Streetbeat Records At The Moreno Valley Mall-A Vinyl Throwback To Music's Golden Age-But Can The Mall Survive?


The Moreno Valley Mall At Towngate opened to much fanfare at the old site of the Riverside Raceway in 1992...With the original Anchors of Sears, JC Penney, May Co, and Harris Department stores, The fastest growing city in California flocked to the center to shop, dine, and watch movies...It's the closest 'traditional' indoor mall to Yucaipa...I owned two houses in Mo Val, living there from 1995 to 2011...After a initial move to Reche Canyon, We then moved to Yucaipa in 2014...

 I had a doctor appointment in Moreno Valley today, so I decided to visit the mall - Post Covid - for the first time since 2012...Wow, what a shock! There were very few customers, over half of the retail spaces were closed, and there are only three anchors left after the closing of Sears: Harkins Theatres, Macy's, and JC Penney...The food court is half dead, and the few stores that were still open did not have hardly any customers: Other than a few that catered to skate boarders, a Spencer Gift type of business, and some shoe stores, this once vibrant place is hanging on by a thread, as Department Store Malls have given way to outdoor 'Lifestyle' centers across America...

However, Deep inside the wreckage, I found a diamond in the rough: Streetbeat Records...Instantly I was transformed back to the glory days of the music business, yes, when people still 'purchased' their music on these platters called vinyl records...Hey, they even had used 45's and LP's for sale! The LP's - or 'Albums' - had the coolest jackets, that for many, were works of art...Culture Club's 'Colour By Numbers', Prince's 'Purple Rain', and The Stones 'Some Girls' were the highlights for me...

So can an old school record store survive at a mall that may not have a future? What can be done to get consumers to put down their computers, tablets, and smartphones to maybe shop again at indoor malls? The only hope, in my opinion, is to have experience, entertainment, and creating a destination where consumers can get and do things that they can't do online - factors that will draw people in...When the Harkins Theatres - And Round One Bowling and Arcade were added, this was a great beginning-But then came Covid, and with many folks still avoiding crowded indoor spaces, its now hard to say if this concept will work...

Ok, what ideas do you have to save the American Mall? Here are a few ideas of mine for Mo Val: Transfer some of the building into a large swap meet, open at night...Bring in a Nightclub-Like the Montclair Canyon at The Montclair Mall-To bring in Tribute Bands, and yes even original acts...And how about a small virtual amusement park: Perhaps with flying simulators, that could tie into March ARB's past...And, more entertainment options-Like Circus Vargas? And, perhaps, could the second floor be turned into nice Condos and Restaurants? How about a large Gym, and even medical facilities? 

Hey, If you build it, they will come...We hope...So your thoughts? Is the Moreno Valley Mall worth saving?  

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