Golden Ring Mall, formerly owned by Simon Properties, was a shopping mall located in eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. It was located at U.S. Route 40 and Interstate 695, and was at its peak when it opened in 1974. The grand opening, a resplendent affair, was set amid the fine artwork and spacious courtyards at the mall. The grand opening was created by George Reavis "Buck" Sappenfield III, a native of Sherman, Texas, who brought the "bigger than Texas" celebration to East Baltimore. The mall included a center court filled with palm trees and fountains, as well as sculptures by Rita Blitt and Bogdan Grom. Sappenfield had created programs of similar largesse at Mounds Mall in Anderson, Indiana and Irving Mall in Irving, Texas. It would later face competition from White Marsh Mall, and Eastpoint Mall. It has now been revitalized, and is known as The Centre at Golden Ring.
The mall had three anchors: Hecht's (known as The Hecht Company at the time), Montgomery Ward, and Stewart's (a local Baltimore area department store). When Stewart's closed its doors in the early 1980s, Caldor took over the lease space. Golden Ring's demise began in the late 1980s, and was all but closed in 1990 when Hutzler's at White Marsh Mall closed. Hecht's opened a new location in White Marsh's former Hutzler's space in 1992. The Hecht's and Montgomery Ward stayed open until the mall closed. Caldor closed in the late 1990s, and Simon closed the mall in early 2001.
In early 2002, Simon Properties sold the failing mall to Petrie Ventures, Inc. and Heritage Development Co. of Chagrin Falls, Ohio for $14 million.
The Movies at Golden Ring
Another major tenant at Golden Ring was a multiplex cinema operated by United Artists Theatres. At first, there were five screens: three on the upper level near Montgomery Ward (opening in 1976), and two on the upper level near Hecht's (1977). In late 1985, four additional screens opened on the lower level next to Hecht's. In 1992-94, the theatre received a major technical and aesthetic upgrade, and three new screens were opened below the original three, for a total of twelve. There also was a "Starport" interactive arcade. Finally, the theatre was well-known for its presentation of the cult film "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1981-82; 1985-92). Once one of UA's most profitable complexes, its fortunes declined along with those of the mall, especially after the 1997 opening of a 16-screen stadium-seating complex at White Marsh (originally operated by Sony Theatres, now run by AMC Theatres).
The Centre at Golden Ring
The new owners brought about the successful revitalization of the mall, which has daily traffic estimated at 150,000 cars. In 2002, the two-level Golden Ring mall was demolished and the space reconfigured. The site is now occupied by an open-air shopping center called "The Centre at Golden Ring".
Retail space has been downsized from 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) to 480,000 square feet (45,000 m2). New property agents were brought in to put together a good tenant roster, which offered products and services that better matched the demographics of the area
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