The 1980s
Apache started the Reagan era without one of it's biggest original anchors, Montgomery Wards.  Wards left prior to the end of their lease in 1979, and subletted to Furniture Barn for a while.  A large chunk of Wards was renovated into smaller spaces, which would be occupied by Connco Shoes, Get It For Less, and Cost Cutters, among others.    When semi-upscale department store Van Arsdell's folded in the early 80s, Home Base liquidation center moved into its space. Original anchor GC Murphy was also soon gone, successfully replaced by True Value hardware.

True Value in the 1980s (courtesy Apache Plaza)
True Value

In addition to the Wards renovations, the mall began work on some of their most significant physical changes, including an exterior overhaul, new indoor lighting, and brand new floor tile in the center court.  The court fountain also received a major facelift.

      New ceiling lights, prior to the fountain & floor renovation:                                           
fountain & lights
80's ladies lounging by the new fountain:    
fountain gals

Despite the shift in some of its major retailers, life appeared rosy at Apache in 1984, until the fateful April evening when a tornado tore into the South end of the mall, injuring many, and causing millions of dollars worth of damages.  Of particular note is the destruction of the beautiful clerestory colored windows that rounded the central court. 
Some speculate that the mall never recovered from the setback caused by the tornado, as Apache remained closed for several months.  (You can read more about the tornado here.)   

The mall persevered, repairing the damage and replacing many lost tenants, and launching a Grand Re-Opening on November 15th, 1984.

           grand re-open    
Things were looking up as new merchants continued to move in. 
Click below to view article from 1985 (courtesy Apache Plaza):
      

In 1986 Apache celebrated a belated Silver Anniversary, and on July 30th, 1987, Apache held a ribbon-cutting ceremony of grand proportions for the celebrated new Herberger's department store.   Herberger's breathed new life into the mall, doing big business.    Apache also drew big crowds by hosting antique shows, gun shows, truck shows (you get the idea), among other events.  A 1988 article details Apache's many new changes. 

monster trucks!

The mall remained at practically full occupancy (to view a list of Apache's merchants in 1989, click here). 
Towards the end of the decade life at Apache Plaza appeared to be on the mend, but the coming decade would prove otherwise.