at best (I was born in '82). My family is from Germantown so we only went to the M.O.M. to get our Christmas gifts; to do the really big shopping. I remember there was always some sort of prize tent or something like that set up outside one of the south entrances. I do remember the upstairs cross walks shaking (almost violently) when a lot of people were on them, and they had some blue neon squigglies on them too (I think, my memory might be confused with another mall). I think it was around '91 or '92 they had a radio commercial for the mall that used the song "You're still the one, we're still havin' fun, you're stilllllllll the one..." and they played it incessantly! One of my last memories from the mall was probably around the Christmas of '93 or '94 when the guard towers were up. My dad thought it would be funny to set off our car alarm to see if any of the guards would notice. True to theory, none of the security guards even flinched. I was 15 when my family moved away from Memphis on January 1, 1998 and headed West to Washington state. It was truly a culture shock. My parents eventually moved back in the summer of '06 and WOW had things changed in 9 short years. Hickory Hill was a decent place back then, a lot of commercial and retail development. Now it's referred to as "Hickory Hood", it's a thug-ridden ghetto. And the Hickory Ridge Mall was closed too (I miss the carousel in the center by the food court). I can't believe the place that I grew up living around has gone so far down hill, it almost brings me to tears.

Thanks again for the memories! Hopefully folks submit some more great pictures from the 80's and early 90's. Chris, Go Cougs!


6/22/2009

Wow...I can't believe I stumbled on this site. A true flood of memories.

I was the Marketing Director for Mall of Memphis during the late '80's (I think I started there in '85 or '86). Hahn had transferred me there from Fashion Show Mall, Las Vegas. At the time MOM was the top dog...and we worked hard to make it even bigger. Raleigh Springs was "old" and Hickory Ridge was new, beautiful but small and "hard to get to". Our marketing plan was to "own the city" and (for a good while) we did. For two years the Mall lead the national Hahn portfolio (30 plus malls at the time) in monthly sales growth. Another of my bragging points at the time was that either through purchased media, co-promotions or trade-outs MOM was mentioned daily on the top stations for over a year. Part of the efforts involved bring "celebrities" to MOM. I recall bringing in Bob Eubanks and the Newlywed Game and absolutely packing the place on a weekday evening. Another huge draw was the late Jim Varney ("Hey Vern")...who was a spokesman for Channel 13 at the time. We even sponsored a WWE/K-97 contest with Memphis' own "Mouth of the South" Jimmie Hart paying a visit. The Mall also hosted the local portions of the Children's Miracle Network for a few years.

FYI...the Mall Manager at the time was a great guy a true professional; Jim Anders.

Oh yeah...Chris (the poster just above me)...the jingle you hated so much began airing in 1988. It was a resing of the Orleans hit single "Still The One". I worked with a great jingle producer out of San Diego...and we were not only able to secure the rights to the song but also had the Orleans original lead singer Larry Hoppen do the vocals. I left before it began running...but word was stations like FM100 stopped playing the Orleans hit because people thought it was another ad for Mall of Memphis.

I was fortunate in that we received little, if any, bad publicity during my tenure. I recall the biggest press story which we worked to turn from a negative to a positive was the Mall being the city's babysitter. TV and newspaper coverage showed parents just dropping kids off with no supervision, etc. In the end, those stories made the parents look bad and the Mall "hopeless" to combat the crowd of teens each weekend. But, as I read here and elsewhere the conditions grew worse in the 90's.

I also recall "doing battle" with the Media over using Mall of Memphis as a description of an area versus our property specifically. In reality it was the media using statistics from the Memphis Police Department. In defining "areas" for their crime statistics, Mall of Memphis became the "header" (title) for a pretty wide area around the mall. Thus, a crime beat reporter would see (as example) stolen cars in the MPD crime stats as Mall of Memphis...and might assume they were stolen from the parking lot and not the 10-12 mile radius crime statistical area around the mall.

I loved Memphis and MOM...probably the best time I had in my 16 years of handling Marketing at big malls nationwide. While it is a shame to have seen it go...the fond memories wil remain with me forever. (Apologies to Chris.....)Mall of Memphis is "still the one."

Dennis Allen


07/06/2009

I remember going to the mall with my mom in the 80s, she worked at Dillards and was the top sales person for over 10 years...

Going to the ice rink was always fun... that was what I would do waiting on my mom. We lived a good bit away about 30 mins east... i nthe now wolfchase area...

