Who wants to take a trip to Jasper Mall?

Originally published at: Who wants to take a trip to Jasper Mall? | Boing Boing

It is odd that you would post a trailer for an interesting documentary and provide absolutely no link on how to see the documentary. The link provided is for the wikipedia article on the mall itself.

FYI, it is including with Amazon Prime.


“it’s” ???


The trailer reminds me of what happened to the Towne West Mall in Wichita. In the early 80s, it was a shiny, bustling new mall where people would go to shop and escape the snow or the heat, and I would later work at the cinema just out of high school. Now it’s just a ghost town.


Even before the pandemic, a whole lot of malls were hurting. In the Chicago area, the survivors tend to be in wealthy areas, and even that’s no guarantee. One former mall I went to in my youth was completely gutted and turned into a Menard’s. (for non-Midwesterners: a home improvement store chain). Another one was effectively turned inside-out and has done well since then.

I’m thinking that visibility can be a key. Nobody is going to go to a shop if they don’t know it’s there. By the time Lincoln Mall in Matteson, IL finally ate it, the outlots were so crowded that it was hard to tell there was even a mall there.

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I enjoyed Jasper Mall. Mainly I’m here to take every excuse to plug Dan Bell’s amazing vaporwave-styled tours and histories of said structures called The Dead Mall Series. It’s an incredible mix of nostalgia, melancholy, schadenfreude and other postmodern feels.

This is not the “urban exploration” genre where people break into abandoned buildings and gawk. Dan is touring operating malls that have failed but remain open because of the peculiarities of mall store leasing contracts (if there’s a single nail salon in the corner still paying rent, the whole mall has to stay open). He talks about the history and economics of malls, why they are failing, etc. Its one of my favorite things on YouTube.

This one is a good sample, and he has a playlist of the whole series if you like it:




We really loved this documentary too. Highly recommend it. A link to find would have been nice though, folks can find it on Amazon Prime here Watch Jasper Mall | Prime Video

Malls were never my thing, but most of the malls I really remember were not shitty places. You could go in there, get what you wanted, maybe look around a bit. Teenagers even used to hang out there, if you can imagine that. But every mall I’ve been to in the past five to ten years has been condensed instant depression with a pervasive aroma of dread. This includes malls that I’ve been to previously that were fine. Malls in at least ten US states and two Canadian provinces, malls that used to be upscale, malls that never were upscale, it didn’t matter, they all turned to liquid shit.


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