What is it about dead malls that fascinates us so? More specifically: What is it about Northridge Mall that fascinates us so? Hardly a month seems to go by without another group of “urban explorers” puttering around the long-shuttered Milwaukee mall, which opened in 1972 and closed in 2003. Dead malls like Northridge are evocative of a time long past, they’re eerie as hell, and it’s still fun to imagine yourself running around and owning the place, Dawn Of The Dead-, Mannequin-, or Career Opportunities-style. (You can also get this thrill from visiting the Shops or Grand Avenue, which blur the line between “dead” and “alive.”)
Anyway, it’s time for another trip to Northridge! This video comes courtesy of “Anthony,” a self-described “35-year-old man, a product of the 1980s, and someone who grew up with malls.” It’s Anthony’s second trip to the doomed retail giant, and part of his ongoing “Ace’s Adventures” series. There are plenty of highlights: the incredible 1984 Northridge sizzle reel called “Momentum” (the list of stores is a mile long), a trip to the security room (complete with a binder full of shoplifter Polaroids), Anthony’s warning about fatal levels of black mold (“IT COULD KILL YOU”), the shade thrown at “vandals, scrappers, and gangs,” the retro-minded soundtrack, and the closing photos of Northridge in its heyday.
“Remember,” Anthony intones in the video’s final moments, “what used to be, may someday be again.” “Remember,” we intone, “you can get your dead-mall kicks and some Panda Express at the Grand Ave. For now.”