Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

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Groceteria
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Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Groceteria » 30 Oct 2008 01:14

Hi all,

I'm working on a project for a class (which will also be posted on the site when it's done) on the history of the American shopping center. It's basically a narrative history with an extensive annotated bibliography. For the section I'm working on right now, what I'm looking for (and also thought might make an interesting discussion topic here) is pop cultural references to shopping centers in fiction, movies, TV shows, etc.

I'm particularly interested, as always, in older (pre-1980) ones, and cases where the shopping center played a fairly major role. If it's a 15-second clip on "The Brady Bunch" or one sentence in a novel, it won't do me a lot of good for this project.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks,
David

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Brian Lutz
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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Brian Lutz » 30 Oct 2008 01:51

There's always the Dixie Square Mall as seen in The Blues Brothers where they did a whole car chase through the mall. You can probably YouTube the clip of that one.
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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by wnetmacman » 30 Oct 2008 07:27

And don't forget the Twin Pines/Lone Pines Mall in Back to the Future.
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romleys
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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by romleys » 30 Oct 2008 12:04

Well of course there is always The Stepford Wives...
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buckhead
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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by buckhead » 30 Oct 2008 13:38

Not pre-1980, but you can't forget "Chopping Mall".

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Jeff » 30 Oct 2008 15:15

Monroeville Mall for "Dawn Of The Dead".

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Super S » 31 Oct 2008 00:52

Two Portland-area malls come to mind.

Years ago, John F. Kennedy gave a speech at Lloyd Center. I remember seeing an old KGW-TV video of this several years back.

And, Tonya Harding used to frequently practice at the ice rink at Clackamas Town Center. This was frequently mentioned in the news (local as well as national) after the incident with Nancy Kerrigan occured. I have to wonder if this was a factor in the complete removal of the ice rink altogether during the most recent remodel about a year ago.

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by runchadrun » 31 Oct 2008 16:06

It's from the early 1980s but the Sherman Oaks Galleria was featured in Valley Girl and Fast Times at Ridgemont Times.

The video for Tom Petty's Free Falling was ostensibly at the Galleria but was actually filmed at the Westside Pavilion.

From the 1990's, Scenes from a Mall supposedly took place at the Beverly Center but was filmed somewhere in New England.

If you want to talk about outdoor malls, the record store where Molly Ringwald worked in Pretty in Pink was at the old Santa Monica Mall, which is now the Third Street Promenade.

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Groceteria » 31 Oct 2008 17:57

I'm actually not specifically interested in malls per se, but any sort of shopping center, particularly pre-1980 stuff that featured really prominently in the narrative of a novel, movie, etc. In other words, not just a drive-by or a quick shot, but something that was really important to the plot.

"Valley Girl" is a great example, since some very important action revolved around the mall. "Suburbia" (the 1984 Roger Corman film where the runaway kids lay down sod in the mall in the middle of the night and treat it like a park) is another.

Thanks for all suggestions so far. I think this is turning into an interesting discussion, either way. I just wanted to be a little more specific about what I'm looking for for this particular project.

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by submariner » 31 Oct 2008 20:51

I know it's well after the 80's, but don't forget "Mallrats" (1995).
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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by tesg » 02 Nov 2008 21:27

"How to Beat the High Cost of Living", from 1980 (but shot in 1979), is perfect for this. It revolves around three women who try to rob a ball of money (promotional contest) in a mall.

It was shot in Oregon at Eugene's Valley River Center. I haven't seen it in years, but if memory serves, it has a decent chunk of scenes in the mall with the real stores and brand names, and I want to say it even had some old supermarket interior shots from a Safeway or Albertsons.

Jane Curtain, Susan Saint James, and Jessica Lange star.

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Dave » 15 Nov 2008 14:43

David, not a pop culture reference necessarily, but it might be worthwhile to ponder the attempted assassination of George Wallace at Laurel Shopping Center in 1972. It's perhaps interesting from a historic point of view that he would stage a campaign rally at a shopping center versus a more "traditional" venue like a fairgrounds or something else.

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Dean » 30 Dec 2008 12:04

You can always use The Pet Shop Boys' S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G song for background music !!

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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Bearhawke » 30 Sep 2010 20:09

tesg wrote:"How to Beat the High Cost of Living", from 1980 (but shot in 1979), is perfect for this. It revolves around three women who try to rob a ball of money (promotional contest) in a mall.

It was shot in Oregon at Eugene's Valley River Center. I haven't seen it in years, but if memory serves, it has a decent chunk of scenes in the mall with the real stores and brand names, and I want to say it even had some old supermarket interior shots from a Safeway or Albertsons.

Jane Curtain, Susan Saint James, and Jessica Lange star.
I saw that movie ca. 1983 at a friend's place while still living in SoCal.
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Re: Shopping Centers in Popular Culture

Post by Barcelos » 14 Sep 2013 22:43

Whatever happened to that paper you were working on?

As an aside, ever thought about adding a hotel section to the site?

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