Sean Penn and Robert Romanus (right) in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982). Photo: Universal/Everett Collection
The mall was synonymous with freedom in 1982. You were picked up and dropped off between noon and dusk. You were allowed to wander in a teenage pack during the time between. Some began at The Sweet Factory and spent the afternoon digging into the candy bag with their hands like a wine drinker. Some began at the food court, with Orange Julius or caramel corn. We all stopped by the knife shop and looked at the Bowies and throwing stars.
Fast Times at Ridgemont was the mall epic as 'Apocalypse Now was the Vietnam War epic. It was a great way to capture the mood and tell us where we are going and what we have done.