Eerie photos of reopened malls show thinned-out food courts, roped-off play areas, and masked shoppers

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Some stores have stayed closed even as the malls have reopened. AP Photo/Eric Gay
  • Malls are starting to reopen in some states.
  • Mall operators have implemented some changes to enforce social distancing and more stringent hygiene practices.
  • Take a look at what reopened malls looked like in Texas, Oklahoma, and Indiana.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Malls have begun to reopen in certain states that are easing their restrictions on businesses.

Many of these malls are operated by Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the US, which reportedly said in an internal memo last week that it was aiming to have 49 of its shopping centres open by May 4. They had been closed since mid-March.

These and other reopened malls look pretty different from their pre-COVID-19 selves, however. They have reduced hours, limited capacity, placed markers to enforce social distancing, and required shoppers to wear masks inside stores.

Here’s what it looks like inside some of the malls that have reopened:


Ingram Park Mall opened in San Antonio on Friday.

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A shopper wearing face protection walks past a shopper safety sign at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, Friday, May 1, 2020. AP Photo/Eric Gay

Texas is allowing some stores in rural areas to open up to 50% capacity, but most parts of the state are limited to 25% capacity.

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Shoppers wait to enter a store at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, Friday, May 1, 2020. AP Photo/Eric Gay

Source: Forth Worth Star-Telegram


Some stores have stayed closed for the time being.

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Shoppers wearing face protection ride an escalator at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, Friday, May 1, 2020. AP Photo/Eric Gay

Children’s play areas remain shut down.

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Children’s coin operated rides are marked as closed at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, Friday, May 1, 2020. AP Photo/Eric Gay

Penn Square Mall, another Simon property, also opened on Friday in Oklahoma City.

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People wait outside Penn Square Mall for the doors to open Friday, May 1, 2020, in Oklahoma City, as the mall reopens. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Signs at the entrance directed customer traffic to one side. Only two of the mall’s seven entrances were open, according to the Associated Press.

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A man walks to the doors at Penn Square Mall Friday, May 1, 2020, in Oklahoma City, as the mall reopens. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Mall operators blocked off certain sinks in restrooms to encourage social distancing. Only one of the mall’s two restrooms was open.

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Alternating sinks in the restroom at Penn Square mall are taped off to promote social distancing as the mall reopens Friday, May 1, 2020, in Oklahoma City. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Seating capacity in the mall’s food court was also reduced from 600 seats to 170.

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People eat in the food court at Penn Square Mall as the mall reopens Friday, May 1, 2020, in Oklahoma City. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Employees wore masks and were told to follow the CDC’s recommendations for frequent hand washing.

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A security guard wearing a mask and riding a Segway patrols inside Penn Square Mall as the mall reopens Friday, May 1, 2020, in Oklahoma City. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

NorthPark Mall also opened on Friday in Dallas.

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Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, Curtis Sulcer wipes down an escalator for shoppers at the NorthPark Mall in Dallas, Saturday, May 2, 2020. AP Photo/LM Otero

Employees in masks and gloves opened doors for shoppers and monitored crowds.

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A shopper leaves a Gucci store as others wait to enter at North Park Mall in Dallas, Saturday, May 2, 2020. AP Photo/LM Otero

In a sign of the times, a mannequin was fitted with a fashion mask at Hadleigh’s, a store at Dallas’ Highland Park Village shopping centre, which opened on Friday.

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A mannequin displays fashion masks for shoppers to buy at the Highland Park Village shopping centre in Dallas, Saturday, May 2, 2020. AP Photo/LM Otero

All employees and visitors at the Galleria Dallas were required to wear face coverings.

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A police officer hands young shoppers masks to wear while walking inside the Galleria Dallas mall in Dallas, Monday, May 4, 2020. AP Photo/LM Otero

Source: Galleria Dallas


Many have chosen to stay home even as some stores reopen.

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Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, few shoppers are seen at the Galleria Dallas mall in Dallas, Monday, May 4, 2020. AP Photo/LM Otero

It was a similarly eerie scene at the newly reopened Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Indiana.

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A shopper walks inside of the Greenwood Park Mall, Monday, May 4, 2020, in Greenwood, Ind. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Indiana is allowing retailers and malls to reopen in most parts of the state, as long as residents follow social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings.

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A shopper walks past a marking on the floor inside of the Greenwood Park Mall, Monday, May 4, 2020, in Greenwood, Ind. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Hand sanitizer stations at The Woodlands Mall in The Woodlands, Texas, which reopened Tuesday, emphasised the frequency of cleanings.

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A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a table near an entrance at The Woodlands Mall Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in The Woodlands, Texas. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Some stores have blocked off entrances as they have reached capacity limits.

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Store manager Natalie Hijazi temporarily closes off the entrance to a Pet Fair store inside The Woodlands Mall to help meet the current occupancy limits in place Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in The Woodlands, Texas. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

This sign took a more cheeky approach as it reminded shoppers to keep social distancing.

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A social distancing sign is posted on the floor in the food court at The Woodlands Mall Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in The Woodlands, Texas. The mall reopened Tuesday with increased health and safety measures in place. AP Photo/David J. Phillip