Vallco Fashion Park, September 2016

“I snapped these photographs precisely 40 years and 6 days after the shopping center’s grand opening in September 1976. By 2016, Vallco had already reached dead mall status; that is, few shops in its ghostly (1.2 million square foot!) interior remained open. Take a closer look at the photos below: you can see me silhouetted like a phantom in some abandoned shop windows.

I was at the mall that evening to watch a screening of the 1984 children’s movie The Neverending Story. In it, a villainous force called The Nothing imperils the magical residents of a world beyond this one: Fantasia. A deserted mall in a San Jose suburb, less than a mile from the then-under-construction Apple Park spaceship, felt to me a fitting locale to watch the film.

My main association with Vallco Fashion Park as a living mall is this one. As a teenager, my friends and I would take the 81 bus from our East Side San Jose neighborhood to Vallco because it was the only mall in San Jose with a Hot Topic in it. There we would gawk at the mall goths.” – Contributed by Li Patron

The view of a large, circular planter from the top of the escalator at Vallco Fashion Park in Cupertino, CA. A mirror on the side of the escalator captures the reflection of the cream-colored tile flooring.
Vallco Fashion Park, 2016 [Image Credit: Li Patron]
A  person with a flouncy frock photographs their reflection in the glossy door of a 1950s style diner at Vallco Fashion Mall. A red sign says CLOSED, trimmed with the text SORRY WE MISSED YOU, SEE YA LATER ALLIGATOR!
Vallco Fashion Park, 2016 [Photo Credit: Li Patron]
A series of scattered pillars remain in abandoned Vallco Fashion Park, surrounded by eerie shadows and vacant storefronts.
Vallco Fashion Park, 2016 [Image Credit: Li Patron]
A series of scattered pillars remain in abandoned Vallco Fashion Park, surrounded by eerie shadows and vacant storefronts.
Vallco Fashion Park, 2016 [Image Credit: Li Patron]
A mannequin in a white sun hat and a wedding gown points at the the viewer, looking away. On the wall behind the mannequin: a display of veils and sunhats.
Vallco Fashion Park, 2016 [Image Credit: Li Patron]
An abandonned storefront in Vallco Fashion Park features an arched doorway with a metal gate barring visitors from entering. Above the archway, a shiny faux-marble design. The photographer, a person in a flouncy frock, is silhouetted in the window panes.
Vallco Fashion Park, 2016 [Image Credit: Li Patron]
Near twilight on a late summer evening, no cars are in this deserted parking lot atop a parking structure at Vallco Fashion Park. Treetops fringe the rooftop parking structure in the background.
Vallco Fashion Park, 2016 [Image Credit: Li Patron]

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