MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- Emma Cagle, Taylor Tickle and Bailey Atkins are from Mount Airy. Each one has fond memories of Mayberry Mall.
"It was really fun when I was little," Cagle said. "We go to the mall and sit on Santa's lap and we would sing there and now they don't have anything like that."
"I can’t believe it," Tickle said. "The mall use to be my favorite place to go when I was little. But the older I got, the worse it got.”
Atkins said she tries to avoid the Mayberry Mall.
"Just pulling into the parking lot, you get a feeling of failure," Atkins said.
In this case, the mall's roof is failing. Buckets and trash cans scattered across the mall are now catching rain water dripping through the ceiling. The scene plays out in person and on social media.
"It doesn't have to be on Facebook," Tickle said. "I went to the mall the other day and as soon as I walked in there, I was like, 'What is that musty smell?' It smells like something has been shut up forever."
The water damage is especially bad at the former Kmart section of the mall. So Surry County building inspectors condemned the old store space. But inspectors say contractors working for Mayberry Mall Realty Management have permits to begin roof repairs. Shoppers like Amelia Holt hope fixing the leaky roof can be the beginning of a great future for the Mayberry Mall.
"We are a small town," Holt said. "I think we like to support local. If they brought something in and make repairs more people would be attracted to that."
Mike Kohan, with Mayberry Mall Realty Management, was not available for comment.