Exponential growth in the 1950s saw iconic retail and entertainment venues emerge in Mesquite. The Mesquite Championship Rodeo, made famous by the legendary rider Neal Gay, drew world-wide attention and earned Mesquite its distinction as the official “Rodeo Capital of Texas” by a vote of the Texas Legislature. Mesquite was home to the Southwest’s first enclosed, air-conditioned mall, and in 1971, Town East Mall was developed. This shopping hub provides 1.2 million square feet of space with a customer draw that makes it a retail giant in North Texas. Mesquite’s AMC 30 cinema is one of the largest movie theaters in the world.