The 90’s, episode 405: It’s A Mall, Mall World

Episode 405 of the award winning series, The 90's. This episode is called "IT'S A MALL, MALL WORLD," and features the following segments:

02:27Copy video clip URL “Century Mall Time Lapse” by Dana Hill. Time lapse scenes from the Century Mall in Chicago accompanied by the Talking Heads’ “Slippery People.”

03:15Copy video clip URL “Mall History” by Bob Hercules. Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota was where it all began. They opened their doors in October of 1956 and business is still going strong. Archival footage accompanies this look back at the beginnings of the post-war generation’s quest for convenience.

04:02Copy video clip URL Archival Footage of a family preparing for a barbeque. “These are your neighbors taking time for leisure, time for modern living.” Part of the fun entails bringing the television outside: “The television set is in tune with the times…It’s portable.” Footage provided by White Production Archives.

05:27Copy video clip URL “William Kowinski” by Tony Buba. Author of “The Malling of America”: “There was a need for a psychological bomb shelter, places where people felt safe… cut off from the worries of the outside world.”

05:50Copy video clip URL “Orientation Tape #1” by Dan Walworth & Mark Daniels. Over scenes from a mall, a woman’s voice says: “Luxuriate in the abundant riches of an available world. We know what you want and we want you to want it.”

06:30Copy video clip URL “Jody Procter Goes to the Mall” by Jody Procter & Kit Sibert. Jody Procter goes to the Valley Center in Eugene, Oregon; “One of the things I’ve always been interested about in malls is the whole concept of air. Not only is the air not exchanged, but there’s some chemicals in the clothing that give of some strange noxious gas. It all combines as a sedative to put your economic anxieties at rest. I felt like I w as gonna come in here and hate this place. You gotta say, this is what people want. All the poverty, all the homelessness, all the things you don’t want to see. You don’t want to see beggars with big sores on their legs… There’s no panhandling going on in here. Actually I hate malls. I really do hate them. To be a member of this club, to really feel like you’re a part, you gotta have one of these.” (Jody flashes a Visa card).

10:28Copy video clip URL “Joel Garreau” by Eddie Becker. Garreau, a writer for the Washington Post: “That’s why we invented them: to have people spend two or three or four hours in a pleasant environment exchanging money for goods.”

10:45Copy video clip URL “Mall Rats/This Week in Joe’s Basement” by Joe Winston and Bob Hercules. Young teens comment on their rituals at the mall. Mall employees, ex-mall rats, impersonate their former rodent-like selves. William Kowinski sings “Mall Rats” over video of its subject. At Lincoln Mall in Matteson, Illinois and Northbrook Court in Northbrook, Illinois girls say they’re looking for guys, guys say they are looking for girls.

13:26Copy video clip URL “Mall Walkers” by Bob Hercules. Senior citizens walk laps around the Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota to exercise and socialize.

16:10Copy video clip URL “Psychic Fair” by Skip Blumberg. Skip Blumberg visits a mall in New Rochelle, New York. “I’m not afraid of the escalator,” he says. Cynthia Zweibel, a tarot card reader, stumbles as she predicts the future of malls, “I think malls will go through tremendous change…” Skip: “Are these particularly bad cards to read? Do you want to try again?” Frank St. James, psychic and medium: “I see them (malls) going through a lot of problems. It’s like a hit movie. A new one comes out. Everybody goes there and the other one dies. We’re going to have a mall crisis around ’94.” Palm reader Catherine Zizzi looks into “The 90’s” future: “There’s a real need for people to come in contact with their inner-selves and this is the way to do it.”

20:30Copy video clip URL “Muzak” by Nancy Cain. At the Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California: Pete Thalman, chief engineer of Muzak, reveals the hidden acoustic rock speakers throughout the mall: “All they know is they start feeling a warm atmosphere.” Deena L. Thompson, general manager of Muzak: “We want people to feel better about themselves, feel better about what they’re doing, lower their stress level. We want to lower their fatigue level to make them want to go into a store and, yes, it increases profits.” Pete Thalman introduces the master control system and claims that he listens to Muzak in his spare time. Deena Thompson denies any use of subliminal messages: “That’s illegal.”

