[The 90’s raw: Gurnee Mills shopping mall]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. Footage from the Gurnee Mills shopping mall in Gurnee, IL. Includes interior and exterior shots. Features typical mall stores and attractions, including candy shops, a nutritional supplement store, clothing stores, a food court, etc. The camera is very unsteady for most of it, and at the end there are some interviews with store employees. Overall, this tape is good stock footage of a mega-mall.

00:00Copy video clip URL The tape opens with footage from a car on the highway, with a lot of visual static and no sound.

00:39Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to the interior of the Gurnee Mills mall, where there are trays and trays of candy from “The Fun Munchie Store.” Next, there is a ceiling fan store, and footage of TVs hanging from the ceiling. There are shelves full of pills and vitamins, and a sign for a lingerie store that will open soon that advertises the mall’s slogan, “There’s nothing like it.” The camera is pointed at the floor for some time, and people mumble in the background, and the lens is adjusted as another store is entered.

07:53Copy video clip URL Shots of a plastic crocodile whose jaw moves, and a woman and books beside the register. Then, footage of human mannequins with organs and muscles. The store appears to be educational. The tape cuts to a hardware store with a wall of wrenches, and then a wall of hammers, and then pliers. The camera scans the merchandise.

10:05Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to the hallway of the mall, and then to a large men’s underwear ad in the window of a clothing store. The camera goes to the floor again for a moment, and shows the Shopper Service information stand, complete with neon lights. They go outside and tape what it is like to first enter the mall. The door lets you know at which entrance you are parked.

12:55Copy video clip URL Back to the interior, there is a stroller rental machine which two women are trying to use, but the machine is being uncooperative. Then there is more footage of the general mall, and the check-out area of $1.00 store. Then, a shot of sunglasses and earrings in this store, and the merchandise fills the screen. The $1.00 store has a large neon light, and a cardboard man. Back to the general mall, there is an area to watch tv, and the camera passes many clothing stores. One store is selling a portable black and white television.

17:09Copy video clip URL Shots of people eating at a food court, which has a retro theme, and then some giant cookies with customizable frosting. The food court has a McDonald’s, and the camera watches as people get their food. There is a stand with caricatures of famous people nearby.

20:55Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to a TV showing a mirrored image of the videomaker, and the stand apparently sells photo clocks. They play with the camera. There is a sign that shows the couple in American Gothic suggesting that we go to the “Show Court” (2 minutes ahead).

23:21Copy video clip URL Cuts to the Show Court, which displays Mills TV on a large screen. Then people stand in line at a clothing store check-out, and more people look at Christmas stockings on a rack. More shots walking around the mall, and the camera tapes the videomaker’s feet walking for some time.

29:53Copy video clip URL The camera looks at a gadget where you push the button to call another area of the mall, but it doesn’t work.

30:39Copy video clip URL Cuts to a shot of a photograph of two babies in tuxedos for a store called “A Lifetime of Memories,” and then cuts to another clothing store with rows and rows of clothing. The videomaker plays with the camera’s focus. More shots of feet.

34:00Copy video clip URL Cuts to a photograph of the mall from above, in a waiting room. An interview with a spokesperson for Western Development Corporation, the owner of several malls across the U.S., including Gurnee Mills. The spokesperson discusses the Western Development Corporation’s “Mills Project,” which offers “discount prices in an upscale environment.” She says they have a collection of outlets and superstores as an alternative to highly priced malls. She mentions the architecture and the video system. She adds that the architecture reflects the agrarian area surrounding Gurnee Mills. She explains the large photograph behind her, and the S shape of the mall. The mall apparently has 2 miles of store fronts. She calls it a “mega-outlet mall” and says it is “recession proof.” She says people come from Iowa on buses to shop at the mall.

40:03Copy video clip URL Cuts to another woman, a technology representative for Western Development Corp. She sits in front of a lot of video equipment, and explains “Mills TV,” a sophisticated CCTV and in-house audio system that broadcasts commercials to the entire mall. They break up commercials with music and other forms of entertainment. She says that “Mills TV” is Western Development’s way of turning “browsers into buyers.” The camera looks at some of her equipment, and she explains her job in more detail.

41:43Copy video clip URL Cuts to an entrance of the mall, and zooms in on a door to the mall, where there is a button that calls mall security, and then some tape of the parking lot and exterior walls of the mall, which are unadorned and windowless. Then the videomaker tapes a sliding door, and then more tape from the parking lot in the evening.

46:43Copy video clip URL End of tape.



  1. Fartnog Buttstinkle says:

    This is actually really cool. I love ephemera like this, especially since I’ve been going to Gurnee Mills since about when it opened. I’d love to find more old footage from stores and malls.

  2. Devin says:

    This is pretty crazy to see what it was like many years ago. Some of the stores and interior/structures are still around in that mall till this day in 2015.

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