Mall Church

2011 • 25 Minutes • HD Video


With the ever-increasing vacancies, the decline of the shopping mall as retail properties has prompted repurposing. Throughout the nation, malls are finding new occupants in unconventional, and often independent, retail and non-retail tenants in an attempt to prolong the life of the mall and reverse the decline. Occupants such as karate schools, dance studios, artist studios and even churches, combined with the ever-present cult of the so-called “mallwalker”, show a movement of the shopping mall away from retail mecca and towards community center. As the mall was originally conceived with the intention of tackling the isolation of suburban sprawl by bringing the people together in a communal space, are these places now a vision restored?

Through malls in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana and the churches within them, Mall Church explores this, whilst also exposing the strange synergy that exists between houses of worship and buildings of retail in the age of the dying mall.