In a few weeks, Collin Creek Mall in Plano will close as a developer works to demolish parts of the old mall to build a new mixed-use development that will include homes, restaurants, offices and shops.
As the last days dwindle, former “mall rats” are preserving memories from the mall that opened in east Plano in 1981.
"A whole flood of emotions come over me when I stand in this mall now," said Hava Johnston. "Everything from when I was an itty-bitty kid when I came here for the first time back-to-school shopping… to bringing my little kids here to get their first portraits taken."
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Johnston and her husband, Sean, grew up in Plano and both recall watching shows at the mall, camping out for concert tickets at Ticket Master and later, bringing their kids in for photos with Santa.
"We can walk through the mall with our group of friends and point out where things used to be," said Sean Johnston. "I could tell you Camelot Music was downstairs and Hastings music was upstairs."
"If we were trying to find a record, we'd have to go in and sing part of the song to the guy that worked there," he laughed.
In mid-May, Hava Johnston started a Facebook group asking people to share their memories of the mall. In a matter of weeks, the group grew to more than 6,000 followers – eager to post photos.
"I think this is a common memory for so many people," explained Sean Johnston. "We didn't all go to the same high school, we didn't go to the same churches, but everyone hung out here."
Kim Norvell agrees. She grew up in Murphy and coming back to Collin Creek Mall reminds her of simpler times.
"Coming back brings all that back and it feels good," said Norvell who came to the mall with her sons Winston and Titus on Thursday.
"There are so many memories," she said.
The last store lease in Collin Creek Mall expires July 31 and the developer expects to begin construction shortly after that.
"I'm excited to see what they do with it," said Hava Johnston.
"We’ll come back," she added.