Entering center court (taken with a digital camera at the end of its life). Note the cage structure on the left. The first photo is the view of the entrance corridor with an unknown store on the left, former Kmart mall entrance on the right, and a smaller back entrance straight ahead. It is obvious that this mall got a cheap 1990's remodel that stripped out everything worth seeing.
I have quite possibly never seen anything so creepy in a dead mall. It looks like a makeshift jail.
Does anybody know what this was? It looks like it was a restaurant.
Detail of the ceiling including a ton of missing ceiling tiles. I guess this is how the mall deals with water damage: just remove the damaged tiles and call it done.
A close-up of the insanely creepy empty shops adjacent to the back entrance. Aside from the 90's pastels, this looks haunting. However, the doors with the blue light appear to actually be an exit for the theaters. The store on the right is a total mystery.
A look at the entry into the main mall. The blue tarp is where the fun stops. The rest of the mall is closed to the public. This tarp was replaced by a wall by the next visit.
The only interior entrance open to the public. With no open stores in the mall, the corridor is used solely to provide access to the mall's movie theater that outlasted the rest of the mall. It is located on the NE corner of the mall and previously dually functioned as the entrance to Kmart.
A view from the main mall to the former Kmart. The mall itself had no natural light aside from the high window skylights in the court areas: a typical design used in the early 70's.
Another close-up view of the Kmart mall entrance. Judging by the lack of mounting holes, the remodel was done after Kmart closed.
A couple photos taken inside the dead Kmart approximately two years apart. The second photo indicates some kind of work was going on inside the store itself judging by a truck parked inside along with ladders and scaffolding.
Parkhill Cinema 3: the last operational store inside the mall as of 2013. It is unknown if the theaters are still open.
Tarboro was no different than any other cities in Eastern North Carolina in that its primary economic engines mostly stopped running, and such a small town as Tarboro would prove unable to support a mall pretty quickly. The mall would limp along through the 80's, but both JCPenney and regional chain Brody's passed over the mall leaving the mall a low end mall worsened by the non-existent growth prospects for Tarboro. One anchor change did occur during that period, however. The first was when GC Murphy went under in 1987, it was replaced by Roses. It also appears that the mall received at least one renovation sometime in the 1980's or 1990's.
One more Kmart shot setting the mood with some empty benches. Exactly who is going to want to sit in an un-airconditioned mini-corridor with zero stores and a few feet to walk?
The treasures of the mall were sadly hidden from view, but this shot through an abandoned store window gives a little glimpse of the former Belk Tyler mall entrance featuring what appears to be a classy and distinctive 70's look.
Looking inside the former Belk Tyler from the other side entrance into the mall. The closure of Belk pretty much took the mall down with it.
A look under the tarp (not possible later) showing some of what is still visible in the rest of the mall.
The mall corridor was apparently closed to the public beyond the theaters around 2010-2012, because a permanent wall was installed in the second visit. I wonder what it would take to get to tour the other side.
Exterior/Kmart entrance to mall, the only one still open to the interior section. To the right is the garden center for Kmart. However, Kmart was not the first anchor to have a garden center at the mall!
More detail of the garden center with the auto center in the second photo. The only spring greens you're going to pick up here today are dandelions and crabgrass.
This was the back Kmart/mall entrance with a labelscar still faintly visible.
Belk Tyler's very stately mall entrance. It was from this door you could see through to the mall entrance.
And here is Belk Tyler's very OWN garden center. At this time, they weren't growing blue flowers that light up on the side of the building, but they were obviously growing something. This meant that Belk and Kmart were actually competing with garden centers! However, it would not be the only service they'd compete on.
This unassuming back door was once the emergency exit for G.C. Murphy, which was the original third anchor in the mall.
Mr. Tyler was not one to market Belk as just a mere department store, he even went so far as to open up a full-service gas station! This station served customers quality "Belko" gas!
Batteries! Tires! Alignment...all at BELK!
It turns out the Belk Tyler auto center operated under local ownership for a period of years after Belk closed as Webb Tire & Auto, which looks to have closed with no replacement.
Guess you'll need to go further down the road now if you need car service...or not. The old Kmart auto center has reopened as Premium Auto Care and Tire since these photos were taken. I wonder if it has any of the original employees from this place.
Another rear entrance of the mall next to Belk including a lot of retrofitting for non-mall tenants. This would be on the southwest corner. Also note the domed skylight over the court in front of Belk!
Of course, no mid-century mall was ever complete without a strip center adjacent to it. This strip was originally anchored by A&P and People's Drugs.
This historical map was drawn to the best of my knowledge. Things unknown include the exact shape of the G.C. Murphy, the location of People's Drugs in the mall and any detailed information about the closed off portions of the mall. Any help would be appreciated.
Google Maps view of the mall