What Would You See in a Mall in the 1980s That You Wouldn’t See Today? People Responded.
I grew up going to malls in the late 1980s and early 1990s and let me tell you, it was an absolute BLAST.
CD and cassette stores, the food court, and maybe the best part…no cell phones.
Yes, malls still exist today, but they’ll never be the same…
Let’s hear from folks on AskReddit about what you’d expect to see at the mall in the 1980s that you wouldn’t see today.
1. Remember those?
“Giant catalogs at the checkout registers of the anchor stores and the charge card receipt machine that must’ve weighed 15 lbs.
I still hear the thunk THUNK of when the cashier would slide it over the card.”
Most of my 40-something female relatives had those done. They all looked like they were shot with a make-up gun, and had the biggest hair.
So many flipped up jean jacket collar, look over the shoulder shots.”
3. By the pound.
“Hickory Farms with the wall of candy in wooden barrels that you could buy by the pound.
My grandma would buy those jelly filled strawberry hard candies.”
“Gadzooks, the s**king section, trading card stores, Sam Goody, that weird mall smell, and of course the central fountain.”
5. Orange Julius for the win.
“Ice rink, arcade, Merry Go Round clothing (parachute pants baby) a store with a lot of Minnetonka moccasions, hot dog on a stick, swiss colony cheese shop with samples, orange julius.”
6. Low-level famous.
“A concert or a meet and greet of someone low level famous in the middle of the mall.
I met soap opera stars, Richard Karn, and The Osmond Boys (a pop band that never really took off, they were like nephews of Donnie and Marie Osmond).”
7. Loved that place!
“That store that did the heat transfer t-shirts.
I want #23 on a green large.”
8. Look at the animals.
“The mall by us had a pet store with a brick wall, but the wall had these giant bubble windows with hamsters so people could see them close up.”
9. I need to make a call.
“Right as you walked into the mall, there was an island in the center with 8 pay phones that the cool kids would tie up all day.
I have no idea what they would talk about, but it was always the same group, pumping coins into those phones. People knew the numbers for each phone, so the pay phones would ring all the time.
I used to love to stand by them and wait for one to ring while my family waited in line at Morrison’s Cafeteria.”
10. A big fountain.
“I miss when malls had a sweet central water feature.
Filled with sometimes 10’s of dollars in shiny change.”
11. Get your read on.
I spent a good chunk of my childhood in there before Barnes & Noble came to the area.”
12. Arcade life.
“My posse and I lived at the arcade between 1980 and 1983.
Four high school girls, pumping quarters into the video games and giggling.
What a great time to be alive.”