- "They [Marty and Jennifer] were opposite the former Courthouse Building of Town Square, which had seen better days. The 1950s, in fact, had been the heyday of this part of town. Then people gathered at Town Square to socialize, do business, simply pass the time of day or evening. There had been a Texaco station here then, a soda shop, florist, the Essex movie house, a record store, a realtor's office, women's dress shop, Studebaker dealer, barber's, an Ask Mr. Foster travel agency, stationery store, Western Auto appliance center and numerous other small businesses. Now nearly all were gone, victims of progress and lack of adequate parking. Many of the building facades were boarded up, covered with peeling notices and signs."
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, pages 19 and 20)
The Courthouse Square was the central point of downtown Hill Valley.
The face of Courthouse Square changed considerably with certain lots changing numerous hands over the decades. In the period of 130 years, the square went from bustling and prospective, to lively and youthful, to aging and decrepit, to revitalized and techno-modernized.
In the square itself in 1955 were several cannons from World War I. By 1985, the grass had been converted to parking for the Department of Social Services hosted in the Courthouse. By 2015, the parking lot was removed and the square had been converted into an artificial lake and an underground mall.
With Biff Tannen's changing of history by giving his younger self the Grays Sports Almanac, he altered the face of Courthouse Square into a gathering hole for bikers, police, criminals, gamblers, and perverts. His Pleasure Paradise was the centerpiece of his empire centered around BiffCo Industries. This was undone when Marty McFly retrieved and burned the almanac in 1955, using a matchbook he had taken from the Pleasure Paradise.
Businesses around the square (clockwise)
Behind the scenes
- In George Gipe's novelization (see Quote above), Courthouse Square is referred to as Town Square.
- It appears that in order to go from one side of town to the other, one must go through downtown.
- In 1931, a band rotunda existed in the center of the square. This may or may not be a reference to the band rotunda currently standing in the real Courthouse Square in the Universal Studios Backlot.
- Back to the Future trilogy
- Back to the Future: The Animated Series
- Super Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future: The Game
Notes and references
- BTTF novel p. 178