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Phoenix Metrocenter Mall will get a public farewell party before it's demolished

By Christina Estes
Published: Friday, April 14, 2023 - 3:36pm
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2023 - 8:27am

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A Metrocenter Mall entrance
Christina Estes/KJZZ
A Metrocenter Mall entrance near the Harkins Theatre.

Phoenix residents with fond memories of the former Metrocenter Mall will get a chance to say goodbye before this summer’s demolition during a public party.

Fans of the 1989 movie "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure," which was partially filmed at Metrocenter Mall, can enjoy it again.

Councilwoman Ann O’Brien, whose district includes the landmark property off Interstate 17 and Dunlap Avenue, said the city is planning a Metrocenter farewell party with the new property owners before they redevelop the site.

“Kind of a concept of a movie in the park but it’ll be in the parking lot, movie in the parking lot,” she said.

Harkins Theatres will sell popcorn, snacks and drinks and O’Brien hopes the event will have family friendly activities before the movie. Details are still being worked out but the date is set for the evening of Sunday, May 21.

Sign says food court, walmart, dillard
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Although Walmart appears on this sign, it is not part of the former Metrocenter Mall.

“I think this is a good way to say goodbye to Metrocenter Mall and hello to the future,” O’Brien said.

When it opened in 1973, Metrocenter was believed to be the first mall west of the Mississippi River to have five department stores. For many years, it was a destination for shoppers, ice skaters and video game fans. 

Concord Wilshire, TLG Investment Partners and Hines plan to create a self-contained village with multifamily housing, retail, restaurants and a park on the nearly 70-acre site. Harkins and LifeStorage are the only buildings expected to remain.

The site is near an existing Walmart Supercenter, Cholla Library, a branch of Phoenix Public Library, Castles N' Coasters amusement park, the Arizona Canal and Rose Mofford Sports Complex. Light rail is expected to begin running near the Metrocenter area in 2024.

Harkins theatre exterior building
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Harkins Theatres remains open at the site of the former Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix.

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