11/13/04 ~ No Mall Lasts Forever

Melissa and I took Kennedy to her first movie. The Incredibles. We tried out a different theatre from the one we normally go to. Usually, we opt for the AMC at the Parks. However, after one too many bad experiences there, I've given up on them. Movie theatres at popular malls are the pits. Too crowded and filled with people who talk through the entire film. This time, we went to the Tinsel Town at Six Flags in Grand Prairie. This mall has been dying and dying for (I don't know how many) years now.

Dead malls are really cool in their own way. There's a vacant desperation telling you that time has passed. The hip new stores have moved on, but still there is a remnant of a happier time-- the one or two corny dog and pizza establishments still left in the centralized food court, the random sports jersey/hip hop accessory store, the fake jewelry kiosk, and the nail parlor that still hangs on for dear life. Dead malls remind me that even consumerism has a geographic shelf life. No mall lasts forever. Even such timeless institutions like Dallas' North Park has passed its prime. Early dead-mall warning signs are emerging.

My favorite dead mall is what used to be Forum 303, now renamed "Festival Marketplace". It fought with Six Flags Mall to the north and Trader's Village to the south-- a historic three front battle along Hwy 360, in which there were no survivors. The war ended, as the new "super power" Park Malls came into being.

Forum 303, as I shall forever know it, has been gutted-- all the open space converted to area booths for low budget vendors. There is a stage in the center of the mall, a children's funzone, and a two screen movie theatre still in operation. When I was in 6th grade, this is where my friend Victor and I hung out, as he lived in the apartment complex across the street. This is where I set foot into my first comic book store. This is where I bought my first comic book. And this is where my mom took me for my first comic book convention.

As for The Incredibles, it was a fun movie. I loved it. Kennedy did very well. She didn't make any fuss. Kennedy's eyes got big when she saw the movie screen, and she was hypnotized from there on out. She took a little nap in the middle. The theatre was clean with stadium seating, and not too crowded-- a hidden treasure within this dead mall.