Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Randall Park Mall memories

Well folks, I was busy passing the time and did a search on one of my old favorite shopping venues (back as a teenager), Randall Park Mall up in North Randall, OH. Found the Wiki entry for RPM and the entry on

Sad to see the place is now pretty much a empty, falling apart hulk.

Back in 1976 when it opened, the place was packed to the gills with shoppers and it was THE place to shop in Northern Ohio. In fact it was briefly the world's largest shopping mall. While it wasn't my normal everyday hangout, I do have some memories of the place (along with the now vanished Richland Mall in Johnstown,PA).

Over the next few years, I'd do a lot of Christmas shopping there, see some great movies at the triple theater there and enjoyed the mall Christmas decorations.

Randall Park Mall Memories:

- My first date (where I actually got my mom's car for the date) was to Randall Park Mall (a girl named Rita) and my first viewing of Star Wars back in July 1977.
I did something right because I got kissed out in the parking lot after the movie.
and I ended up putting a dent in mother's car (I just got my license a week ago).

- I got my first tux from Diamonds Men's store (for a Christmas dance, 1977 with my then-girlfriend Michelle, ) at RPM. It was a white dinner jacket tux with black pants.

- Saw the movie Animal House for the first there at RPM. Joined up with the gang for the movie. This one was memorable because... well a little background here. My friend Jim had his girlfriend Connie with him. Well Connie's sister Cheryl and I liked each other and Connie was really protective of Cheryl (the girl in my USMC picture).
During one of the movie's romantic scenes, I commented , hey, there's Cheryl and I, which of course Connie overheard.
I almost didn't get out of the theater alive.
(Cheryl and I liked each other but weren't dating quite yet).

- Bought all my BROWNS jerseys at the Koenigs in RPM.

- Bought a pair of Adidas tennis shoes at the RPM Koenigs for the then-unheard of sum of $38. Boy did I get some razzing from the gang on that one. Wore them over to Connie's birthday party.
Well, Cheryl thought they were cool.

- In fall of 1977, I bought my own weight set at the Sears at RPM. Included 225 lbs of weights, a bench press, long bar and two dumbells.

- Last movie I saw at RPM was Superman III back in 1983.

- Memory is hazy but my last visit to RPM was in 1985 or so. Even then the place was starting to show wear & tear. With other malls opening closer to Aurora OH (or high-class malls like Beachwood Place) , RPM started to lose shoppers, especially to Beachwood.

- I still have some old 110 slides that I shot inside the mall back around Christmas 1976.

Anybody here from the Watercooler or other boards remember this mall? Its pretty much closed down now with only the Sears store, a handful of local shops and the Ohio Powersports Institute still there. It was supposed to close in June of this year but seems a religious group wants to buy it and convert it to something.