Philly Army Experience Center to Close

A high-tech, videogame-laden Army recruiting center in Philadelphia that was often the center of controversy and protests is shutting down at the end of July.

The Army Experience Center cost approximately $12 million to build and was launched in August of 2008. The 14,500 square foot facility, located in the Franklin Mills Mall, was consistently targeted with protests led by a coalition of national peace groups that operated the website Shutdown the Army Experience Center.  The activists felt that the Army Experience Center glorified killing and depicted war as a game with its realistic simulators.

The protest group claimed victory, stating that the Army center was closed at least partly due to its efforts, noting that it had another planned protest in the works for Saturday, June 19.

A Philadelphia Inquirer article indicated that at least 236 recruits had joined the Army through the center and that over 40,000 people in total had visited it.

The Army claimed that the installation was never meant to be permanent. The technology used in the center could be adopted in recruiting centers in other areas of the country.

Philly was chosen as the location for the storefront because the city, along with most of New Jersey, had “the lowest propensity toward military service in the nation."

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  1. 0
    sharpshooterbabe says:

    My brother was part of something like that what you were explaining. He got to shoot a simulator from America’s Army game at the shooting range in the game. He liked it sooooo much, he lost weight & joined. I don’t blame him & the Armed Forces center he joined is next to the $1 movie theatre. Where a lot of teens go.

    I agree with others on here……there was NO win for the protesters. The Army could care less about protesters in front of the center or other centers. All the Army cares about is getting people into the Army.



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  2. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Fun story:

    Those protesting idiots didn’t win anything.  Those simulators?  They’re going to be mobilized.  They’ll be at every major air show or patriotic celebration in America for the next year or two.  I’ve even seen the ‘Mobile Experience Center’ (or whatever the hell they’re calling it these days) in the last week or two, parked outside a hotel.  Good win, though, really.  You managed to proclaim victory over the closing of what was meant to be a temporary and experimental foray into a larger-scale recruiting station.

    And while you bitched about that, you missed out on the ‘Future Soldier’ program, now being used in highschools around the country!

    Good win though, morons.

  3. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Eh, kinda.

    Thompson at least was pretty much consistently all over everything Rockstar did.  These jackasses protested one minor, minor part of the Army recruitment drive and did nothing to slow recruitment (and, those numbers ignore the vast amount of JROTC individuals who’ve passed through the AEC and are likely to join after highschool is over, seeing as the AEC hosted a lot of highschool events for JROTCs).  Meanwhile, what they seem to believe they have accomplished was less an occurence of ‘ridding the country of the AEC’s interactive exhibits and simulations’ and more ‘they protested until we finished the experiment and concluded that the AEC’s resources are best used in a mobile manner, crossing the country and showing up at events of a patriotic/pro-American slant’.   

    They’ve got the ‘claiming victory’ part down pat, and it sure seems like they’re just as delusional.  They just lack the ability to multitask their crazy like Jack did.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

     My generall guess is that many ‘mills’ malls were built on the same ground as failing industrial mills, meaning they never really had a good placement/buisness plan, just land that needed to be repurposed.

    But yeah, I see a lot of half empty or worse malls today.  Besides the current economic downturn, I think they are generally trying to find their new equalibrium.  Like department stores before them, they seem to have peaked in popularity and now are slowing down quite a bit.   

  5. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Are malls with ‘Mills’ in the name damned to failure?  Every malls I’ve been to lately is like a ghost town; I was even in one where there were fewer shops than open spaces, and almost the entire food court had bailed.

  6. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Of course, thos idiot protesters claim victory when in fact they had no part in it’s closing. And wouldn’t a victory for them mean that those 236 recruits woudl actually be zero?

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