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A walk around the mall became a healthy habit, 37 years ago

Brad Williams



In 1982, Valley View Mall began hosting an indoor exercise program called ‘Walk for Life.’ Most of the stores in the mall didn’t open until 10 a.m., but people showed up to walk as early as 7:30. Four round trips inside the mall, from J.C. Penney to Sears and back, equaled about a mile of walking.

The mall was preparing to get its own movie theaters. The Plitt Theater chain announced plans to open La Crosse’s first 3-screen theater. The Cinema and King Theaters only had 2 screens apiece. The Valley Square Theaters opened in August of ’82, and remained in business for about 30 years.

‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ was the biggest hit movie of 1982, and was number #1 for a total of 16 weeks during the year. A couple of times, ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ beat E.T. for the weekly honors, and the first Rambo movie, ‘First Blood’ opened that fall, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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