These Photos of Malls in the '80s Will Take You Back in Time

In 1989, photographer Michael Galinsky traveled around the country photographing shopping malls.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Once the cornerstone of American consumer culture, the shopping mall has fallen in popularity since the rise of online shopping. The 1980s were their heydey, as populations spread to the suburbs, downtown districts became less important, and big-box stores were more common. In 1989, photographer Michael Galinsky drove across the country, recording this cultural shift, and the photos he took are proof of just how much things have changed since then—the hairstyles, the decor, and of course, the way people dressed. 

Starting in the winter of 1989 with the Smith Haven Mall in Long Island, Galinsky photographed malls everywhere from North Carolina to South Dakota to Washington State. At the time, they were the social hub for teenagers and young adults, and the photos he took capture life in these malls as it began to shift from the excess of the '80s towards the grunge era. 

There's already a ton of abandoned malls across the country, which stand as a perfect symbol of not only America's tough economic times but the rapid change in consumer habits from shopping in malls to online. It's pretty crazy to look at these photos that Galinsky took and think that maybe one day, not that far into the future, shopping malls might not exist at all. Check out a selection of the images below, and then visit Mashable to see more. You can also see more of Galinsky's work at












[via Mashable]

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