A growing number of people will pass through the doors of the Bangor Mall in the coming weeks and months to enjoy theater, music, gaming and other entertainment — attractions that are starting to rival retail centers at the mall.

Six years ago, when the mall had a 98 percent occupancy rate, that would have seemed like a pretty crazy idea in the retail-dominated building. But today, with 22 empty storefronts and national retailers closing brick-and-mortar stores, the idea of a theater company opening or a comic convention happening in a shopping mall is far from crazy. It’s starting to become the norm.

Today at the mall, Some Theatre Company and Ten Bucks Theatre Company both operate spaces. Sunshine’s Fitness Studio and Wellness Center offers classes and personal training. Bangor Comic & Toy Con, after hosting its convention at the mall earlier this month, will now offer year-round programming in two storefront locations. Maineiac Manor, open during October and sporadically throughout the year, runs a haunted house in the former Hollister store, and local photographer Shane Grant opened a photography and video studio. 

The Bangor Mall is turning into an entertainment destination