What Shopping Malls Were Like in 1989

Photographer and filmmaker Michael Galinsky was 20 years old in 1989 when he and a friend decided to spend six weeks driving across the country, capturing images of mall life. They started in New York and ended in North Carolina.

“At the time, the mall was the new public space, the new community center where people would interact,” Galinsky told TODAY.com. He had no idea what those pictures would mean two decades later. “This was pre-Internet, pre-cellphone, there was smoking in malls, it was before the Gulf War. It was this weird moment in time where things were getting ready to change,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re taking pictures, you don’t know what is or is not going to be there 20 years later.”

Galinsky is now raising money to try to turn his “Malls Across America" multimedia project into a book. Click here to see some more totally radical images.


  1. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I just take a peek and I discovered your post about shopping malls. I really appreciated it and it reminds me a lot when my mother is still alive. Thanks.

    Zummi of Events in the Philippines