I remember my mom calling home many of times towards the end o her career there because the crime was getting worse and worse. She had her car stolen 5 times. We got her "The Club" i anyone remembers that as a gift and I remember her getting upset about it... she would use it and apparently a small can of freon and a hammer and they stole her replacement car, she had just got.

Dillard's quote un-quote apparently started taking theft out of the sales rep's pockets and of their checks if they had items stolen. I remember my mom stopping a lady and the lady tried to attack my mom. She punched the lady in the face and she fell out. Dillard's threatened to fire my mom. From that point on my mom would point it out to the security officers... Then one day my mom noticed one of the officers talking to the thief that my mom got in an altercation with and apparently was a professional thief. The guards were in on it and started stealing from my mom's area. I remember she tried to get the news team there to do a report on it and they never would. She was forced to quit because the last check she got was like $100 or two weeks of work after inventory report charges.

Was sad because my mom got so many awards from Dillard's for being a top sales rep and making $10k a month at one time and getting a new car every year just to spoil herself....

The mall went down hill because the crime was allowed to run rampant and it was a side sight. I remember the months before my mom quit, that Dillard's apparently lost 30% of the ladies suits somehow... My mom had enough, because they were threatening to fire people rather than fix the problem.

Years later, we would be shopping at the Lakeland Factory Outlet Mall and my mom saw her old manager and was about to walk up to her and say hello.... My mom was smiling until she saw the lady pull half a dozen shirts and dress out from under her fake prego stomach. A light bulb turned on in her head because the lady that my mom punched out was with her old manager.... We walked inside and reported it to the mall security who called the authorities. They were arrested and my mom got closure it seemed. Was a wild thing to see first hand...

That's my take on it... the ice skating was so much fun as a kid it was a blast... I remember the little arcade it had and the concessions stand... It is wild what we remember from out child hood...

RCS Jr.

---

Oct. 31, 2009 Since we lived in Raleigh, the Raleigh Springs Mall was our "utility mall"; the one we went to for normal shopping needs. But on weekends, the MoM was the place to go. We would separate out in the food court area, each getting what we wanted to eat (Sbarro's) and meeting at a table, preferably one on the edge overlooking the skating rink. After dinner, we would stroll around, looking in various stores (Software Etc., that one on the end that had all the RPG and board games). I only went ice skating once (it was so expensive! like, $5!) that I remember. In '92 I went to Glamour Shots to get my senior picture ("Holy Cow! Dude just put frickin' lipstick on me!"). Service Merchandise, B. Dalton's, Waldenbooks, the pet store, Olive Garden across the street; even though I probably didn't go in 90% of the stores, there was a sort of feeling of security that everything was doing well, people were shopping, the future's bright, all's right with the world. All such illusions are eventually shattered, I suppose...


Feb 2010 From And knowing is half the babble

In January, I visited the family in my hometown of Memphis, TN. It was the first time I'd been "home" in 3 years, and I was amazed how much the city has changed over the last decade...and not for the better.

My younger brother informed me that the Hickory Ridge Mall had closed after a tornado devastated it in 2008 (2 years ago this month). It was our favorite hang-out when we were younger. We didn't do the kind of social hang-out with groups of teens like you normally see at malls. It was usually just to get out of the house and girl-watch. We also watched a lot of movies at that mall, and I used to go there after work regularly to watch one before going home for the night.

A lot of purchases were made at that mall for my collection of TV/movie cartoon memorabilia. And it seems like I bought my very first DVD at that mall too. Good times. And just to give you a sense of the history I had with that mall, I remember when Weird Al's "UHF" and "Transformers: The Movie" were showing at the theater there.

And then today, my friend and Memphian Dave Lambert (of TVShowsonDVD.com fame) tells me that The Mall of Memphis was bulldozed several years ago. Holy crap. Guess my family failed to mention that, but the mall seemed doomed anyway due to weekly gang fights which led to ever-dwindling mall traffic.

I have so many great memories of that mall. Going there with my family was an event that I always looked forward to, especially during the holidays because it was guaranteed that my parents were going to buy a gift for me there. I would visit my favorite stores with my Christmas wish list and mom would have me show her the top items on my list. Then dad would take us to the food court for ice cream while mom bought our gifts.

I also became a movie fan there. I watched my first theatrical Ernest movie there. I remember my grandmother taking me to see "The Great Muppet Caper" there for my birthday, which she fell asleep during but I loved going with her nevertheless. And when I finally turned 18, I watched my first R-rated movie there too (it was "Total Recall").

