Shopping Malls On The Big Screen

This entry was posted by admin on Tuesday, 9 March, 2010

There are quite a few movies that have shopping malls as their basic location for the movie, or use a mall as part of one of the major scenes in the movie. Following is a synopsis of some of these movies that could not have been made, or would not have been the same, without the presence of a shopping mall included in the movie.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop/2009
Director:Steve Carr
Starring:Kevin James as Paul Blart

With his dreams of becoming a New Jersey State Trooper dashed, Paul Blart, played by Kevin James from “King of Queens”, is relegated to making the best of himself at his job as a mall security guard. While living at home with his mother, played by Shirley Knight, and sister Maya, played by Raini Rodriguez, Blart longs for finding someone who can love him for who he is. On the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, the mall is overtaken by renegades dressed as Santa’s helpers who chase everyone out of the mall at gunpoint, except for the people who remain as hostages at the mall’s bank. One of the hostages left behind is Amy, played by Jayma Mays, who is a kiosk worker in the mall with whom Paul Blart has been lovingly attracted to. What ensues is a plethora of comedic events as Blart uses his Segway scooter to try and defend the mall against the skateboarding, bike-riding thugs that plan on stealing $30 million dollars from the credit card receipts of the stores in the mall. A series of up and down events that have Blart experiencing various victories and losses throughout the movie comes to a head when Blart’s surprising courage and quick-thinking helps put an end to the threat of the would-be robbers.

This is an obvious mall movie because almost the entire movie takes place within a mall, and the plot is based on a mall security guard.

Observe and Report/2009

Director: Jody Hill
Starring: Seth Rogen as Ronnie Barnhardt

Much like the aforementioned Paul Blart, Ronnie Barnhardt is also a mall security guard who takes his job very seriously. While Barnhardt has aspirations of becoming a police officer, to him his role as a mall security guard is much like that of a real policeman, and his attitude throughout the movie exudes that, in part due to his bi-polar personality. The main premise of the movie is Barnhardt’s obsession with catching the infamous mall “flasher”. This obsession becomes even greater when the girl of his dreams, Brandi, played by Anna Farris, who is a make-up counter sales girl at the mall, has an encounter with the “flasher”. In comes Detective Harrison, played by Ray Liotta, to help close the case, which infuriates Barnhardt and leads to some altercations between the two throughout the movie. In addition to the “flasher” problems, there is also a rash of robberies taking place at the mall which Ronnie plans to solve. It is later found that the thief is none other than his co-worker and right hand man Dennis, played by Michael Pena. Circumstances surrounding this fact lead to Barnhardt eventually losing his security job at the mall, until he decides to come in as a regular person and pay for a cup of coffee, which he had been getting for free as a courtesy from what would turn out to be his love interest in the end, Nell, played by Collette Wolfe. On this day he finally ends up catching the mall “flasher”, and gets his job back as head of mall security.

Almost the entire movie takes place within the mall and the entire storyline has to do with things that are happening at the mall, making this another obvious choice for this mall movie list. For the Observe and Report trailer, visit .


Director: Kevin Smith
Starring: Shannon Doherty, Joey Lauren Adams, Jeremy London, Jason Lee and others

To deal with being dumped by their girlfriends on the same day, two friends, Brodie Bruce(Jason Lee) and TS Quint(Jeremy London), decide to spend the day at the local mall. Their trek through the mall puts them in contact with various characters, such as Jay and Silent Bob, as well as friends and ex-girlfriends, and even the girlfriends who just recently dumped them. They try to win the girls back, with Brodie trying to outsmart his arch-enemy Shannon Hamilton(Ben Affleck) before he has a chance to corrupt his ex, and TS getting help from Jay and Silent Bob to wreck the game show of the father of his ex. The film features a variety of stars and reckless, bawdy humor, along with alternative music and the appearance of pop culture icons.

This is another obvious choice for this list as almost the entire movie takes place in a mall, and the plot is based on all the happenings that occur within the mall itself.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High/1982

Director: Amy Heckerling
Starring: Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Ray Walston

The movie follows a group of California teenagers obsessed with sex, music, and malls. It was actually based on the real-life chronicles of writer Cameron Crowe. This was a breakout role for Sean Penn as stoner/surfer Jeff Spicoli, as well as Jennifer Jason Leigh, who played the role of Stacy Hamilton. Both her and Cates, who played her best friend Linda Barrett, worked at Perry’s Pizza in the mall, with Mark Ratner(Brian Backer), who became a love interest of Stacy, employed at the mall cinema and his friend Damone(Robert Romanus) using the mall to scalp concert tickets. This was truly one of the best films ever to come out of this decade, and one that still relates to many teens even to this day.

While the main story was based on the characters and not the location, the movie would not have been the same without the presence of the mall. Most of the main characters worked there or were involved in scenes hanging out there, making this a logical choice to be included on a list of mall movies.To view the poster for this movie, visit

Other mall related movies:
Night of the Comet/1984
Valley Girl/1983
Back to the Future/1985
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures/1989

62 Comments to Shopping Malls On The Big Screen

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    March 10th, 2010 at 12:07 am

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