Friday, August 17, 2018

'Membering Metrocenter

Metrocenter closed this week.  What was once a fun place to visit, filled with shoppers galore, now sits forlorn and deserted on Highway 80,  a sight all too common among Jackson landmarks.  However, take a step back in time and visit Metrocenter as it used to be.  Enjoy.

The video posted above is an edited version of these two videos.  The second video contains more footage of the mall itself as the first one is primarily footage of where a family member worked. 


pjm said...

worked for Geno's Airbrush downstairs between Chick fil a and Ruby Tuesdays. used to have a staring contest on Saturday mornings with the guys that worked at Cook and Love. It was a fun place back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I remember! I thought Jackson became a big city when that mall opened. I mean a two story mall! Loved it. Great stores. If it had been built in north Jackson or around Lakeland drive it would probably still be going strong today. West Jackson was a bad location.

Anonymous said...

Diamond Jim's. Orange Julius. Wicks and Stix. Peanut Shack.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Metrocenter was a happenin' place, especially back in the 80's. I remember spending a many a Friday night there with friends. Does anybody remember that 3rd level in the middle of the mall where all the kids hung out? They eventually had to close it off due to all the shenanigans going on up there. It's a shame to see what it has become today.

Anonymous said...

I can't even begin to guess how much money I spent at Diamond Jim's next to the food court. Was it Bresler's or something that had the ice cream bars that were dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts?

Anonymous said...

What an ignorant comment. West Jackson was a great location at the time. Just like Lakeland is now. Come back in 30 years and tell me how great North Jackson or Lakeland are. Things change.

Anonymous said...

I remember going to the movie theater there and watching Commando in 1985 (?) and the UGA football team was there before playing ole miss in Jackson. Met Vince Dooley.

Anonymous said...

Diamond Jims, Spencer’s, Camelot, A friggin MOVIE theater located in Jackson, Service Merchandise across the street, what else does everyone remember? Glory Dyas!

Anonymous said...

What’s with the dudes smoking the bong in the first video?

Anonymous said...

Sadly this is what happens when (blue) cities are run into the ground by liberal administrations.

The truth hurts, because it should.

Anonymous said...

I think the opening of a traditional mall anywhere spells doom for the surrounding area. I can't think of one example of that not being true. And what's with "O' Canada" playing in the background?

Anonymous said...

If it had been built in North Jackson.....

WTF. Have you been to Northpark, which was what helped put MetroCenter out of business? Yes, it survived well.

And when MetroCenter was built, there wasn't a Lakeland Drive - it was nothing but swampland that ended at Airport Road. Yes, that would have worked out well also.

Chris Rock said...

Every town has the same two malls: the one white people go to and the one white people used to go to.

Anonymous said...

What is all this Diamond Jim’s crap? Aladdin’s Castle was the OG.

Anonymous said...

This is the fate of Renaissance and Dogwood in 20 years. Enjoy that new movie theater with its fancy cuisine and imported beer. Online shopping will cripple big and little box store.

Anonymous said...

3:31. has nothing to to with liberals. NYC, LA, SF, Seattle- all doing well and are basically “blue” cities

The truth is Jackson voters have settled for incompetent leaders.

Anonymous said...

In 20 years Jackson will be a ghost town.

Anonymous said...

Memories indeed. I remember being at the Arby's drive-thru speaker and having to hit the floorboard because 2 perps in a car speeding by on the circular drive were shooting back at the JPD cruiser in pursuit. That was in the late 80's.

Anonymous said...

Best manager I ever worked with started out at Widow Watson’s in the 80’s.

Anonymous said...

The West Jackson location was never so bad. The proximity to I-20, Hwy 18, Hwy 80 made it pretty convenient, but when all the money left that section of town all that's left is a bunch of po folks. Po folks can barely survive much less shop. People with money don't feel comfortable with too many po folks. Too bad, it was a nice mall.

Anonymous said...

Yeah 4:18. Great comparison. NYC (population 8 million) to Jackson (population 200,000). Or LA, or Seattle.

Let's look at other "blue cities" that don't have the coast benefit, money center, etc. But 'blue cities that have to live in the real world. How's B'ham been doing lately? Or St. Louis? Or Memphis? Let's don't even begin to look at home (Meridian, Greenville, Clarksdale).

Checked out Detroit lately?