24:19Copy video clip URL More from “William Kowinski.” “The mall is very tightly controlled. Some things that would be able to be expressed in a public place would not be permitted in a mall.”

24:48Copy video clip URL “Judith Martin” by Bob Hercules. Judith Martin of the Urban Development Department at the University of Minnesota: “It is not a public space. You don’t have the right to stand inside a mall and mouth off a bout any political issue you might be interested in. It’s not like a public city street.”

25:23Copy video clip URL “Bob Peck” by Eddie Becker. Bob Peck, Washington, D.C. ACLU: “If we want to influence people. If we want to be true citizens of democracy…We have to be able to reach the people. If we don’t have our 1st Amendment rights to meet the people, the 1st Amendment becomes a shell, not what it was intended to be.”

25:43Copy video clip URL “Act-Up Goes Shopping” by Judith Binder. Kathleen Chapman explains what Act-Up will be handing out at the mall: safe sex guidelines, a pamphlet on why women are vulnerable to AIDS and condoms. Mauri Tasne on how she got involved in AIDS activism: “I’ve had a lot of friends die. I got educated real quick. By getting educated, I got angry.” At the Sherman Oaks Galleria in The Valley, Mauri and other activists hand out information. One girls says to her, ” Wouldn’t you agree that abstinence is better?” She responds, “Read it so you have all the information. If you’re going to abstain, you won’t need the condom.” A mall spokesman tells them to leave. On their way out they continue to pass out info. She offers condoms to a man and his son. The man: “No, not hardly.” The son: “Thank you, maybe next time.” Mauri mocks the boy: ” I don’t want my Dad to see me take the condom, but I want one.” The y move the operation to the Fashion Square, where they are quickly spotted by Jack, the security guard, “I have people passing out things without permission,” he says to his walkie-talkie. Mauri and her friend leave as the Muzak plays “Little Drummer Boy.”

30:05Copy video clip URL More from “Bob Peck.” “I suspect sometime in the future the Supreme Court will have to reconsider if 1st Amendment rights apply in a mall.”

30:28Copy video clip URL “Orientation Tape #2” by Dan Walworth & Mark Daniels. Over scenes from a mall: “Everything has been leading to this moment. It has all been done for you. Yet without your heartfelt participation this remarkable edifice could not last for a day, not for a minute.”

31:34Copy video clip URL “Carmarillo Mall Protest” by John Axelrad & Maxi Cohen. In Carmarillo, California: Alan Camp, the attorney for Sammis Co. proposes an outlet mall to the Carmarillo City Council, “I do not believe there’s a sounder mix for an urban use on this particular piece of property that’s going to suit your city’s best long term interests.” Many of the small town’s residents disagree. Bill Kobrin: “We’re here to kick ass… There’s no way we’re going to allow our way of life to be partially or negatively impacted by a factory outlet mall.” Lin Anderson: “We’ve always had agriculture. The people who move here, move here for reasons and it’s not asphalt and concrete.” Cyndi Schutt: “We have the type atmosphere where everybody knows everybody. We don’t want to lose that.” Alan Camp notifies the city council that the Sammis Co. is withdrawing their proposal. Lin: “I’m flabbergasted… I thought we were still in for a long battle. They know what they’re up against.”

35:52Copy video clip URL “Woodfield Mall” by Bob Hercules. At the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois: senior citizens arrive via bus from Evansville, Indiana (6 hours away) to shop… “I don’t sit at home and look at TV. I want to go out someplace… Go shopping, go see a show.”

