Blues Brothers mall = Dixie Square in Harvey, IL. I think that mall was doomed from the day it opened in 1968. I don't think it ever actually did well. It sat abandoned for a year before Blues Brothers was filmed, actually. Funny thing is Landis was specifically looking for an abandoned mall for the infamous chase scene.All the stores inside were just false fronts that the real businesses decorated.
But Harvey is an incredibly crappy town. It's....not safe. In fact, while the abandoned mall was still standing, murders and rapes happened inside there.
There have been several brave souls who actually went inside the mall for urban exploration. A lot of stuff left over from the movie was still there -- a couple of signs used as decorations, for example, and even tire tracks. (It may have been from something other than the filming of the movie, but it's still cool to think that the movie's tire tracks were still there!)
I drove by the mall a few times (I had to -- Blues Brothers is my favorite movie ever) and even in broad daylight it was kind of scary to be in that area. The only thing that makes you feel like you might not be killed is that in what used to be the mall's parking lot is a police station. Only problem is if you were into urban exploration and you drove into the lot, chances are a cop would tell you to get out. (I never went into the lot; I always drove past it on the sidestreets that bordered it.)
The mall was demolished about eight years ago. They were supposed to make bricks from the mall available for sale but they never did; wonder if they were too affected by asbestos or something.
If you're ever in the Chicago area and want to see the big empty space that used to be Dixie Square Mall, take Interstate 57 and get off at the exit immediately after the Harvey city limit sign.Head east after you exit and head south on Dixie Highway. The massive slab-o-concrete that was once a mall is about half a mile south on the left. Good luck.
Anyhoo, here's a picture I took of what was still standing of the mall circa 2007 (some of it had literally collapsed)....I think this part used to be a J.C. Penney (both in the movie and in real life):
Dixie Square is perhaps the most famous of abandoned malls. That place was a WRECK before it was finally demolished. JC Penney was, indeed, literally collapsing.