[The 90’s raw: Eddie Tape #93 – Malls]

Eddie Tape #93. Malls. Interviews with Pat Fox and Bob Peck.

00:00Copy video clip URL Continued footage from tape 10944. Interview with Pat Fox, urban designer. Some audio drop out. She talks about the burst of creativity seen in edge cities. She notes she’s a suburbanite, working mom, and understands the needs of edge city users. She working to improve the edge city for that reason.

02:10Copy video clip URL When asked if franchising will cease to dominate malls, Fox notes that will probably not cease. She notes mom & pop shops will enter malls, but they won’t dominate.  She notes that she and a team of developers got together in a disused store at a mall recently to discuss revitalization plans and edge city development.

03:40Copy video clip URL She thinks that non-commercial uses for a mall is good business because it’s used to draw people in. Once in, those people will spend money at other shops. She notes it will also bring in people who normally would go to a mall. It also attracts impulse dollars.

05:04Copy video clip URL When talking about environmental issues, Fox notes that edge cities can help the environment by making life more efficient: housing, commuting. She notes that edge cities aren’t more efficient than a central city, but they are more so than the suburbs.

07:40Copy video clip URL Fox notes that initially the driving forces to determine how well edge cities will do are its location and accessibility. They are usually located near highways. As things change and congestion builds, people are pulling back. Planners today are looking to bring shopping services closer to home. She notes how dominant the car is in suburban areas. It’s impossible to solve it using fixed rail public transportation because peoples travel needs are so diverse. Buses are better for this. But an important goal in building edge cities is to give people choices so that “you don’t have to have a car to have a life.” She notes in some edge cities today you can survive without a car. Those have mass transit already connected. The ones who suffer are those who do not include mass transit accessibility. Not all of these communities want to adapt to mass transit.

11:22Copy video clip URL Fox explains that the worst thing that could happen to an edge city is people failing to come together to determine what strategy is needed to build the edge city.

12:25Copy video clip URL A plastic novelty bird in Pentagon City mall near Washington, DC.

13:03Copy video clip URL Video signal loss. Stop/re-start digitizing video. B-roll of a mall, food court and surrounding area.

14:29Copy video clip URL Engravers cart business in the mall. Customers show off bracelets they’ve just had made. The engraving machine showing how engravings are made.

16:20Copy video clip URL When asked if he thinks his push cart business will ever develop into a store, the business owner says he will if he does more business. He shows off the items he engraves: dog tags, key rings, license plates.

17:35Copy video clip URL The owner notes that if his engraving business is successful he will become a chain store, but he admits he doesn’t think that far ahead. He notes this business is not a franchise. It was the idea of the former owner.

18:35Copy video clip URL The cart business and its merchandise.  The engraver preparing to engrave a heart shape for a customer.

21:20Copy video clip URL Alamo Flags store, selling items imprinted with flags of various nations.

22:06Copy video clip URL Pentagon City mall, Christmas holiday decorations, trees, food court, and people eating. Some are reading.

24:33Copy video clip URL The entrance to Pentagon City Metro station. People walk in and out and to and from the metro. Various b-roll shots of people, shoppers, metro riders.

26:17Copy video clip URL Becker reflected in glass, a mirrored security camera dome. “Welcome to Fashion Centre at Pentagon City” sign. Riders reflected in glass.

28:50Copy video clip URL Interview with Bob Peck. He introduces himself as a Legislative Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. He says he works on First Amendment issues. He says today a lot of this means distributing leaflets, and notes a contemporary controversy in whether or not people have the right to hand out leaflets at a mall. He cites cases in the 1930s of Jehovah witnesses being arrested for handing out literature. The court determined that seeking out City officials for permission was not necessary. He notes another case in 1946 in a company town in Alabama. Jehovah witness members were denied the chance to hand out literature because the town leaders said the town was owned by a company and therefore was private property. The courts disagreed saying that the town was the functional equivalent of any town and therefore was open to anyone.

31:13Copy video clip URL Second take of Peck’s introductory remarks. He talks about the issue of First Amendment rights in a mall, a privately owned space. The Supreme Court declared that malls are private property and First Amendment rights do not apply, but they give each State the chance to determine the issue for themselves. California and Connecticut have given First Amendment rights to mall shoppers. He compares this to the 1946 company town case previously mentioned.

33:21Copy video clip URL Another take of Peck introducing himself.

34:33Copy video clip URL Peck tells of a case in a California shopping center in which students handed out fliers at a private mall. The California supreme court determined that the students had a right to do this. In the US Supreme Court the students would have been denied that right. Peck continues saying that the US court has given each State the right to determine for itself whether or not they want to recognize malls as public or private property. Peck adds that most malls are seen as private property and the owners of those malls can prevent people from handing out literature or demonstrating. But in California and Connecticut, the law recognizes malls as public spaces and people can demonstrate there.

38:24Copy video clip URL Peck begins his introduction again and reiterates his opening statements.

40:14Copy video clip URL Peck says that as public spaces privatize the public loses rights. Instead of going downtown to hand out literature, we can only find them in malls. It makes it difficult to reach the public. If we want to influence people and be citizens of a democracy we need to reach the people where they are. The tendency for malls to be private property is increasing. He adds that the most far reaching rights are in California and Connecticut. In other states a demonstration at a mall needs to be related to the mall itself: demonstrating against unfair labor laws at a store as opposed to demonstrating against the Gulf War.

42:54Copy video clip URL Peck says the next big issue is whether or not the homeless can be included. In New Jersey recently there was a case to determine if public libraries could exclude homeless people. A judge determined the library did not have that right, that libraries were open for everyone.

44:35Copy video clip URL Peck points out that in the past cities became burdened with crime, so people moved to the suburbs. Now we have those same crime issues in the suburbs. He argues it’s time to confront those problems. He says that as a mall becomes the place to go for all our needs, we’ll see post offices and government services appearing. The more the government is involved the more you’ll find a mall functioning like a city. Private owners will lose their ability to keep the location private. Malls will become the new company town and company towns are no different then public towns.

47:57Copy video clip URL Peck notes that when the US expanded west, companies would create a town. The company was mayor and city council. What the company said was law. If not, a person could be evicted. He adds that today’s malls are becoming company towns.

49:57Copy video clip URL Another take of Peck describing America’s move West, company towns.

52:08Copy video clip URL The videographer asks about being told he can’t videotape in a mall. Can they do that? Peck advises that if the mall is completely private they can.

52:39Copy video clip URL Peck notes that in 1972 the Supreme Court heard a case regarding a mall and Vietnam War protesters handing out literature. The court said that in a private mall people don’t have the right to demonstrate unless it has something to do with the business of the mall. In 1976 the court amended its decision so that even protesters with grievances against mall working conditions could not demonstrate. You can picket a store outside the mall property, but not in the mall. He says these decisions are difficult to accept if you believe in First Amendment rights. He notes the more malls become privatized, the more courts will have to look at reversing this decision.

55:11Copy video clip URL The mall.

55:39Copy video clip URL Peck says that malls make him feel claustrophobic and that he tries to avoid them. He tries to avoid downtown, too.

56:09Copy video clip URL Peck says that malls have become the gathering place of Americans. As a result he thinks we’ve become a more commercial society. We compare ourselves to the goods that are out. We’re so concerned with consumerism we ignore the really big and important issues in society.

57:42Copy video clip URL Godiva Chocolatier, the mall, the food court, riding down an escalator, a Japanese restaurant and various food vendors.

01:03:07Copy video clip URL END

 

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