36:40Copy video clip URL “Russian Kitchen Talk” by Heather MacDonald. A look at the food lines of Leningrad: “Yesterday in the line for sausage a woman was beaten up and she was okay, but in the line for macaroni a woman was beaten up and taken to the hospital for a cracked skull and something else.” “This line teaches you to hate everyone that’s ahead of you.” A young woman says that some people are offended by Westerners videotaping the lines, “[They say] ‘ You should take their camera and break it over their heads’… I don’t have that kind of pride for the country… It’s not shameful for me. These lines don’t define the face of the nation.” A man says, “It’s hard for you to understand because you are from America… ‘What a nice day for business’… The Soviet Union is not America.”

39:35Copy video clip URL “Inside” by Van McElwee. A twisting, turning ride through a cavernous mall with the sound of a low industrial roar.

40:03Copy video clip URL “Mall Phobia I” by Bernie Kaminski. Nellie Tomic says, “I avoided going to malls by myself for the last 12 years.” With the aid of her therapist, Florette Kahn, she ventures into the Garden State Plaza. Florette Kahn comments on the difficulty agoraphobics have with going up escalators.

41:55Copy video clip URL “Mall Phobia II” by Maxi Cohen. Lou, an agoraphobic, says, “It’s not a rational behavior. That’s what makes it difficult for non-agoraphobics to deal with. They look at you like you are not dealing with the full deck.”

42:34Copy video clip URL “Mall Phobia III” by Bernie Kaminski. Nellie Tomic and Mary Cortazzo engage in breathing exercises to keep their anxiety levels down. Nellie: “Shopping’s not a big thing for a lot of people, but if it’s something you can’t do, you don’t take it for granted.”

44:06Copy video clip URL More from “Inside.” Reprise of the twisting, turning mall innards.

44:17Copy video clip URL More from “Joel Garreau:” ” An American will never walk more than 600 feet voluntarily without getting into an automobile. You’ll never be able to see how far it is from one end of the mall to the other. They’re going to extraordinary effort to break your line of site. They know if you knew how far it was, you’d leave the mall, get into your car and drive to the other end of the mall, then come back in.”

45:09Copy video clip URL More from Judith Martin. “Malls are comforting because we know what to expect. If you want some place to go to that you will walk into and say, ‘Oh this is okay.’ I think they do t hat for all people.”

45:30Copy video clip URL More from William Kowinski. “It was kind of like this spaceship. It was there because of technology made it possible. The mall is Main Street in a spaceship.”

46:18Copy video clip URL “Mall of America” by Bob Hercules. A look at the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis. Scheduled to open in August of 1992, this mall will be the largest in the world. Following an industrial promo, James Goggan, the architect, talks about his creation. Maureen Hooley from mall P.R. hypes design models of Underwear World and other mall attractions. Judith Martin comments, “It’s a real toss-up if the kind of projections made for the Mall of America will hold up.”

49:36Copy video clip URL More from William Kowinski. Kowinski says that malls are feeling the excesses of the ’80s.

49:57Copy video clip URL “Dr. Louis Masotti” by Jim Mulryan. Dr. Louis Masotti of Northwestern University comments on the number of department stores that are filing for bankruptcy.

50:40Copy video clip URL More from Joel Garreau. Comments on the “single purpose” nature of malls.

50:56Copy video clip URL More from Judith Martin. “How much of this do we need in one area? Do we need to keep replicating this as the city expands further and further out?”

51:13Copy video clip URL More from Dr. Louis Masotti. “We’re probably over-malled and under-stored in an economy in which there are fewer people with a disposable income. So we’re going to see some radical changes.”

52:57Copy video clip URL More from “Jody Procter Goes to the Mall.” Jody Procter at the Valley Center in Eugene: “Do you remember where we came in? This all looks the same to me. Do you know where the Emporium is? The air here is full of subliminal messages in sub-audible tones… The words are ‘buy,’ ‘do not shoplift’ – elephants talk in that same language… [walks out of the mall] Back to the real world… All subliminals, the air, the combination acts as a mood altering tranquilizer. It’s sort of an effort to come out here. I’m outta here.”

56:37Copy video clip URL “Edmonton Mall” Industrial promo for the West Edmonton Mall in Canada Complete with a water park. Under credits.



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