Escalator to Nowhere

An escalator to nowhere (not pictured) is probably the least of American Dream mall's concerns; image by Hebi B. via Pixabay.

A strange sight awaits visitors to American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey: a set of escalators seeming to lead to … nowhere at all. The escalators and staircase appear to ascend into the ceiling but ultimately stop off at the fourth floor, which does not exist, reports

According to mall spokesperson Jessica Griffin, the area will be used for a future, soon-to-be-announced entertainment expansion. Commentors on a Facebook post featuring a photo of the unused vertical-transportation equipment speculated that it might have led to a movie theater before those plans were thwarted by a COVID-19-related bankruptcy. Reporting by the outlet confirms the parent company of CMX cinemas, which had plans to open a dine-in movie theater at American Dream, did file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in 2020.

Escalator to nowhere aside, the mall has received a rash of negative coverage from local media. In February, a decorative helicopter fell from the ceiling into a pool, injuring four people at the mall’s water park. State investigators found that the fall was caused by damage to the wire suspending the giant helicopter. Days prior to the incident, American Dream owners were sued for US$389 million by two lenders who helped finance construction of the mall, and now, are alleging breach of contract. This week, The Real Deal reported the owners are facing another multimillion-dollar lawsuit, this time from the town of East Rutherford.

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