Monday, May 01, 2006

Topanga Plaza

Canoga Park, California - 1960's

Another shot of that great Topanga Plaza fountain! And here's a current aerial view of the mall.

Mall history: 1964 - present
Current website: here.
Previous entries: 1, 2


Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

After more than 40 years, Topanga Plaza is still going strong; in fact, its doubling in size. This will be the first mall to include both Target and Neiman Marcus. The other anchors are Sears, Nordstrom, and Robinsons-May (soon to be Macy's).

Sadly, the staircase and fountain pictured here are nowhere to be found in the Topanga Plaza of today. After the Northridge Earthquake, it was renovated with a bland and unexciting look. However, the current expansion and renovation project by Westfield should create a compelling and modern interior.

Tue May 02, 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

OMG! Surely Ronal Dahl's inspiration for the chocolate tubes in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Mrs. Gloob, the Umpaloopas will help you find little Augustus.


Tue May 02, 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Topanga Plaza had at one point Broadway and Montgomery wards as anchors. Broadway closed when macy's opened the locations at the Promenade.

I read this on someones blog:
"The Slide" at Topanga Plaza in the late sixties? It was a huge plastic multi-laned curvey slide which people rode down on gunney sacks.

Slide at Topanga?

Anyone know the original anchors?

Wed May 03, 12:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Olson said...

Don't forget the tiki hut and also the trampoline area.

Wed May 03, 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

Jeff, I don't know anything about the slide, but the original anchors were The Broadway, Montgomery Ward, and May Company.

More here:
History of Topanga Plaza

Wed May 03, 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous boogster said...

Wow, what a trip down memory lane. I remember those waterfalls and I think they were close to May Company. Use to park my car at the Mall when I went to Canoga ('81) and hang out over there at lunch.

I also remember a food court right next to the Ice Capades Chalet that was owned by one guy and I seem to remember that he played for the Rams. What was his name?

Wed May 03, 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Marc said...

The slide and trampoline area were actually across Victory Blvd. behind the Topanga Movie Theater. Technically this was part of the mall because in the old days the mall property included the area across the street on Victory.

Wed May 03, 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous DiDi said...

The store that starts off with "Treasure" does anyone know what the entire name was and what kind of store that was?

Wed May 03, 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

It's "Treasure Isle", Didi. Don't know what they sold, though.

Wed May 03, 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Interesting to read that Westfield operates this one. I felt though they did a rather dumb job wtih Franklin Park here in Toledo. They took out the old glass cube-shape structure that used to be in the center of the mall on top of the building, it's not some small pyramidal glass celing that doesn't do it justice the same way it had for over 30 years. I might have pictures of what it used to look like I'll have to send Keith if or when he'll get to talking about my mall.

Also, of the new stores added there in the expansion, one that had to close up was some sports bar. Seems so ironicly funny the mall's got one setback in it's domination of the north end of town. I don't really have much a say in this since shopping malls in Toledo have been on a decline in the past decade and I don't see any real improvement outside of what they've been able to do with Franlkin Park (do we need two multi-level parking structures). At least they didn't go all-out and try to get the nearby Kohl's into a deal of building an extention between JCPenny's and them one day. I once asked someone about that but I don't think they're ready to go that route for another decade.

Fri May 05, 05:58:00 AM  
Anonymous DiDi said...

Threasure Isle, thanks Keith. I thought maybe it might have been a discount store I have seen pics of but the names don't quite match up.

Sun May 07, 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

You know, I have to look though my Mom's old photo albums and see if we have any photos of the malls from around here. I know we have at least a few. Some of the pics might have been taken in the 80's but they still should reflect that old retro design. I'll see what I can do.

BTW, I have to thank you Keith. I've hard about the "Rain Forest" that was in "Topanga Plaza" but never actually saw it untill I found this blog ;)

Mon May 08, 04:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Ms. Strega said...

Regarding Treasure Isle, my grandmother, Mary Gilbert, worked there in the 1960s (she was the manager). Treasure Isle was not a discount store; it was more like a Hallmark store, with cards and gifts for sale, including Troll dolls and those cool "crystal garden" kits. If anyone has pictures of the salesclerks at Treasure Isle, please post on my blog; all our family photos of my grandmother were lost and I am trying to find one, somehow, anywhere. It's a long shot, but you never know.

The restaurant next door to Treasure Isle was the Jolly Roger.

Thu Jun 08, 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger deborah said...

oh my god!!! i grew up in reseda in the fifties and sixties. i went to reseda high, class of 71. i spent a good portion of my waking life in topanga plaza!! we used to slide on the slides, then there was that sort of tiki place to get drinks right by there, and coconut heads in it that we used to laugh at!! and that pic of topanga with the fountain!! i cant wait to send this to my best friend from jr high(sequoia!!)
deb jacobs
formerly debbie turnbull

Wed Jul 05, 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger deborah said...

oh! the jolly roger had the best shrimp salad! i loved the store called raj of india, anyone remember that? and when they had that record store where it had little booths and you could listen to 45's before you bought them, what was it called? oh yea wallachs music city! i was in the topanga a few years ago. so different. wasnt there an ice rink by the jolly roger? and hamburger hamlet across the street from the slide...and the first mcdonalds i ever saw, across from topanga...

