Fans bid final farewell to Metrocenter before demolition begins
Generations worth of Arizonans came to pay their final respects to Metrocenter on Sunday.
- The mall closed in 2020 and demolition is expected to begin in August to make way for a new mixed-use development.
State of play: The festivities included a wall where people could write thoughts and goodbyes, a balloon-covered homage for people to pose with for photos, food trucks, classic cars, a costume contest, live music, and — of course — ample references to "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," partially filmed there in 1988.
Zoom in: Al Schneider, who grew up near 35th and Dunlap avenues, watched Metrocenter go up and hung out there often, playing video games at Aladdin's Castle and cruising the mall with friends.
- "Nothing but good times. So I thought I better come by and check it out one last time," Schneider, 58, told Axios.
- "I kind of got choked up because this is part of our lives … This was awesome that we had the opportunity to come out and look to see it, say goodbye," Phoenix resident Bobby Hernandez said.
- Some members of younger generations still had nostalgia for the mall. Justin Dicken, 21, and Danny Dicken, 22, came dressed as Bill S. Preston, Esq., and Theodore "Ted" Logan.
Between the lines: Phoenix City Council member Ann O'Brien, whose office sponsored the farewell party, grew up going to the mall.
- O'Brien even worked there at Park Lane Hosiery in high school and at Broadway in college.
- She told Axios she'd never seen "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," but promised to watch it at the final showing at Metrocenter's Harkins Theaters.
Flashback: Metrocenter opened in 1973 as the largest shopping mall in Arizona and Southwestern U.S.
- The decline of shopping malls caught up with Metrocenter in 2020, when it closed for good.
Jeremy's thought bubble: Metrocenter was the mall of my youth growing up in North Phoenix, and I spent a lot of time there.
- I'm old enough to remember watching the ice skaters from the overhead bridge before they turned the rink into an arcade, and when Castles N' Coasters was still called Golf N' Stuff.
- I couldn't help writing a final farewell to the mall of my youth: "Metrocenter was a part of my life, a part of growing up in this city. Phoenix won't be the same without it."
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