Left For Dead: Sunrise Mall

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, Corpus Christi’s Sunrise Mall was a shopper’s paradise, absolutely teeming with people. It was even the set of a major scene in the movie the Legend of Billie Jean in 1985. Ever since then, though, the mall has been slowly losing steam. The courtyards go empty, escalators halted as stores slowly started closing their doors for good. The once bright, beautiful mall is now starting to gray and age.

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This store in particular has it’s windows and entry covered in some type of moth-eaten paper. What’s inside?

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It almost looks as if most stores are open; ready and waiting for the employees to arrive early in the morning to start their day. There are a small handful of stores still operating. Despite that, seeing another person in the mall from a distance is a lot like seeing a ghost.

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At one point in time, this was either a cosmetology school, or a hair salon. I can’t remember which. Now, it’s empty, dark and fading. The colors and coldness remind me of a hospital, or doctor’s office.

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Just three decades ago, the center courtyard of the mall was on-par with the design trends of that time. Fast forward to 2016, what we see is outdated and stale.

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A single red balloon, looking for an escape at the very top of the mall’s high, open ceilings.

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The desolate curves and eerie walkways of the mall’s interior are haunted by the crowds of shoppers that once swarmed in once the doors unlocked for the day. My father and I would come here quite often when I was a child.

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Still grasping at what's left of it's beauty, the calming sounds of the fountains can still be heard in the courtyard at the heart of the mall.

Still grasping at what’s left of it’s beauty, the calming sounds of the fountains can still be heard in the courtyard at the heart of the mall.

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It’s a strange thought once you realize how many wishes have been thrown in at the fountains–my own, childhood wishes included. Stripping away all their meaning, and intent … they’re shimmering pennies below the water in a barren, dead mall.

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Welcome to the food court, where you can sit and watch the malls decline. Serving up solitude, cold and tasteless.

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Not quite abandoned, and not quite up kept: here it lays, waiting, nearly crumbling.

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The arcade, once called Aladdin’s Castle, was the mall’s hot spot for decades. Peaking through the windows and gate, the inside is unlit and hard to see.  Quite creepy and musty, I might add.

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Among the few stores open is a movie theater on the mall’s top level. This is where you’re likely to see the most people at any given time.

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Despite the crumbling state of Sunrise Mall, it continues to be quite the sight if you enjoy vintage architecture. The refreshing sound and smell of the water fountains, the underwater scene mural and the mall’s unique ship-themed courtyard sit empty; waiting for visitors like you and I to treasure it’s history, beauty and spook factor. 😉

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  • Lisa

    It’s amazing to me how many malls are sitting empty or almost empty. It’s not like people aren’t still shopping at malls. There is one in Oklahoma that they turned into a building for businesses (not retail) to use. It’s doing really well.

  • Bonnie Marrow

    I LOVE THE BEAUTY YOU FOUND IN SICH A LONELY PLACE

  • Isn’t it strange how things get left alone and forgotten like this? Also, isn’t it weird that so many malls look the same? I was looking through these and wondering if it was the same mall where they filmed Chopping Mall (a really god-awful horror movie I recently watched with my friends), but it’s not! It looks so similar though.

    • Chopping Mall is the name of one of the levels on my favorite sega game, Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Now I wanna watch it haha! And yeah a lot of the malls look similar, or are even shaped similarly on the outside. It’s weird for sure!

  • Patricia Conte

    Great shots! I love these – and I think they’re both so cool, and so sad. There’s an abandoned mall in my hometown (in Ohio) that’s been featured in several national publications. Seeing where I hung out as a kid, all dilapidated, is sad!

  • Kimberly @ Berly’s Kitchen

    Your photos are great! It’s amazing to me that these malls and other large buildings are left to rot instead of put another use. However, it’s both fascinating and eerie and look at the pictures.

    • The whole place is so quiet and has such an empty, eerie vibe. Many of the stores that open there end up closing soon after because there’s just no business I guess. It’s sad!