The Iconic Westside Pavilion
If you lived in West Los Angeles during the 80s and 90s, you’d remember the iconic Westside Pavilion mall as the go-to shopping destination.
The mall opened on May 31, 1985, featuring a unique Parisian-style design with vibrant colors and geometric shapes. It quickly became a Westside landmark, housing the first-ever Aéropostale clothing store in 1987.
While the mall started with 70 shops, it was down to 54 retailers when Hudson Pacific announced plans to transform the site into offices.
As a result, the interior closed in 2019, now known as One Westside, with Google occupying most of the office spaces.
A Rich History
The mall was built on a site with a storied past, including the first drive-in theater in California and the fourth in the United States.
The original developers, Australian Westfield Group, and architects from The Jerde Partnership created a shopping center connecting the existing May Company department store with a new Nordstrom anchor store.
Initially, the community was concerned about increased traffic and parking, leading to agreements ensuring adequate parking within the mall and retaining the Vons supermarket.
Expansions and Renovations
In 1991, the mall expanded with Westside Too, a bridge-connected section with new shops and al fresco restaurants.
Despite its popularity, the extension began to decline as customers favored the original part of the mall. Westside Too eventually closed in 2006, making way for new restaurants and a 12-screen Landmark movie theater.
In 2000, the original part of the mall received an upscale renovation, including carpeted seating areas and German limestone flooring. The theater opened in 2007 and featured the largest movie theater showing independent films.
Decline and Transformation
The mall experienced a decline when Nordstrom relocated to Westfield Century City in 2017, and Macy’s closed in March 2018.
The mall’s owners, Macerich, then partnered with Hudson Pacific Properties to convert the space into offices for media and technology companies.
The $410 million renovation created 584,000 square feet (54,300 m2) of office space, with Google as the sole tenant. The Landmark Theater and the West End center for tech and entertainment tenants remain.
Westside Pavilion in Popular Culture
The Westside Pavilion has left a lasting impression on pop culture, making numerous appearances in music videos, movies, and television shows.
Its iconic design and bustling atmosphere made it the perfect backdrop for various productions, giving it a special place in our hearts.
- Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'”: In 1989, Tom Petty’s iconic music video for “Free Fallin'” featured scenes filmed at the Westside Pavilion. The mall’s vibrant colors and busy atmosphere perfectly captured the essence of Los Angeles in the late 80s.
- Clueless: The 1995 cult classic Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone, featured exterior shots of the Westside Pavilion, adding to its status as a West Los Angeles landmark.
- Christmas with the Kranks: This 2004 holiday comedy, starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, included scenes at the Westside Pavilion, showcasing the mall’s festive decorations and bustling holiday atmosphere.
- Tower Heist: In the 2011 action-comedy Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, the Westside Pavilion made an appearance, contributing to the movie’s exciting, fast-paced vibe.
- Disconnect: The 2012 drama-thriller Disconnect, which explored the impact of technology on our lives, featured scenes at the Westside Pavilion, highlighting the mall’s role as a central hub for social interaction.
- Deal or No Deal: In a memorable episode of the popular game show Deal or No Deal, host Howie Mandel visited the Westside Pavilion to choose a contestant at random, eventually selecting an employee working at the mall’s Hot Dog on a Stick.
- Modern Family: The Westside Pavilion was featured in an episode of the hit ABC sitcom Modern Family, which often showcases various Los Angeles locations.
- Fresh Off The Boat: In this popular ABC sitcom about a Taiwanese-American family navigating life in the U.S., the Westside Pavilion served as a backdrop for episodes, adding to the show’s authentic representation of life in the ’90s.
- Parenthood: The NBC drama Parenthood, which centered around the lives of the Braverman family, featured scenes at the Westside Pavilion, further emphasizing its role as a popular gathering place for families and friends.
The Westside Pavilion’s presence in popular culture has helped solidify its status as an iconic Los Angeles landmark. As we reminisce about the mall’s past, we can’t help but appreciate the role it played in the entertainment we love.
Remembering the Good Times
As we look back on the memories of the Westside Pavilion, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic for the days when it was a bustling shopping center. While the mall’s interior is now closed, its legacy lives on through the transformed One Westside and the stories we share.