Anonymous said...

Yes, there was a Lakeland dr in 1978. The Quarter was there, the new Jackson Mets ballpark, Jackson Prep etc. just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Northpark mall thrived because of it’s location. If Metrocenter had been built in a different location there would have been no Northpark mall.

Anonymous said...

Jackson's population is 168,148 (2016). Not 200,000.
just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

In 20 years Madison will be Jackson and Gluckstadt will be Ridgeland. You see where this is going? That’s why I always preferred Brandon to Madison. Isn’t there a game today? : )

Plain ol' Catfish said...

Northpark only affected Metro Center so much.

What hurt the Metro Center the most was the economy of the area.

Hell, Southland Mall in Memphis is still hanging around, it may be in the hood of Whitehaven, but it lasted longer than the Mall of Memphis.

Jackson, especially west Jackson, lost so many businesses.

World Comm, Skytel, Allstate, Merchant & Farmers, Fruit of Loom, Frito Lay, Milwaukee Tool, Papa John's Distribution Center, McCarty Holman, Jitney Jungle Distribution, west Jackson lost a lot of companies, which meant a lot of jobs.

Hell Northpark is hanging on by a thread too. The Outlets in Pearl have seen a few stores close too. Look at the Outlets in Vicksburg.

Online sales have not been beneficial either to the economy in Jackson either. Well, it may be to residents that shop online, but as far as having a major company that contributes to the local economy with plenty of jobs for residents to go to, that's is what is missing in the metro area.

The Continental Tire plant will help some. But we could use one more major employer to come and help the local economy bounce back.

If Birmingham and Mobile can get something going, we can do it here too.

Anonymous said...

4:35. Detroit--yes. It's turning around. The state had to step in--the Republican governor actually took heat and did something. He showed real leadership. (Unlike our Governor with JPS. A republican dropping the ball? never?) And now Detroit is turning around-has a white male Democratic mayor.

Been to Birmingham's downtown lately? Probably not. Its on the rise.

St. Louis? Large parts of that city are gentrifying.

Memphis? Go drive around U of M's campus. Rebirth.

Or even Meridian? Checked out the new Arts museum? The lofts and restaurants? Rebirth there also.

When voters settle for incompetence--you get it. Jackson voters don't embrace real leadership. Greenville and Clarksdale-same thing. They settle for politicians who pander instead of lead.

Do we really want to start looking around the country at all the Democratic/Republican leaders who are complete failures? There's a lot on both sides.

Choose no side. Vote for people who are real leaders regardless of the little D or R by their name. I'm for progress and could care less about D or R.

Anonymous said...

5:09 - certainly. There are good parts to every city, including Jackson. Yes, Meridian has the Arts deal, the Riley Center, and downtown lofts. But, it is financially dying as a city. Right now, it needs a few million dollar infusion to balance this year's budget. Much of the taxpaying population has moved outside of the city limits - as in Jackson.

Detroit? Yes, its on a rebound. After having lost more than half its population, and razed several square miles of buildings, commercial and residential.

Birmingham: Lots of nice things in the area - but check and see which ones are actually in B'ham or in the adjoining municipalities of Vestavia, Mountain Brook, etc. The city itself is still financially in crisis if not bankruptcy from its foolish (crooked?) bonding booboos.

The list can go on; Memphis is actually doing better (after it changed its voting habits and elected a Mayor based on his abilities rather than other demographics.)

And, as to the Lakeland Drive comment earlier - believe it said that in the 70's it did not exist, but acknowledged that it ended at Airport Road. Yes, there were a few developments on the road, but because most of the land was flood prone,the development that exists now wasn't there then. The point, though, was that all that development that we think about Lakeland today - surrounding Grants Ferry, Old Fannin, etc - wasn't even a glimmer in the developer's eyes at the time. No way a MetroCenter would even consider the area. (Rankin County was a rural nothing, with Jackson still the major population base and economic base of the area in the 70's.)

Anonymous said...

Funny how how always fail to mention that Detroit declared BK.

Anonymous said...

Jacktown hacktivist who's always predicting doom and despair for Northpark, Dogwood, Renaissance, etc is none other than Kazikaze. Wouldn't be surprised that is him above.

Anonymous said...

Heck, I guess I'm the oldest one on here.

I remember the Jackson Mall.

