FRACKVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Malls rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States. They became one-stop shopping destinations for people of all ages. They have since been on the decline due to the rise of online shopping.
There was one mall that was located in Pennsylvania that was one of the largest in the state when it opened in 1980. That was the Schuylkill Mall.
The mall opened to the public on Oct. 9 1980 right off of Interstate 81 near the city of Frackville, Schuykill County. The mall originally opened with 91 tenants and featured 800,000 square feet of retail space. The mall had three anchor tenants when it first opened: Kmart, Sears, and Hess’s. The mall also featured many fountains and plants that added a decorative touch.
The mall was a hit throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. In 1983, Pomeroy’s became the mall’s fourth anchor tenant but was then sold to the Bon Ton in 1987. In 1991, Phar-Mor opened as the fifth anchor.
During the later part of the 1990s and into the 2000s, the mall started to see anchor tenants leaving. According to Best Attractions, anchor tenants were the backbone of the mall’s success. Once Phar-Mor closed in 2002, the mall began to see a slow decline.
Stores within the mall began to leave and the mall slowly started to lose popularity. By 2014, Sears had shut down, followed by Kmart in 2015. By the latter half of the 2010s, only two anchors remained: Black Diamond Antiques and Pearl Stadium 8 theatres. The antique store shut in 2016 and the Bon-Ton also closed in 2017.
As more stores left, fewer people visited. The last tenant to close in the Schuylkill Mall was Pearl Stadium 8 Theatres, which closed on January 15, 2018, with the demolition of the mall beginning 11 days later on Jan. 26. The mall would be completely gone by September 2018.
A warehouse was built in its place in 2018. Ryder Supply Chain Services was the tenant of the warehouse. However, this closed in 2023, leaving the warehouse vacant.
The Schuylkill Mall was a staple in the Frackville and Schuylkill county area for many years. But is now just a memory of an era gone by.
To see what the mall looked like in its final years, click here.