I think I even bought my first Transformer there, a hobby I've had ever since.

My family used to go there nearly every Saturday night and eat in the food court and watch the ice skaters, but we stopped going when it seemed like every weekend there were cops chasing kids and shoplifters through the mall and far too many cop cars patrolling the dark areas of the parking lot.


April 19, 2010

I visited the MoM only once. It was in the summer of 1984 when I was 15 and in Memphis visiting friends of my family. I'll never forget going to the Mall of Memphis because it was the most spectacular mall I'd ever seen, and that's saying something, as I grew up in Atlanta, where we have a mall on practically every corner. On my visit to the mall, we walked around and checked out all the stores. It was a busy place, and, being the mall-lover that I am, I was enthralled! We also went ice-skating. I was impressed by the fact that there was not only an ice-skating rink but also a movie theater at the mall. We had a small movie theater inside one of the malls near my house (Greenbriar Mall), but this one was much larger and it just seemed really cool. The mall was so vibrant then, and I remember my friend Lisa (who lived in Memphis) telling me how people would travel from out of state to come to MoM. I guess I just thought it would be around forever.

Tammy


May 2, 2010

I'm a lifelong Memphian with many special ties to the Mall of Memphis. As a young child (circa 1984?), I remember getting separated from my parents while gazing in the window at Toys by Roy. It was Christmas time and the mall was bustling with people. My brother, barely older than I, was with me and suggested that maybe we could go downstairs to Santa and he would help us find our parents! Luckily, a security guard showed up with our folks before we started the trek downstairs. As a kid, I did some local modeling work here in Memphis and remember doing several runway shows at the MoM. In one show, I had to lead a smaller girl around the stage for a mock Easter egg hunt. We were, of course, dressed in our Easter finery from the mall's various stores. My first kiss with the man I would later marry was right outside of Claire's Boutique, next to the elevator.

When I turned 16, I applied for my first job at the MoM. I have a clear memory of my dad shaking his head and mumbling something to the effect of, "Why do you have to work at Spencer's? Couldn't you work somewhere, anywhere else?" In the year that I worked there, I got to know a host of 'mall people'. My cousin and one of my best friends worked at Auntie Anne's down by the skating rink. They used to give me free lemonade and pretzels. I would go to Osaka for a coke before work almost every day. I don't know if they used super-carbonated water or if they had a different water to syrup ratio or what, but they had the best Coke in the mall. Mr. and Mrs. Gulati who ran the Arby'y for so many years were always such friendly people. I used to get lunch there a lot. In all the trips from Spencer's to the food court, the assistant manager at the World of Knives took a fancy to me and we started taking our breaks together. Pretty soon I quit Spencer's and started working at the knife shop- Best. Job. Ever. Our manager was the greatest boss I ever could have known and we're still friends today, 14 years later. She was my 'other mom'. We had so many great customers whom we got to know well. My co-workers were awesome and that assistant manager & I ended up dating for years.

The Mall of Memphis was an amazingly instrumental part of my life. I live just a few minutes from the site and, even now, I get a little misty-eyed when I drive by sometimes.

-Christy salsera179atyahoo


The first time I visited the Mall of Memphis,I was 17. Later on,sometime in 2000,my folks rented a house close the mall. We stayed right across the 1-240 interstate and on Sundays,my brothers and sisters would walk with me to the mall. We didn't have much money to buy anything, but we went just to get out of the house.My sisters used to enjoy visiting the different music and clothing stores for women there. I spent of my time in the arcades playing games until I ran out of quarters. We would then go upstairs to the restaurants and try out the different cuisines on the second floor. At 22, I took my fiance to the mall as part of our first date. We looked wedding dresses in the main clothing store. The mall also had a small bookstore where I bought my first computer book for my studying.Things were starting to change with the mall then, but I was too young to take notice. Honestly, I never expected the mall to close like it did. I was shock when I saw the demolition crew burrowing through the walls. I used to hang out at the EB (Electronic Boutique) looking for deals on bargain bin games and playing the demo games when I didn't have any money for the arcade. I got tags for my car there, I bought replica swords, and I got my ears pierced there also. I did so much there. It's just a shame that such a memorable place was destroyed and nothing was done with the land. Now it`s just a big empty shell of a place that me, a lot of my friends, and many other people who once had a history with can only see in our memories.

ansonpayneatlycoscom


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ahh the Mall of Memphis...a staple of my childhood I will never forget.