Anonymous said...

Leftist ruin everything...It's the CRIME STUPID!!!

Anonymous said...

What hurt Metrocenter the most, was that impossible stretch of 'washboard' interstate between Clinton and Vicksburg. People who would have driven to Metrocenter, from the rich farming regions across the river, and from the South Delta, and from Vicksburg, did NOT, because prudent people realized what damage was being done to their vehicles.

On a MAP, Metrocenter's location as a REGIONAL MALL was ideal - served by so many major highways. But the horrible condition of I55 & I20 running through South Jackson, and the abominable stretch of I20 on the way to Vicksburg, made the actual experience of getting TO Metrocenter, far more stressful and dangerous than it looked on a map. (Too, I220 quickly became the Highway to Hell that it is, today, and Highway 80 devolved into a crime corridor. So what was left? ...'Junior Lynch'?)

Now that it's closed, maybe Kingfish and Dan Bell (whose abandoned mall YouTube videos are a trip) can team-up, and explore... I was hoping Bell would cover Metrocenter, when he started filming dead malls outside the Rust Belt.

Anonymous said...

P.O.Catfish Opines: "What hurt the Metro Center the most was the economy of the area."

What the hell does that even mean? Economy of the area? You mean the economy of the area where the mall is? The mall was an island to itself. Once there, nothing else in that area mattered and all of the area could be wiped off the map along with its economy or lack of. Nothing in 'the area' mattered, economy or otherwise.

When the mall was sinking fast, the economy 'of the rest of the metro' was rising like a new balloon.

Maybe you meant to type "The culture of the area".

Anonymous said...

I work near Metrocenter and it has been dead for a long time. This is just the shot to the head to put it out of its misery.

The busiest place in the mall was a barber shop that was right inside the entrance. There was a sandwich shop called Famo's that did a decent business. I think Burlington did OK. Everything else was totally empty.

The inside of the mall is in surprising good condition. The roads and the parking lots outside are awful.

Funny thing though. There is an Arby's and a Krystal out in front that both were updated this year. In fact, they were both completely torn down and rebuilt as new stores. At least someone is doing well enough on that Highway 80 corridor to invest in new construction.

Anonymous said...

Good memories. Last time I went was around 1995. Had my debit card number stolen by an employee at the be-bop record shop. Never went back after that.

Anonymous said...

Metrocenter's demise is directly a result of the demographic changes in south Jackson. In 1978, it was a sensible location for a mall. In 2018, it's a ghetto. I lived there and watched it happen.

Anonymous said...

I can only share personal experience about Metro Center. It was a nice mall until the local kids decided to take it over, walk four or five abreast down the center of the mall and refuse to allow people to get by when they encountered anyone coming their way. When it stopped feeling safe, people stopped coming to shop there. Same with Jackson Mall on Woodrow Wilson. It will be the same with NorthPark. None of the malls failed due to decline in the physical integrity of the mall, only with the shopping experience.

The mayor recently said there was no reason why the Metro Center and Highway 18 couldn't be "Just Like Lakeland Drive." Please get real sir. Until crime is addressed, the gangland drug fueled war that is Jackson will only continue to go downhill as property values fall and infrastructure crumbles.

Anonymous said...

5:08, don't forget about losing SAKS. That used to be a huge employer.

Anonymous said...

Shifting population killed metro. Money goes with the people. The people left.

Anonymous said...

Both Renaissance and the Pearl Outlets were subsidized with state funding. Of all the things in the world this state does NOT need is legislative assistance for more shopping centers in the metro area. But you know, the developers needed some work and those campaign contributions weren't for nothing.

Seems a little unfair to NorthPark and Metro. Its not as if the tri-county metro is growing at all. Just shifting. Government funding distorted the market. Northpark's days are numbered and it has nothing to do with being close to Jackson. People prefer to go to the new places and there's a new mall within a stone's throw.

Anonymous said...

Jackson can't afford one, nor support one, and the surround is nearly as bleak as that adjoining the Zoo, but if you were going to build a new indoor Arena then the Metrocenter location would be the perfect spot. Easy access/egress via Interstate from all points on the compass.

Anonymous said...

"People prefer to go to the new places and there's a new mall within a stone's throw."

