Sunday, January 5, 2014

Death Mall 2000

I've mentioned umpteen times in my blogs that Gina and I lived in Bowling Green, KY right after we got married.  We lived up there for six years.  We didn't have much money due to bills that needed to be paid, just starting out.

For entertainment we'd checkout VHS movies at the Warren County Public Library or rent a VHS tapes at one of many local movie rental places around Bowling Green.  Movie rental businesses were almost on every street corners at that time.  We went out to movies when we had the money and rented when we didn't.  Sometimes we just couldn't afford to do anything we'd go to one of many parks in Warren County.

Not long after moving there we found out about this dollar cinema, Martin Twin (Carmike) that was in this old dying mall on Nashville Road.  The real name of the mall was the 'Bowling Green Mall' but I preferred to call it 'DEATH MALL 2000' because it was pretty much vacant inside.  Gina and I would often shop at the Big Lots and Kroger there - both stores had direct access to the parking lot.  You had to actually venture into the bowels of Death Mall 2000 to get to The Martin Twin.  I remember the feeling I had going in, walking past, through and under ancient mid-century decorations and fixtures.  It was like a time capsule. The fountain in the middle of the mall looked like something out of an old Star Trek movie ~ futuristic in a campy, tacky sort of way. Everything in that mall was so outdated.  Walking through Death Mall 2000 gave me the feeling that I wasn't supposed to be there...because most of the lights were off in the giant facility.  We moved to BG in 1990 and left in 1996.  I remember WKU purchased the building toward the end of our stay.  The theater was still there when we left seventeen years ago.

I enjoyed going to that theater.  The movies were just a buck and the walk through the Death Mall 2000 coming and going was always interesting.  The people that did walk the dead mall were interesting characters and I'd always pack heat when I went.  I never had any trouble, but I'm a good Boy Scout.

Of course at the dollar cinema you got what you paid for - the films were second run and the quality left much to be desired.  I remember gong to see Memphis Belle and the film kept stopping.  We got about half way through the feature when the room went dark for the last time.  Someone came to the door and said that the show had to be canceled and that our money would be refunded.  I was disappointed.  I had to wait till the movie was released on VHS the next year to see the rest of the show.

Anywho, I enjoyed going to the Martin Twin in those days.  I often went alone after Gina went to bed.  Gina would sometimes ask me where I went the night before and I told her that I had gone to the dollar theater at Death Mall 2000.

P.S. The old Bowling Green Mall was resurrected by Western Kentucky University and is now home of WKU Center for Research and Development.  What do you know...they kept the fountain!

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