How Many of the Original 50 Auburn Mall Stores Do You Remember?
When the Auburn Mall opened on August 7, 1979, it was the most popular shopping destination in Lewiston/Auburn and the towns surrounding it. Growing up in Norway and South Paris as a teenager, we would drive the 30 minutes of so it took to get to the Auburn Mall for the food, the arcade, the music store and just to hang out back when you didn't have dozens of ways to entertain yourself at your fingertips.
It originally opened with 50 retailers all under one roof and if you went to the Auburn Mall on a weekend, it was always packed full of people.
At the end of the 80s and into the 90s shopping malls were on the decline. Thanks to online shopping and the development of shopping centers rather than malls, the Auburn Mall and many like it across the country found itself in decline.
It was still the hub of shopping in Auburn as the entire area around the mall saw growth with Walmart, Kohl's and several smaller shopping centers and restaurants popping up around the mall on what was undeveloped land in 1979. It was as if the Auburn Mall was being attacked from all sides.
As with most malls, the business model changed. Department stores that used to be anchors became bank offices. Banks became cannabis dispensaries and spaces that used to be the home of national retailers became shops for local businesses. The Auburn Mall has changed a lot the over 40 years since it was built.
I recently came across an old article in The Sun Journal that answered a question from a reader who wanted to know what the original stores at the Auburn Mall were. As someone for who the Auburn Mall was a second home during his teenage years, this was a trip back in time to see all these names of stores that used to be there.
Of the original 50 stores, only three remain as they were the day it opened. Here's the list of the original 50 stores at the Auburn Mall and a bit of their history for those that I could remember or find information on. If you can fill in the blanks on the stores I don't remember, feel free to drop a comment giving the details and I'll be happy to add the info with a nice thank you for helping out.