Oh yeah? Where? Oh, must be talking about the stone thrown over to the empty Academy or the old Sam's Club where the Christian book store and Roadhouse steak house used to be. Gotcha....Nothing to do with Jackson, though. Steakhouses and big boxes are closing down everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Anybody else remember the Jackson Mall on Woodrow Wilson? It was a great mall one time.

[i]"The Jackson Mall opened in 1969 on Woodrow Wilson Drive in near north Jackson, making it convenient to the entire metropolitan area. With over 900,000 square feet of retail space, it was, at its opening, the largest enclosed mall within a 400 mile radius, which includes the much larger cities of Memphis and New Orleans. Jackson Mall was anchored by two department stores, Gayfers and JC Penney. A long, single level corridor of shops connected the two anchors. There was also a cinema, and a "center stage" area that hosted various community and mall events. Typical of malls from that era, the mall corridor was fairly dark and overwhelmed with various shades of the color brown, mixed of course, with the obligatory fountains and potted plants.

Jackson Mall took off running from the day it opened, and remained the star of the central Mississippi retail universe for many years, as it regularly attracted shoppers from not only metro Jackson, but also from dozens of outlying rural counties. It was always busy and fully rented. This, however, suddenly changed in 1978.

After enjoying nine years as the premiere shopping destination in Mississippi, Jackson Mall was challenged for its title with the opening of the much larger Metrocenter Mall (with about 1.25 million square feet) in March 1978 on the city's southwest side. Overnight, Metrocenter replaced Jackson Mall as the place to shop and hang out."[/i]

Source with more:

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is this: Republicans want to be with Republicans. Period. When Democrats get too close for comfort, the Republicans go and build in a new area. Sad but true....and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

10:19 people prefer to go to new places and there is a newer mall called Renaissance within a stone's throw of NorthPark, which will be nearly impossible for NorthPark to overcome. What part of that don't you understand?

A newer mall underwritten by governmental handouts I might add.

And Renaissance has its own share of empty spots because of a newer shopping spot called the outlets at Pearl which was also underwritten by government. Meanwhile there is no growth in the metro area, just people chasing new shiny things.

Anonymous said...

@8:25 Saks is still there, right across from Metrocenter. Employs fewer people, but still there.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:35,
Actually I was in Detroit last week and go there often for work with ergon. Detroit is booming and had the nation's largest increase of white residents than any city last 2 yrs. Not because the mayor is white but because it's thriving. Gentrification I'm sure you will call it but it's progress and money.

Anonymous said...

Anony August 18, 2018 at 11:55 AM,

Republicans don’t like getting their shit stolen, getting mugged, carjacked, killed, etc., etc., etc.

Since when voting 9 of 10 African Americans choose Democrat, I will assume at least one, if not both of the two African American families that live on the same street a couple of house down from me probably feel the same way, since they choose not to live near the Metrocenter, or anywhere close to Jackson. If correct, then Dems don’t want to live near the Metrocenter either. Obama’s former preacher and leftist hater Jeremiah Wright allegedly lives in a $1.6M home (so much for tithing) and guess what, it ain’t in the high crime area of Chicago.

Leftist don’t build, they tear down, then move on to another area to ruin. Why do you think Chokwe wants Jackson to be “the most radical city” in America? Because that’s all he’s got. He lacks the mental capacity to be a builder of good. He’s a typical leftist that tears down and takes advantage of poor people by keeping them down allowing leftist like himself to keep power.

We’ve been discussing the lawlessness cancer eating away at Jackson since Kane Ditto brought in Jimmy Wilson from Washington DC to be police chief. Unfortunately for those of us old enough to remember when Jackson had law and order, we will likely not live long enough to Jackson become safe again.

Having said this, America is primed and ready for REAL African American leadership, Not a bunch of leftist shit eaters promising more free stuff designed to keep people dependent and get votes, but real leadership that can make law and order popular within the African American communities.


Anonymous said...

@ 8:05,
Your right and Obama wpuld ride the El train from the white areas of the city to the south side black areas and pretend that he was equal to the poor black population. They fell for it and Chicago is not 24% black and steadily decreasing in population of blacks. This is an obvious trick the black leaders use. Look at making waters... lives in a 98% white district while representing the poor areas.

Anonymous said...

Madison will never be Jackson the land is too expensive
Gluckstadt will be Jackson it’s much cheaper
Ridgeland is already Jackson

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS