- Photographer Stephen DiRado spent two and a half years visiting shopping malls in Massachusetts in the 1980s documenting everyday life.
- The photos that have emerged present unique time capsule of both the decade and a time when shopping malls were at their peak.
- The photos are a stark contrast to the photos we see today of empty and dying shopping malls in middle America.
As an emerging photographer in the 1980s, Stephen DiRado began exploring malls in and around his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, as a means of exploring his own middle-class upbringing.
At the time, shopping malls had become the meeting place for America's youth, as teens of every different stripe milled about the food courts, smoked cigarettes, and went from chain store to chain store in search of temporary employment.
For two and a half years, DiRado visited malls in Worcester and all over Massachusetts for nearly 18 hours a week to document mall-goers and the strange world that American capitalism gave birth to.
DiRado shared a selection of the photos with us here, but you can check out the rest at his website.
DiRado was born in the late 1950s, just as malls were starting to be built to serve the growing middle class.
As a young kid in the 1960s, DiRado and his friends met up at the neighborhood "five and dime" stores to hang out, drink sodas, and buy snacks.
The owners of the neighborhood "five and dime" stores were well-known members of the community.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider