Eastwood Village

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Eastwood Village
Location Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Opening date 1960 (mall), 2008 (shopping center)
Closing date 2006 (mall)
Management Developers Diversified Realty
No. of floors 1

Eastwood Village, formerly Eastwood Mall, was a shopping mall located in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. It was located between Montclair Road and Crestwood Boulevard (U.S. Highway 78), adjacent to I-20, between Mountain Brook and Irondale.

When it opened on August 25, 1960, Eastwood Mall was the second enclosed shopping mall in the Southeastern United States, being built after North Carolina's Charlottetown Mall, which opened on October 28, 1959. It remained one of the leading malls in Birmingham for nearly three decades and continued to hold its own into the 1990s.

History[edit]

Eastwood Mall was the creation of Newman H. Waters, who owned a chain of drive-in theaters in the Birmingham area, including one adjacent to where Eastwood was built. Eastwood Mall's original tenant list included J.J. Newberry and S.S. Kresge Corporation dime stores, as well as J.C. Penney, a Kroger supermarket, and Colonial Stores supermarket, (which became a Hill's Food Store, and eventually evolved into Winn-Dixie). The mall had no major department stores until the mid-to-late 1960s. Anchors that have been connected to the center over time include the local chains Parisian, Pizitz, and Yielding's, as well as Service Merchandise.

A movie theater opened on Christmas Day 1964 and was equipped to show Cinerama movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ice Station Zebra. Eastwood Mall Theatre was also the site of the world premiere of the 1976 film Stay Hungry, which was set -and filmed- in Birmingham.

In 1967, Newman Waters sold Eastwood Mall to Alabama Farm Bureau (today known as ALFA), which owned the property until the mid-1980s. A competing mall, Century Plaza, opened across the street in 1975.

Decline[edit]

In 1989, Eastwood Mall received a facelift, adding a food court with a glass atrium and a wall of video screens that made one big image, a Books-A-Million, and a larger space for Parisian. When larger cinemas came into favor, the Eastwood Mall Theatre was closed.

However, the renovations came with a cost. Mismanagement involved with the mall renovations led to overcharged rents, which drove many of Eastwood's old-time tenants out, therefore turning the mall into a virtual dead mall.

Walmart bought the property from Lehman Brothers (the last owner of Eastwood Mall), and demolition of the mall began on June 23, 2006. It was completed about 10 weeks later. A Walmart Supercenter opened on the site on October 22, 2007. This replaced the smaller Walmart in Irondale.

It serves as one of the anchors of what is now called Eastwood Village. Other anchors are: Party City, Ross Dress For Less, Office Depot, and Shoe Carnival. Inside the "Retail Center" entrance of Walmart is a historical tribute to Eastwood Mall that contains a brief history of the mall, as well as several photos. The display was the work of Friends of Eastwood Mall in cooperation with Walmart. Many Eastwood Mall fans, as well as the Friends of Eastwood Mall, hope to see an official historical marker placed on the site of Eastwood Village honoring Eastwood Mall.

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Coordinates: 33°32′N 86°43′W / 33.53°N 86.72°W / 33.53; -86.72