When I was younger, my mom and grandma would always go shopping Saturdays. The same routine every week: Mega Market at the break of dawn, followed by Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and the Mall of Memphis in the hours before lunch.

That area brings back many good memories for a child of the 1990s - my mom bought me many a toy at Toys R Us, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers to Star Wars when the "Power of the Force" figure line released back in 1996 or 1997. I also got my Dreamcast at that Toys R Us on launch day, 9/9/1999.

As for the Mall of Memphis, I remember it fondly. My mom and grandma's favorite place to shop was Everything's A Dollar - located right as you exited JCPenney on the top floor. I remember picking out a different stuffed animal every week. I always got excited when a new batch arrived.

Parallel to Everything's a Dollar was the first store I can remember being dedicated to video games - Software Etc. I remember gazing up at the shelves of empty video game boxes and wanting every one of them. But this was back in the heyday of Super Nintendo and Genesis when each title was $80 a pop and I could only pick a few games year. Ah to be young and poor again...

Towards the middle of the mall, there was a KB Toys - a chain all but defunct now. Again, many an action figure was purchased there. Also in the middle was Service Merchandise, where I fondly recall buying my first portable CD player in 1998.

We didn't eat much at the food court, but while my mom shopped in her beauty stores, my grandma used to accompany me to get a weekly batch of Mrs. Fields cookies. They were usually freshly made and piping hot - just the way I liked them. She used to tell me not to spoil my appetite for lunch, but I always snuck a few because I was a kid and that's what kids do :-)

There wasn't much on the bottom floor for me - I was too young to appreciate Sam Goody - but I do remember another video game store - Electronics Boutique - being located on the lower level. This is when that chain was awesome and carried imported games. I bought a Sega Saturn and the Japanese X-Men vs. Street Fighter - the only console version of the game to have 2-on-2 action - there and played it for months after that.

From what I read on this site it seems as though my memories extended into the period that the mall/area started to "go downhill," but I remember it fondly as being a great place for family shopping every weekend. I'd say we stopped going there around 1998 or 1999 when my mom had a hubcap stolen off of her car. We visited the mall a few times in its waning years, but it had really become a shell of its former self once the 21st century rolled around. When I read the news that the mall was closing and being demolished in 2003, I was taken aback. I regret not going back one more time, but I have my memories and that's good enough for me.


November 13, 2010

I was born a Texan and have lived in my home state most of my life, but in 1986 my father's company was having financial issues (like many others at the time) and was completely pulling out of the state. He was such a good manager that they wanted to keep him, and so on Thanksgiving day of that year, when I was 5 years old, I became a Memphian. Well, suburbanite Memphian if we want to get specific, but it was a big change from our previous life in DFW where the rest of our family still lived. Once I got settled at our house in the 'burbs, life was amazing. The school I went to was great, the neighborhood was amazing and surrounded by deep woods that a kid could just explore for hours, I joined an awesome Girl Scout Troop, and on the weekend, with my shopaholic mom, we'd often make the drive out to the great Mall of Memphis. The first time I went in there, it was magical. I'd never seen a mall so big! And then once my then-6-year-old self laid eyes on the ice skating rink, it was game over. I wanted to live there. I imagined just sleeping in the strange elevated levels of the Dillard's furniture show"room" (it always felt more like a secret maze the way they did those in the 80s, at least to a kid with an overactive imagination) and figured, hey! it could work! ;)

But silly childhood fantasies aside, that mall was fantastic. Many of my happiest memories outside of school and my neighborhood revolved around the Mall, the zoo, and Libertyland. During a couple tighter Christmases in 1989 and 1990, my mom worked in the fine dresses section of JC Penney and while she often worked long hours and came home exhausted, she loved the experience. I cannot count the number of times I wandered the incredibly packed mall with my neighborhood and Girl Scout friends, looking longly at the candy, playing with toys we didn't have the money to buy to or talking about what Nintendo game we wanted next while eyeballing the selection at Kay-Bee, munching on some Chick-Fil-A on the upper level while watching everyone have a blast on the skating rink below (Note: it was the first place I ever had Chick-Fil-A, so every time I eat there nowadays a flood of memories flash through my head of life back then), and, of course, the best thing ever for a girl under the age of 10, hours spent on that ice skating rink. It was the first time I was ever on ice skates, and I think it may have been the last as well. I didn't get out to may rinks once we moved away.

