Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/22/20: Malls

Oxford Valley Mall, PA, in the mid-1970s

In the recent hit Netflix Stranger Things the high school students hang out at Starcourt Mall to alleviate the boredom of their small-town lives. Though treated as an exotic element in the show, hanging out at the mall was, once, very common in the 1970s and 1980s. There was an element of snobbishness in it because, number one, you actually had to have money to buy something, and number two, because most were in suburbia, you had to have a car to get there, or know someone with a car. Or you could take the bus, like me and my friend did when my mother refused to drive us.  It was a whole afternoon’s excursion and we had to transfer in a bad part of the city. To naive 15-year-olds, it was like flying to Paris for the weekend in terms of time, money, and energy expended.

The mall pictured above is Oxford Valley, not the one we went to, but one we visited every once in a while. It opened in the year 1974 and as a child I remember running full speed down that winding spiral ramp pictured in the lower photo, clutching a double-dipped ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins — peanut butter and banana. My first credit card was from the Bamberger’s store.

Malls had many different naming conventions, depending on where they were and if they were upscale, outlet, suburban, or specialized. In my part of the east coast they tended to be named after historical places or landscape features, but in the big city, the names were more snobbish and creative. Here’s a list free for use. One of them is meant in fun — can you find it?



Shoppers World at Linden Park

Hardbattle Grand Junction

Cuban Square Mall

The Brick Market

The Lemon Yard

Gazena County Market

Midlands Mall

The Galleria at Cherryview

Angelfort Woods Market

Winter Gateway Center

Dillun Market

The Skymall at Sunset Field

Swan Place

Shieldburn Farmers Market

Aqueduct Town Center

The Terminal at Seafeld

King’s Olde Plum Orchard Mall

Shield Bridge Riverwalk

Stonefort Shopping Mall

Metro Fashion Outlets of Loganham

Oldbridge Shopping Mall

Eldertower Family Center

Limeiurs Riverview

Uptown City Center

Queen’s Trinity Yard

Hillfeld at the Hub

Moorcult Mall

Crossroads at Redvale

Metro Mills

The Promenade at Capitol Court

Bear Meadows Shopping  Mall

Frustration at the Hub

West Outlet Shops at Pennyhem

Playgrove Mall

Tri-Cities Luxury Court

The Mall at Summer Spirit

Pennythorough Shoppes

The Crossings at Rockfield

Cloughrin Shopping Mall

Gilaray Grand Junction

Heathland Bridge

Thorogood Pike Luxury Mall

Bayrion Shopping Center

Alamo Market Square

The Mall at Pointbattle

Trentham Place

Postover Crossing Mall

Outlet Shops at Anderweldt

Waltine Mall

Town Center at Alder Chapel

Belfred Mall

The Queen’s Quad at Shelderlay


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