Tuscaloosa’s University Mall Has a Crazy Hollywood History
University Mall has been a mainstay in Tuscaloosa since it's opening in 1980. It is considered the largest shopping mall in West Alabama. There isn't a week that goes by, where I don't at least stop once to get some shopping done. But did you know that the land where University Mall currently sits was once featured in a Big-Time Hollywood Movie?
The movie was the 1978 Warner Brothers release Hooper starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, & Jan-Michael Vincent. I remember the movie well because when the movie was released, I was working as an usher at the Mode Theater in Joliet, Illinois, and Hooper was a featured movie attraction there for a few months. I must've seen the movie at least 42 times during its run there! Little did I know that years later, I would be working and living in the city where the final, climatic scene was filmed!
In case you've never watched the final scene, HERE it is in all of it's YouTube Glory. Do you recognize any of the old surroundings? The buildings you see that are being destroyed are remnants of the old Northington General Hospital. (Caution: some adult language is used).
Everything in this scene was filmed where University Mall currently sits, EXCEPT for the actual car jump itself, which was filmed on Hwy 78 in Jefferson County, between Jasper and Birmingham.
So, the next time you take a stroll through University Mall, just think, that you might be standing in the very spot where Burt Reynolds' 1978 Firebird Trans Am once squealed its tires! :-)