Dawn Of The Dead | 1978
When it came to following up his microbudget groundbreaker, Night Of The Living Dead, George A Romero came up with a stroke of utter brilliance. Avoiding all the potential cliches, he set the sequel in a shopping mall. The result is part black comedy, part social satire and still a top-notch horror movie.
The mall is Monroeville Mall, 200 Mall Circle Drive, off William Penn Hwy (US 22) north of the town of Monroeville, about 10 miles east of Pittsburgh. Amazingly, 130 of the shops in the Mall cooperated with the production, with one local bank even loaning $20,000 in notes for the scene where now-useless money flutters through the air (it was covered by a cheque in case of losses).
The rooftop hideout (the mall doesn’t have one) was an empty warehouse in downtown Pittsburgh.
The area of the mall has expanded greatly in the intervening years as more stores have been built, but you’ll recognise the original block seen in the movie.
The twin-level layout is pretty much the same, though most of the shops have changed and the decor has been updated. You’ll find the twin elevators alongside the Mr Rogers Children’s Play Area.
The good news is that the mall still plays easy listening muzak. Slightly disappointingly, it never seems to play The Gonk. The Mall crops up again in Kevin Smith’s rumpy-pumpy--rom-com Zack And Miri Make A Porno, and its branch of bookseller Barnes & Noble is featured in Josh Boone’s’s adaptation of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars, with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.