Imagine for a moment, a world without shopping malls, “big box” stores and e-commerce. In New Orleans 50 years ago, going Christmas shopping meant going down to Canal Street. With the Christmas shopping season officially upon us, you’ll often hear older folks reflect with some sadness on what it meant to go shopping on Canal Street. From big department stores to small shops, Canal Street in what we now call the Central Business District was the “mall.” We take a look at the fascinating and storied history of this incredibly wide thoroughfare. Canal Street, while no longer the city’s “mall,” is still vibrant and exciting, especially with the revitalization of the Saenger Theater and Joy Theater.