The Mall of Abilene will celebrate 40 years in business with a celebration on March 14 in the Men’s Dillard’s Courtyard from 2-4 p.m.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Redcoats. Food and refreshments will be provided, along with entertainment from the “Piano Man,” Mike Schuler.
Original tenants from when the mall first opened will be speaking at the celebration, including El Chico Cafe’s owner Cesar Rangel.
Various businesses will participate in raffles, offering prizes such as gift cards and gift certificates for those who enter the drawings. Others will be offering special coupons throughout the day.
The Mall opened its doors on March 14, 1979, with department stores like Wilson’s, Grissom’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney and more. Forty years later, many of those same stores are still open for business today.
Over 50,000 people attended the grand opening to see the biggest mall in the Big Country.
There have been two big upgrades to the mall recently. The first was the addition of the Abilene Public Library South Branch in 2016.
Steven Niles, General Manager of the Mall in Abilene, said the addition of the of the library hasn’t hurt business at the mall.
“The addition of the library really shook up our merchandise offering and has been nothing but a win-win for our community and our center,” Giles said.
The latest upgrade to the mall was in 2018 when the mall updated the movie theater’s name, seating and technology.
Lavone Crosby, Premiere Lux Cine 10 Director, said the upgrades were necessary to keep up with other movie theaters in Texas.
“Premiere and the mall recently teamed up to upgrade the facility, including the addition of new luxury seating and technology to better meet customer needs and exceed their expectations,” Crosby said. “Through the years of renovations and store openings, the theatre experienced its most extensive renovation to date in 2018.”
Niles said this event is for the Abilene community to recognize the impact the mall has had on Abilene.
“This event is just to celebrate and bring together both the retailers that are here and the public and community at large,” said Giles. “They can all come together and reminisce with us and celebrate the anniversary and the fact we’ve been here in the community.”