You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
THE METHOD

From the archives: Let's go to the mall

  • 1 min to read
From the archives: Let's go to the mall

Welcome to “From the Archives,” where our goal is to dip into our files, folder-by-folder, and share with you the rediscovery of our past.

Columbia Mall opened at the tail end of 1985. It was the third mall in the city, after Parkade Plaza opened in 1965 and Biscayne Mall in 1972. Over the next 35 years, the shopping center became a place to socialize at the food court, buy Christmas and Valentine’s Day gifts and have fun at the carousel and gaming center.

Rusty Strodtman, who has been the manager of Columbia Mall for 11 years, said that the mall employs 1,000 to 1,500 people.

“There’s been some big additions done over time: technology, WiFi, amenities, things that we never thought of 20 years ago, 30 years ago,” Strodtman said.

During the pandemic, the mall began doing curbside pickups — and recently, in partnership with the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, they started distributing COVID-19 vaccines. According to Strodtman, they have distributed at least 12,000 doses.

“We’re offering our space and our parking and our electricity and everything else for free to help the community,” Strodtman said. “The vaccinations have really opened the door for us to help the community in a very, very positive way.”

“Slower than traffic on Sunday, harder to please than a New York film critic, able to charge hundreds of dollars on a single shopping spree

From Sunday, Oct. 12, 1986: “Slower than traffic on Sunday, harder to please than a New York film critic, able to charge hundreds of dollars on a single shopping spree. ... It’s a browser, it’s a buyer, it’s the Columbia Mall Shopper! Don’t let the ghost-like images in the photo fool you; most of the shoppers at the year-old Mall are alive and well.”

Workers put up steel frames

Workers construct the frame of what will soon be Columbia Mall in February 1985 in Columbia. Construction continued through 1985 until the mall opened in October, nearly 36 years ago.

Hudson Wilson said he and his 20-month-old son, Joshua, usually make two round at the mall to keep him from “getting fatter.”

Hudson Wilson and his son Joshua, 1, walk around the Columbia Mall on Wednesday, March 31, 1993, in Columbia. Wilson said they usually make two laps around the mall to keep him from “getting fatter.”

Carolyn Malicoat ponder which Ted Blaylock wall print to buy for a friend while shopping

Carolyn Malicoat ponders which Ted Blaylock wall print to buy for a friendwhile shopping Friday, Dec. 9, 1994, at The Nature of Things. Many of the store’s gift items directly benefitted outdoor preservation organizations, owner Ed Daniel said.

Despite the economic recession, Columbia Mall continues to attract shoppers of all ages who keep the store and restaurant busy

Shoppers roam the halls of Columbia Mall on Sunday, Feb. 23, 1992, in Columbia. Despite the economic recession of the early 1990s, the mall continued to attract shoppers of all ages.

While playing in the KidsStop play area in Columbia Mall, Crystal Skiles, 12, reacts to the fall of her card board building blocks

Crystal Skiles, 12, reacts to the fall of her cardboard building blocks Thursday, Dec. 8, 1994, in the KidsStop play area at the Columbia Mall. In 2021, the mall contains a children’s play area in front of JCPenney and a carousel at the food court.

Mr. Naz, a magician, twisted balloons into shape for children waiting to see Santa Claus

Mr. Naz, a magician, twists balloons into shapes for children waiting to see Santa Claus on Saturday, Nov. 10, 1990, at the Columbia Mall. The Columbia Mall is a significant part of the city's First Ward, which also includes downtown Columbia and the MU and Columbia College campuses.

Citizens hangout at the Columbia Mall food court

Citizens hang out at the Columbia Mall food court Monday, Sept. 30, 1991, in Columbia. When the mall first opened in 1985, 150,000 people were expected to come in the first five days.

The teenagers who congregate at the video-game outlet spend their time hanging out

Kids congregate around a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed arcade game Wednesday, April 25, 1990, at Columbia Mall. The mall has always been a place for teens to have fun, shop and, as a Missourian article said in 1990, “occasionally discover trouble."

Mall roams Lyle Wood and Mary Heifer sneak an early peek through a gap in the mysterious brown paper with covers the windows at the Columbia Mall’s newest store on the eve of its opening

Mall roamers Lyle Wood and Mary Heifer sneak an early peek through a gap in the brown paper that covers the windows at the Columbia Mall’s newest store on the eve of its opening Wednesday, June 8, 1994, in Columbia. The Gap store tore down the paper for its 10 a.m. opening the next day. The store has since closed.

Workers put up steel frames

Workers put up steel frames while constructing Columbia Mall in February 1985 in Columbia. The mall became Columbia’s third, after Parkade Plaza in 1965 and Biscayne Mall in 1972. Biscayne has since closed, while the plaza has forged on.

An ocean of vehicles surround Columbia Mall, making finding a parking space a chore

An ocean of vehicles surround Columbia Mall on Friday, Nov. 24, 1994, in Columbia. An estimated 40,000 people visited the mall on that Black Friday, the busiest shopping day that year.

You may have photos of our town and the people that have helped define us. Email photos to photoed@missouri.edu.

The Method is the Columbia Missourian’s photography and multimedia blog. In writing about pictures, it seeks to demystify how our journalists cover their community and place their work in the context of a larger visual world.

  • Fall 2020 Photo Editor, majoring in International Photojournalism. Reach at mpsbb7@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

  • Assistant Director of Photography at the Columbia Missourian. Previously photo editor, staff photographer, reporter. Reach me at madiwinfield@mail.missouri.edu or at @madiwinfield on Instagram and Twitter.

  • I'm the Director of Photography working close with staff photographers, videographers, photo editors and designers to help our stories become visually exciting. Follow us on Instagram: comissourian

Recommended for you