Patrons visit Knoxville Center Mall for one last time

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Friday marks the Knoxville Center Mall’s last day in business.

Previously known as East Towne Mall, the mall was set to permanently close its doors January 31.

The official announcement of its closure came back in October, after anchor stores like Belk and JCPenney moved out.

WATE 6 On Your Side heard from people visiting the mall on Friday for one last time.

PHOTOS | A desolate Knoxville Center Mall, formerly East Towne Mall, on closing day

“I’ve been here the past two days because school’s been cancelled, so I’ve had the opportunity to do that, which I was really happy to know. So I’ve just been coming out here a lot to see it,” said Garrett Fox.

Knoxville Center Mall opened in 1984. Opening day is one that some of Friday’s mall-goers remember well.

RELATED | From the archives: 1984 East Towne Mall Grand Opening

“It was exciting. There were so many people over here, you could not hardly find a place to park,” said Johnnie Phillips.

The mall is a place filled with many memories for people in the community. Some remember visiting as children, or bringing their own children to shop. Others have made fairly new memories.

“I’ve been coming here for maybe a year and a half. I’ve just been walking and burning calories,” Bow Morton said.

For those we met, Friday was about re-living some of their favorite moments at Knoxville Center Mall, taking the chance to visit one last time and encouraging others to do the same.

“I really hope that if you have memories to come, I hope you come one more time. Just to see the mall,” Fox said.

“I’m going to miss the mall. There’s no where else around here that offered this many stores in this short of space,” said Phillips.

The only two stores still open this final week were Regal Tuxedo and LensCrafters. Virtually everything else left in the mall is up for auction, including decorations and furniture.

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