Maybe they just oughta leave it the way it is. Kind of a shrine to all the bullshit in the world

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"I thought we were building something where people could work and live and be safe!" Paul Newman berates William Holden in The Towering Inferno. The fate of these zombie malls isn't as dire as that of the Glass Tower, but the sentiment is apt. There's something desperately sad about zombie shopping malls: failed businesses, lost jobs; the collapse of a whole way of life.

Dan Bell's Dead Mall series on YouTube is a wondrous thing. He documents American shopping malls in their death throes - and sometimes (in the case of the vast Rolling Acres Mall) long after their demise - in this fascinating, funny, and deeply melancholic series. He's an engaging and informative guide, enhancing his tours with eerie and evocative "vaporwave" music.

Some of the malls Bell has featured have already been demolished. That's a shame in itself. "Maybe they just oughta leave it the way it is," Paul Newman says at the end of The Towering Inferno. "Kind of a shrine to all the bullshit in the world." You said it, chief.

"There is no weather in malls."
Charles Baxter, American author.

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