Foothills Mall



The Foothills mall was an indoor shopping mall that opened in 1982. During the 1990's to now, the mall has had many stores close down and new ones come in. Unfortunately, The mall had previously shut down completely because of competitions against other brand new malls, especially one that opened 15 minutes away in the town of Marana. Most of the businesses that were in the Foothills mall moved to other malls such as Tucson mall or the Arizona Pavilions Shopping Center. Some of the mall's most prominent stores and places used to be Ross, Barnes and Noble and its movie theater, AMC Foothills 15. Even though the movie theater lives on with its entrance now situated behind the remaining parts of the mall, the Ross has closed and the Barnes and Noble moved to its own location just outside of the mall. Foothills Mall was one of Tucson's largest shopping centers with spacing for a total of 90 stores. Before its recent demolition this year to make way for its updated counterpart, the mall gave a feeling of  loneliness and abandonment when you walk through it, echoing of movie patrons heard in the distance. 


Main Corridor (2022)

Ross Dress for Less, one of the last stores standing, closed in 2020.

What Levi's outlet store looked like before closing

Another store that is empty and closed down

Only 2 entrances remain open for people to access the few locations in the complex which are the main entrance and the AMC movie Theater entrance.

Previous Main Entrance

AMC Theater

The Movie Theater, which is called AMC Foothills 15, has reclining chairs with red sofa cushioning and enough leg room to really stretch out during a movie. The theater also offers a rewards card for all AMC theaters to this date. The theater is still open to date, and is considered one of the best movie theaters in Tucson. In my opinion, I agree with this statement especially when there are still theaters in Tucson without reclining chairs.  The theater opens every day with its first showtime usually being between 10:30 am to 11:00 am while the final showtimes are either at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm. The theater offers many of the usual movie theater snacks and candies as well as alcoholic drinks at its bar section. This is still the only theater in Tucson belonging to the AMC chain. The movie theater is basically what keeps Foothills mall alive.  The shows that are currently out are Blue Beetle, Haunted Mansion, A Haunting in Venice, and so much more. They will also be showing the Swift movie concert experience in the near future.

Link to site:

AMC Foothills 15 (2022)

AMC is still open during construction (2023)

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

When Barnes & Noble was in the Foothills Mall, it took up two stories in the mall. The second floor was a kids’ reading area consisting of most of the kids books that were in the store, a toy train set for kids to play with that has been their forever; and kids reading area. Outside the kids area on the second floor sold other toys like Lego play sets. On the first floor right were newly released books, a kiosk for nooks, and magazines. Walking towards that back of the first floor, there was everything from board games to comics and manga, and teen fiction. In the back of the store was their movie and music section. 

Now since moving to its own building, the layout has changed. The Barnes & Noble building consists of two floors filled with books and its own mini Starbucks. The first floor houses the Starbucks café and its customer service desk. The Starbucks has free Wifi and a small sitting section. The first floor also has the new releases, teen fiction, and board games. In the far back of the store on the first floor, there are also cookbooks, music, and DVDs. The second floor houses the Barnes & Noble jr. which is a whole section dedicated to kids from ages 1 to 12. The section also has kid drawing and work books as well as a small reading area in the middle. On the rest of the second floor, there are books on religion, politics, and history. The building has escalators to help with getting up and down to the floors. Honestly, a two floored Barnes & Noble is every book lover's dream!

Link to site:


Barnes and Noble

Other Places In or Near Mall

In the food court, you could find fast food chains like Arby's, Panda Express, and Sbarro but all of it is gone because of the demolition. Outside the mall you can now find other fast food options and restaurants.  Some of the restaurants are a reopened Sushi Garden and Whiskey Roads Country Bar which opened in 2022. Sushi Garden was previously closed due to renovation and alongside Whiskey Roads is one of the Mall's main attractions. Whiskey Roads is a country bar that once occupied what was once the food court at Foothills mall.  It receives up to 500 visitors during weekends and late nights for live country entertainment. Sushi Garden is a bar that sells Japanese food that typically gets busy around 6:00 pm.

