Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hawthorne Plaza Mall

Hawthorne, California

You guys seemed to dig that other dead mall video, so here's another! I, too, am fascinated by them, these old abandoned malls of yesteryear, and at least through videos like these, we can vicariously have the experience of wandering around in them ourselves.

This time we take a weird journey through the "dead" Hawthorne Plaza Mall. Now this one's a little artsy and experimental in nature (dead malls seem to lend themselves to these sorts of themes), with some pretty kinetic camera work and editing, and a rather bizarre, pulsing electronic soundtrack accompanying the haunting visuals. I love it!

I found this music video on YouTube. It was done by, Derek Sajbel, with music by edIT. This was the short description:

"The video-processed post-apocalyptic remnants of consumerism"



Blogger JM said...

Great video; Thanks...I had to link to it!

Thu Apr 06, 12:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious how one gains access to these spaces.. I'd assume they are locked up and such. There are a few places I'd like to go inside to take pics but I don't want to break any laws or tick anyone off...

Thu Apr 06, 02:26:00 AM  
Blogger godzillaonfire said...

Thanks for posting that video. Makes me want to hunt around for dead malls - maybe make a clandestine installation.

Fri Apr 07, 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hawthorne Plaza was built I beleive in the late 70's, early 80's with Montgomery Wards, The Broadway and JCPenney as anchors. The mall was a boost to the area, but fell in the mid 90's. Montgomery Wards closed first, then JCPenney, leaving only the more upscale Broadway. This store in 1996 became a Macy's outlet center when Macy's merged with the Broadway. At this time, Macy's only used the first two levels of teh store and literally walled off the elevators to the third level. This store finally closed around 1998, ending the mall's life. Signage is still up on the main front of the mall for the brodway and is still on the building. This mall had several enterances throughout, and had parking under the mall as well. Montgomery Wards recently was remodeled and became an office building, thus I beleive in the video, you see a lot of debris. This was from the inside of montgomerey wards. You can also see this mall in tow movies, Evolution and Minority Report. Both were filmed here. Evolution actually used the old JCPenney store.

Sat Apr 08, 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how everything is octagonal. Designers must have thought this was the shape of the future in the 80's.

Sun Apr 09, 04:28:00 AM  
Blogger Mitch Glaser said...

I took a couple shots of Hawthorne Plaza in Spring 1999, right before the mall closed its doors for good:
Photo 1
Photo 2

Jeff did a great job of telling the mall's history. Essentially, it was a failed attempt to "redevelop" downtown Hawthorne by plopping in an inward-focused megastructure. Similar projects were built in Pasadena and Long Beach; those failed as well. It's sad that these malls only lasted about 15 years apiece.

Sun Apr 09, 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's intriguing to look upon abandoned spaces and
imagine the lives and activities that have all past before.

As if looking at a photo album of a friend who has passed away, you can't help but reflect upon what was and feel sorry or regret for what is no longer.

Good video, but it could have been so much better without all the "jump cut" editing. The subjct matter is somber and interesting enough and doesn't need to be enhanced. Too much distraction.

Thu Apr 13, 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

I can share some memories of this mall...I used to goto the KarmelKorn with my stepmom while my dad was in the B Dalton Bookstore across the way..this had to be late 70s I remember The Broadway Tire service...even as a kid I thought that was funny...It was a great mall. I thought it was futuristic and modern (long time ago)...there was no real food court, but restaurants throughout...Baja Reef Mexican, Tommy's Burgers (or Tomboy's not sure) Hawthorne Fish 'n' Chips...Dee's (which was like Denny's and not in the actual mall, but just south of JcPenny on the same "campus" also Hawthorne 6 Theaters near Dee's I saw many movies there...turned to discount theater in late 80s...This mall had MAJOR ample level under the mall that ran the length, as well as a 4 level scructure that ran the full length of the mall on the east side...Toy Stores, Pet stores (not just supplies) Great place as a kid...

Jeff gave a great recap, but what sealed it's fate was The South Bay Galleria 3 miles south on the same street which opened in 1985...To this day that mall is FILLED to capacity with vendors, May Co. was at that location since the 60s, they added Mervyn's (which was new back then) and Nordstrom's (a South Bay 1st), and 3 levels of modern, bright stylish shopping with a fountain that shot water 3 stories up...Massive food court...etc. Not to mention Del Amo 6 miles down the same street is a megaplex.

Late 1989 I needed a part time job to supplement my full time USC Mailclerk income...I went to Miller's Outpost in Hawthorne Plaza to work with Michelle and Alice, along with other high school mates...We ALL LOVED that it was "kick back" because NOBODY!! went to this mall. My friend Eva worked at Baja Reef so free chips and Salsa!! (So bad..I know)

Moved from Hawthorne to Torrance in early 90s...Del Amo became the mall of choice, Returned around 93 for a visit...I walked through the mall and my Heart fell low...I shopped that day...thinking that maybe if I bought enough stuff the mall would stay open...made it a point to shop there a few more use...

Family still has a House just up the street from Hawthorne Plaza...Jeff's right about's alright...And around 2005 A shopping center was built on the south tip where Dee's, Broadway Tire, and the Theaters used to be..That's packed...But that dead 1/4mile in between is still there.

Since the malls closure...Hawthorne and surrounding areas have grown...Traffic has Become a Nightmare...At times it can take 25min to drive to South Bay Galleria, and Del Amo?? Longer...I think there's a definite future for retail development on that site...who know's Outdoor malls work is So Cal!!!

I will always miss Hawthorne Mall!!

Tue Feb 20, 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jimmy took me back down memory road. I was born and raised in Hawthorne. My family went to the Baja Reef weekly. The mall used to have kidding rides like the "Haunted House" similar style as "The wild toad's ride", but smaller. Crime played a huge part as to why people did not go to the mall in it's later years. It seemed there was always a mugging or something happening at the mall on near the mall. Old Towne mall in Torrance also closed because of Del Amo and The Galloria.

Thu Dec 18, 03:53:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the video. This makes me so sad to see Hawthorne mall in this condition. I had some really great memoies of this once great mall. My sister used to work in this store call Learners (New York Inc) in the early 80s. I remember the Aracde across from Round Tables pizza, frozen Yogurt shop, and the Hawthorne 6 theater. I think the last movie I seen there was Coming To America.

Sat Apr 07, 12:49:00 AM  

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