Wed Jul 05, 03:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK...Let me clarify. The "Sky Slide" that people are referring to here was further south on Topanga, behind the Topanga Theater (now Froch's Furniture). The was the slide, trampolines and a miniature golf course...Spent many great times there while attending Canoga Park High in the late 60's/Early 70's

Tue Dec 26, 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These pictures and memories make me so sad that those days are gone. I went to the "new" mall last week and was so lost.

I skated and worked at the Ice Capades until the day it closed. When I was there the other day, I looked through the construction walls to see the last bits of the rink being torn out forever.

My kids have listened to so many stories about this mall, they can almost read my mind. We moved to California in the 60's and Topanga Plaza was like the 8th wonder of the world.

I remember Raj of India, Leeds shoes, Thrifty Drugs, Chuck Burger, the couple that owned the Hallmark store and hated kids, Orange Julius in the middle of the mall (yum), Jolly Roger, California Federal, A Travel Agent, and so on. I practically spent my childhood at that mall. Oh well, I guess everything changes eventually.

Wed Jan 03, 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the slide you're talking about was at Kiddie Land, which I believe was on either De Soto or Canoga Ave. My Dad took me there in the early 70's and I will always remember the slide. I think that area is now occupied by condos.

Mon Jan 15, 07:12:00 PM  
Anonymous The Dugger said...

NOPE....The slide WAS definitely on Topanga, behind what used to be Topanga Theater (now a furniture store). I distinctly remember grabbing the burlap bag, and going up the stairs on the right side of the slide (looking up from the bottom)...Did this countless times. Played many games of miniature golf there as well.

Tue Feb 27, 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous the dugger II said...

ALSO, I remember spending many fun hours at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor on Canoga and Ventura....Remember "The Zoo"? and the "Pig Trough" ice cream dishes..."I made a pig of myself at Farrells" ribbons awarded if you could eat the whole trough yourself...

Tue Feb 27, 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I remember Topanga Plaza, the slide and Topanga Theater, as I used to go in there when it was under construction (dad's Company did the air conditioning). Not to mention all the hours I spent hangin out at Topanga. Such a simple time then.

Thu May 17, 01:20:00 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The "slide" that everyone is referring to was across Victory at the miniature golf course, which also had trampolines (that were awesome!), tiki hut (great soft service ice cream) and the slide that we rode on gunney (sp?) sacks. The golf course had all these golf-ball fountains throughout the park - great hang out!

Wed May 07, 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The two anchor stores were: Montgomery Wards and The Broadway. Also... don't forget the music store in the mall where you could listen to music in private booths. I was one of the girls that walked around the mall looking cool in my ice skating skirt and ice skates with plastic walking caps over the blades. Oh so cool. Back when the Orange Julius used real organges.

Wed May 07, 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Okay, did I truly write "organges"? You see... those brains cells get you when you lease expect it.

Wed May 07, 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger rally_x said...

I remember my grandma taking us to eat at the Terrace Restaurant that was on the 3rd floor of the May Company.

My sister and I also used to skate at Ice Capades up to 4 times a week. It was cool being able to walk around the mall after hours when everything was closed.

Wed Jan 07, 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

I love to eat at the 7 kitchens next to the ice rink. Does anyone remember the driving range next to the slide. Lots of fun back then.

Thu Jul 02, 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st time leaving a mess. on mess. board. This is a little off track, but does anyone else remember a giant "sky slide", more in the vicinity of Lakewood, or Paramount area? My father used to take me there in the late 60's, early

Fri Jul 17, 02:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the music / record store. I bought a lot of records there. In those days, even the dept stores sold some records. And cassettes? Wow, what a slim selection. They came on a little spinning rack. A selection of maybe 30 or 40. And the sound quality of early factory releases prerecorded cassettes was bad. In any case, I grew up in Reseda. Class of '74. I lived at Topanga Plaza Mall. No one can forget the "Tropical" rain forest.

Thu Apr 29, 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Google Earth updates its photos every two or three years, I actually looked for the old burlap bag plastic slides to see what was present at that location.

To my surprise, I was still able to see the footprint of where the slides were. That is, the outline of the old slides could still be seen from an aerial view !!!

I saw that just about a year ago so that Google Earth photo might still be viewable.

They were near the old theatre which is no longer a movie house but the building is still there.

I visited Topanga Plaza in the last year ( I havne't lived in the area since the 70's). The interior is unrecognizable to those of us seeking memories from better days. Of course, the first thing I looked for was that famous oil fountain.... long gone :(

Sun Jun 27, 08:47:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone remember the ice skating rink inside the mall? That was the best! So much fun!

Tue Apr 05, 02:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Brete K. Oldziewski said...

I was thrilled to see a picture of the waterfall. I showed it to my son because my father had a part in creating that. It brought back a lot of memories.

Sat Jul 21, 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger mechman said...

The food court next to the Ice capades, Perry boys smorgy, shooting pea shooters. I went there in 1966 from Pacoima and moved to Woodland Hills in 1967. The slide and miniature golf. Warner center was dirt. My Uncle had his Dental practice in the buildings on the southwest corner of Victory and Topanga when those two buildings went up.

Thu Nov 22, 03:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone is on FaceBook, please look at the group "I grew up at Topanga Plaza"!/groups/32017189212/

It has so many old pictures of the old mall as we remembered in the 60's and 70's. Always loved that place!

Wed Mar 06, 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the slide was south of victory near the miniature golf course.

Mon Feb 23, 05:19:00 AM  

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