Link to sites for restaurants: and

Some of the fast food restaurants located near are Subway and Chipotle. The Subway does not get much business because there is an even better Subway that exists inside the Super Walmart that is located next to the mall, again just my personal opinion. The Chipotle is also really good because they are not cheap on filling up a bowl, speaking from personal experience as a regular customer there. Other stores near the mall are Gamestop, Super Walmart, Pappoule's, Bath & Body Works, FedEx Office, Uniform Destination, and VN Nails.

The Food Court when it was still operating.

Security Guard Benjamin Shares His Thoughts

The mall has two security guards that work 24/7 patrolling the complex. Benjamin works the night shift, he is from Virginia. He did not grew up in Tucson, but was happy to share his personal experience from working at Foothills Mall.  

"You get a feeling of emptiness here. I feel like this was an amazing place before, I honestly love it because it represents mystery for me. For many people in Tucson this place brings back lots of memories, while for me, it's just a building on the verge of being abandoned, yet I never experienced was this place really was before." - April 2023

Benjamin also talks about how he has experienced unusual activity at the mall, referring to it as the "paranormal". He talks about how he once saw a little girl in the middle of the night, walking through the mall corridors. 

"The mall was completely locked down, there was no way someone could break in, I tried helping the little girl since I could hear her cry, she was hiding behind a wall. When I peeked behind it, there was no one there. This place is 40 years old, it wouldn't surprise me if it was haunted, I'm used to working in place like this." - April 2023

Benjamin is currently happy with his job, and enjoys being in charge of the mall's security.

I personally have not experienced anything “spooky” when leaving the mall from the movie theater late at night but I do not doubt Benjamin’s claim of paranormal experience at an abandoned mall. It is also unclear if Benjamin is still employed as a security guard at Foothills Mall due to the recent demolition that has occurred.

Future Plans, Future Uptown

New plans for the Foothills Mall have begun with the Bourn Companies receiving approval for a zoning change in 2018. The process has now started since it is 2023 and it looks as though the project is going well. Foothills Mall in the future will become Uptown, Tucson’s first high-density urban village. The village will consist of condos, office spaces, retail, restaurants, parking, and an entertainment space. While there is much demolition and construction, some spaces are still in use during construction such as AMC movie theaters, the country bar, sushi bar, and a few retail stores such as Barnes and Noble remain open. As the year continues into 2024, new spaces will begin to open in phases. The once empty mall will soon be a place where people will now be able to live instead. Many malls are losing popularity and many stores within them are closing. This is mostly due to the rise of online shopping and amazon giving customers what they want even if it is across the country without having to go far. So, the development of a shopping area with a living area attached makes sense for it would convince people to go shopping since it is right outside their door. I am mostly worried about how high the rent shall be in the future. With projects this big, many of the funds come from not only the company but the communities surrounding the area. I previously lived right next to Foothills Mall but had to move due to an absurd rise in rent. I thought it was living inflation just affecting but now I believe that this may have had something to do with it as well.



Rendering for Future Village + Shopping Area

(Photo from


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Personal Memory from a Previous Visitor

"As a kid, I remember walking through Foothills mall smelling the delicious Sbarro Pizza, which was located on the food court. Whenever we would visit Tucson, going to Foothills mall was amazing. There was so much to do and so much to look at. As a video game enthusiast, I always got excited when I would walk into the KB games store located inside the mall. My dad used to buy shoes at the huge Nike outlet that was located at Foothills mall. I have so many memories from this place that I felt nostalgic when I went back. It's so sad to see the downfall of this place. The corridors and stores that were once packed are now empty spaces. You can hear the echo of your steps when walking through the mall. It is certainly a sad environment.  I feel like it was yesterday when my brother and I ran through the mall excited to buy a new toy or video game. We were certainly not the only kids who had similar experiences at Foothills Mall." - April 2023