One of the less-ballyhooed Christmas traditions was the daylong search for a parking spot at the local mall. Shoppers cruised parking lots like it was a cold-weather Mad Max, scouring the landscape in virtual spiked shoulder pads doing whatever had to be done to survive the shopping apocalypse. Now, shopping malls are a different kind of apocalyptic landscape, where barren lots lead to eerie concourses full of empty storefronts and long-drawn shutters. Even during the holiday rush, strangely empty malls sit as a testament to a bygone era as the frenetic craze of holiday shopping is now mostly limited to Amazon fulfillment centers.
Though people no longer congregate en masse at malls, they do on Reddit, where there is a hilarious sub thread devoted to dead shopping malls. This Christmas, members posted pictures and reminiscences from their favorite dead malls. Though some malls are merely on their last legs, the images are both nostalgic and sad. But they do remind us that even when an industry seems to be booming, it’s never all that far from complete desolation.