But, yes, move away we did. In the summer of 1991, at the age of 10, the economy in Texas had recovered enough (and my parents missed their own family enough) that we were moved back to the state of my birth. Memphis was the ultimate place to spend those elementary school years in the late 80s and the beginning of the 90s. I could not imagine a better childhood anywhere else, and it still chokes me up from time to time when I think about how magical that time and place in the world was to me. We drove back through, but only oh-so-briefly with some friends on a road trip up to NYC back in 2001, but despite my best begging, they wouldn't make the time in our schedule to let me go see some of my old haunts.

Now, as an adult with a solid full time job and good salary, I start looking into making my own road trip with my boyfriend up to Memphis to see the places of my childhood and reality smacks me square in the face that while your memories are static, life always, ALWAYS moves on. The Mall is gone, Libertyland is gone, thankfully the Zoo and the Enchanted Forest in town are still there, as are parts of Mud Island that I remember, but the real enchanted forest, the one behind our subdivision in the suburbs is gone - the hills flattened, that giant tree that had to be 6 feet in diameter with ancient roots jutting out of the side of a hill and creating a secret hiding place probably felled and chopped into firewood. Even my beloved tiny elementary school - one with 9 grades in something like 15 rooms total - is now a massive building with only K-4 kids, no more woods behind it as well, only new houses, and no more giant field where we spent our recesses, running out to the lone tree in the middle of said field, sipping the nectar from the honeysuckle growing below it, playing rounds upon rounds of kickball and tickle-tag, making clover-blossom necklaces in the spring or begging a friend to let us have a go at Tetris on his new GameBoy. So much that I loved, so many of those touchstones are now nothing but an electrical spark in my head.

When I remembered my time there, the Mall stands prominently in the middle of those memories, a pillar of brightness and joy, and when I did research and found it gone, it shattered that fragile sense of my old home, bringing to mind that oft-quoted proverb "You can never go home again." With sites like this, though, I do appreciate the collection of memories from the happier times, and with the help I get from others in once again fleshing out what has been lost to old dying synapses in the brain; for help getting back, at least in my mind, a little bit of that joyful warm light that brightened up even the most gray, rainy days in Memphis past.

Thank you all for everything.

-Amanda
wednesday181gmailcom
http://www.flickr.com/amandagillispie


6/19/12

I find it eerily fitting that I happened upon this site while listening to an out-of-print album by the great Memphis musician, Charlie Rich: Pictures and Paintings. While he sings "Pictures and paintings are etched in my soul/Never fading or dying 'cause etchings don't ever grow old/Now all that I'm left with, all that I have/Are pictures and paintings left in my soul," I'm reading about all these great memories people are sharing about the Mall of Memphis.

I grew up in the northern part of the country, so I only visited the Mall of Memphis twice in my life, while spending time with family from Memphis. Those two occasions were polar opposites of each other....

It was the summer of '88. I was eight years old, and I was in Memphis with my folks and brother and sister. My mom's aunts said we should go to the Mall of Memphis, that it was a fun place and that it was the latest thing in Memphis. We rode with them and the first thing I remember is having lunch at a restaurant in one of the department stores. I want to say it was JCPenney. It seems to me that the mall must have been built into some sort of little hill, because when we entered the store from the outside it looked like it was only one floor. After lunch we walked through the rest of JCPenney and out into the mall. At that point my mind was officially blown. "This mall has two floors!" I shrieked. We were already on the second floor. "I've never seen a mall with two floors!"

There was a store to the right of JCP when you walk out, that sold miniature furniture and accessories for dollhouses. I remember it because I was really into dollhouses at the time. I got a miniature Scottish terrier and a couple of miniature bones, to be the pet. I don't know the name of the store. Next to the miniatures store was a kitchenware store, the type of place that sold spatulas and egg timers and things like that. I remember this place because my dad loved to cook and his birthday was coming up and I picked out his gift from there. Again, I don't know the name.

I don't remember so much shopping other than that, but I remember my mom's aunt telling us about the skating rink, and I kind of thought she was kidding at first. Well, then I saw it with my own eyes. An actual skating rink inside a mall! It was awesome! I also remember the food court, and getting something to eat from Wendy's and sitting where we could see the people skating. Ever since that time I always wanted to go back to Memphis and skate on that thing.

