Pretty much my entire high school employment history involved Gwinnett Place Mall. My first mall job was at the Sears Garden Center. I worked there until they went out of business. My next stint was a very short lived 2 weeks at the Swiss Pretzel Shop. This forever changed the way I looked at corn dogs. My longest stint was working for Baker Shoes. Minimum wage plus commission. I was a terrible sales person. They always wanted us to suggest a matching hand bag, who does that? I never liked pushing things on people. My boss when I first started there was super cool and introduced me to drinking coffee and the term, "you fly, I'll buy". He also was not very pushy and saw how uncomfortable it made me so he took me under his wing and taught me how to dye shoes. He got a transfer and I became the go to girl for all things wedding and prom related. Ah the 80's.
I am going off on this tangent because that Mall was the center of my universe. It is where we spent every weekend night, hanging out and devising our plans for after the mall closed which usually involved the movies, or drinking in the field next to the movies, or telling our parents we were going to the midnight movies and driving to the Metroplex instead. There were fights, hook ups and break ups and multiple friendships made in that food court. So many fond memories of that mall.
The mall now is a ghost town. It is eerie to walk around and see 90% of it empty. A dead body was discovered recently in the food court numerous days later. That is how empty this place is.
It is now getting more action than it has seen in years thanks to Netflix and the booming Atlanta film scene. My favorite series is filming its 3rd season here.
Stranger Things has restored a portion of the mall to its former 80's glory. I popped over on my lunch break to check it out.
First up is the outside. Once you get beyond the multiple trailers, tents and police you can see that they changed a couple of the entrances to "Starcourt Mall".
The upper part of the Beauty Mart (which was once a Belk I think) has a false front of a cinema. There never was one at the mall but there was a quad across the parking lot.
They added an arcade, which was for sure a focal point when we were kids.
From inside the 1st floor of the Beauty Mart you can look out of the glass and see the false fronts and filming going on. The upstairs is blocked off at the entrance because that is where the "cinema" is.
The extras were holding in the old Gadzooks, a store in which my husband worked as a teenager.
It was a fun little trip down memory lane. I can't wait to see how it looks on film when it is all done shooting.