Demolition Looms for 'Blues Brothers' Mall

Scene of epic indoor car chase will be torn down after more than 30 years empty

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Universal

With police cars speeding down its walkways and smashing through storefronts, the Dixie Square Mall was destroyed on the inside more than 30 years ago in an epic chase scene from the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. After sitting empty for all these years, the mall will finally be demolished.

Federal funding has come through and demolition contractors will begin tearing down the 600,000 square foot mall later this month,  the Chicago Tribune reports.

The mall, located in Harvey, Ill., was closed in 1979, just 14 years after opening. Immediately after its closure, the mall was used to film the highly destructive car chase that had police cars zooming past and sometimes through shops inside the mall. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor.

The mall had sat empty ever since filming finished, and had become a local landmark of sorts, where people would break in and explore or even vandalize the decaying mall. Part of its longevity has to do with the abundant asbestos inside the mall, removal of which has been too costly for the city of Harvey, 20 miles south of Chicago. But now with $4 million in federal disaster relief funds, the empty mall will be demolished. And because of the asbestos, demolition crews will start their destruction, like the Blues Brothers, inside.

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.