I didn't get back to Memphis again until 2001, 13 years later. My relatives had said the mall wasn't what it used to be, there weren't many stores left, it had acquired a bad rep, and it wasn't fun anymore. I said, nuh-uh! That place was fabulous. At least that's how it struck me in '88, to my eight-year-old eyes. It certainly made quite an impression on me, and just like I couldn't believe it when my aunt said there was a skating rink when I was eight, I couldn't believe it when she told me nobody goes there when I was 21.

I talked them into driving me out to the Mall of Memphis. I guess I was in denial. When I got there and saw how barren the parking lots were, it was beyond shocking. I wandered through the mall, against my aunt's judgment because she thought it wasn't very safe. There might have been five shoppers in the entire place. The food court was empty. There were only two guys skating, playing one-on-one hockey. Aside from Dillard's I can remember only three other stores. One was called Motherland, and they specialized in imports from Africa. Carved wooden statues, huge birdcages, stuff like that. It was in the middle of the mall somewhere. I remember another import store, this one dealing in Asian imports, like footstools covered in embroidered silk. It was located at one end of the mall, right next to an anchor space (original Dillard's, maybe?). There was also a guys' clothing store, offering urban styles. There were probably others, but for sure not very many. Those are the ones I can remember, even when I rack my brain.

I got a few dresses from Dillard's store-closing sale. I might have even popped into Dillard's a separate time for those, actually, without entering the mall itself. I didn't need to see the mall again. I didn't want to. It was really quite painful. In a way I wish I hadn't seen what it had been driven to become. Now, instead of keeping it to just the memory of it being this magical place I recall from back in the day, I have this other version of it in my memory, unfortunately stronger because it was more recent and I was old enough to notice different kinds of things. Malls aren't supposed to be empty. They're supposed to be full of stores, and full of people, and full of fun and joy and opportunities to make all kinds of wonderful memories. Not cavernous and quiet and muggy, with nothing for the light to catch but dust motes and ectoplasm, maybe.

The next time I was in Memphis was 2004. I asked my aunts if the Mall of Memphis had managed to pull itself up by its bootstraps yet, if it had turned things around at all. They said, "It isn't there anymore." I said, "You mean, it's closed, right?" Surely such a huge building couldn't just have disappeared into thin air. "No, it's gone. It was torn down a few months ago." Again, that sense that they were kidding me. But they had a pretty solid track record of not kidding me, so.... "There's a fence around it now, around the area where the mall used to be."

Used to be. The words hit like a kick in the gut. All I could say was, "Wow."

I never racked up memories of the good times at the Mall of Memphis like so many people have shared on this site. I never went to a movie at the General Cinema, never spent a small fortune in quarters at the Gold Mine, never took a spill at the Ice Chalet. My recollections are limited to a dollhouse-scale Scottie dog and a Wendy's Frosty, and the realization that a mall can have a second story.

I don't have a lot of these experiences to forget, so I certainly try to remember those that I do have. I've enjoyed reading about others' memories. I'm really sorry we can't go back and visit the Mall of Memphis, physically, anyway. I'm lucky I got to see it when it was at its peak. My brother and sister and I talked about it for years after that first thrilling visit.

But sadly, skating at the Ice Chalet will forever remain unchecked on my bucket list.

- Marjorie martycardgirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

---

Your story here??

5/10/14 I and my girlfriend (best one I ever had) would visit MOM back in the mid -80's, especially if I had a winning day at the Southland Dog tracks. It was bright, inviting, entertaining - she was an excellent ice skater. It's a shame that the "usual suspects" transformed it into a junky flea market by the early 90's. Southland Dog Track used to pay dynamite Trifecta payoffs back in the 80's, after a good night or afternoon we would go to MOM and blow our winnings (sometimes a fair amount). Damn it was fun.

 Ode to the Memphis Mall

  Up from the  mud and into the sky
  Like a Fantasy Castle arising at
     the command of  a Wizard.

  Light, Energy, Music, Ice
  Movement of Life by the Alive
  Youth laughing, expectation

  Joy, Curiosity, 
 It crushes the yoke of boredom and depression
  Like a place with a life of its own
  Memories, Sweet Memories

Help

About

Related

Share Your Story

General Mall

Food Court

Retail

Entertainment

Management

Souvenirs

Related Links

edit SideBar

Donate towards my web hosting bill!

Memphis Links Downtown Memphis Blog Pyramid Promises Devin Greaney-Writer Abandoned Baton Rouge

edit