What would New Jersey be without its malls?

Back in their prime, malls were everywhere and everyone went to them for everything.

School shopping? You went to the mall. Hungry? You went to the food court. Friday night? You just went to the mall for no other reason than to just go to the mall. Christmas shopping? You were, without a doubt, going to a mall.

But here we are now in 2023 and everything that used to be found in a mall is on your phone and you can have it at your doorstep in a matter of hours.

Sure, many malls are still doing pretty well (at least on the surface). Some malls that have managed to keep up with the times look crowded, but they may actually be struggling in debt.

Moorestown Mall - Photo: Google Maps
Moorestown Mall - Photo: Google Maps

Regardless, Gen X'ers and younger in the Garden State still have very fond memories of malls and that brings me to some pictures that I recently unearthed.

I bought my first digital camera a good 20 years ago. The thing was huge! And, apparently, I took pictures of everything.

Don't believe me? I took pictures of an old XXX movie theater in Turnersville (the outside -- not the inside).

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Anyway, I hadn't turned that camera on in a very long time. When I did recently, I unearthed a South Jersey time capsule. It was like flying back two decades to a much simpler time.

Among those old pictures are a bunch of the old Echelon Mall, right in the middle of Camden County.

Echelon Mall in NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman
Echelon Mall in NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman

The short version of the mall's history goes like this: it opened in 1970, did well for several decades, and then when it fell on hard times, most of it was demolished and redeveloped about 15 years ago.

When you talk about Echelon Mall, many will comment on its awkward location. This was a big mall not near any big roads.

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The Cherry Hill Mall is right on Route 38. Deptford Mall is right off of the 42 Freeway. Interstate 295 runs right past the Moorestown Mall.

And then there was the Echelon Mall at Somerdale and Burnt Mill Roads, far removed from any major highway.

With that said, Echelon Mall was a landmark in South Jersey for decades. Let's take a trip back in time.

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Exclusive Pictures: Do You Remember Echelon Mall in South Jersey?

Once upon a time, the Echelon Mall in Voorhees was a premier shopping destination in South Jersey. Let's go back in time and remember what it was like in all its glory.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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