CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) There was tremendous excitement when the Charleston Town Center first opened in 1983. Wednesday people in the Charleston area shared their memories of what the mall was like decades ago.

People who lived in the Charleston area in the 1980s likely visited the Charleston Town Center with family, especially around the holidays.

“I just remember coming to the Charleston Mall as a child and it being decorated for Christmas and just having a wonderful experience. It was an exciting time,” said Allyson Chandler.

If you ask around you could quickly meet someone who remembers the mall’s heyday.

“For back to school, for Christmas shopping it is where as teenagers we gathered to get to see each other,” recalled Rebecca Snodgrass.

At times the mall had more than 100 tenants and offered shopping options for everyone.

“It was very active, a lot of crowds, a lot of different stores. We enjoyed it. We came down and saw friends and relatives while we were here,” said Larry Frail. He and Patty Johnston drove from Beckley often to shop.

“We used to come down with our daughter and nieces when they were young,” Johnston said. “We’d just have a big time and spend the whole day.”

When it first opened many were in awe of the fountain and the decor. Those images still stick in the minds of locals even though the mall looks much different now than it did back then.

“I remember when it first opened and how it used to be packed,” Snodgrass said. “I can remember driving downtown on Saturdays with my mom and dad and you couldn’t even get around it for everyone who was trying to get inside the mall.”