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17 Photos That Will Take You Back In Time To America's Malls In 1980's!



Michael Galinsky undertook a journey in 1989 traveling across America, visiting its many malls and capturing the essence of the 1980's America. Here a few pictures from his 'Malls Across America' book!

#17 Galinsky was just 20 when he started picturing people at malls.

#17 Galinsky was just 20 when he started picturing people at malls.

"The theory that I was going with was that the mall was designed to replace the downtown, thereby making the public sphere a private sphere that was climate controlled," he explains.

#16 The photographer used the photos as a college art project.

#16 The photographer used the photos as a college art project.

How did they get their hair to stay up like that? Hairspray?

#15 After seeing the photos he took at a local mall in Garden City, Long Island, Galinsky's photography teacher at New York University encouraged him to expand his assignment.

#15 After seeing the photos he took at a local mall in Garden City, Long Island, Galinsky's photography teacher at New York University encouraged him to expand his assignment.

Wow, TV's were a big thing back then....

#14 The environment might look the same....

#14 The environment might look the same....

But the contents of those shelves, display cases and the people who look at them are very different today.

#13 The mall's hair salons have definitely got an upgrade nowadays.

#13 The mall's hair salons have definitely got an upgrade nowadays.

And the people who wait there....wait with their cellphones.

#12 Major brands and shops back then....

#12 Major brands and shops back then....

Have either flourished or disappeared now.

#11 More or less....

#11 More or less....

Galinsky says that it didn't occur to him that each and every mall was more or less the same everywhere in a way.

#10 Like for example...

#10 Like for example...

This mall in St Louis, Missouri which he realized was identical to one he had been at in Vancouver, Washington.

#9 How it felt...

#9 How it felt...

"It was a completely surreal experience to walk around that space," he admits.

#8 Even the restaurants!

#8 Even the restaurants!

"Even the 'restaurants' in the food court were the same. This was America," he realized.

#7 What readers like...

#7 What readers like...

Is to find out which mall photo was taken in which city!

#6 That's the game!

#6 That's the game!

"It was hard to tell from the images where they were taken, and that was kind of the point," explains Galinksy.

#5 Creepiness

#5 Creepiness

Galinksy says he "was interested in the creeping loss of regional differences."

#4 Discoveries!

#4 Discoveries!

But there were some surprises in these pictures! As people began to recognize family members like this one man who recognized that the man wearing the jacket with the number 47 was his uncle!

#3 Smoking was a huge thing back then!

#3 Smoking was a huge thing back then!

It was socially accepted and allowed inside malls.

#2 A different time

#2 A different time

"This was pre-Internet, pre-cellphone, there was smoking in malls, it was before the Gulf War. It was this weird moment in time where things were getting ready to change," says Galinsky.

#1 The New Hub

#1 The New Hub

"At the time, the mall was the new public space, the new community center where people would interact," admits Galinsky.




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