Hawthorne Plaza
The mall's former The Broadway department store as seen from Hawthorne Boulevard (c. mid-2000s)
LocationHawthorne, California, U.S.
Coordinates33°55′17″N 118°21′05″W / 33.92128°N 118.35144°W / 33.92128; -118.35144
Address12000 Hawthorne Boulevard
(formerly 12124 Hawthorne Plaza)
Opening dateFebruary 1977; 46 years ago (1977-02)
Closing dateMarch 1, 1999; 24 years ago (1999-03-01)
DeveloperErnest W. Hahn Inc., Carter Hawley Hale Properties Inc., Urban Projects Inc.
ArchitectCharles Kober Associates
No. of stores and services134 (1977)
No. of anchor tenants3 (all vacant)
Total retail floor area801,000 sq ft (74,400 m2)
The Broadway 159,100 sq ft (14,780 m2)
Montgomery Ward 158,500 sq ft (14,730 m2)
J. C. Penney 168,000 sq ft (15,600 m2)
No. of floors2

Hawthorne Plaza is an abandoned former shopping mall along Hawthorne Boulevard between 120th Street and El Segundo Boulevard in Hawthorne, California.



Hawthorne Plaza was part of the Hawthorne Plaza Redevelopment Project, approved in 1969, which called for the redevelopment of a 35-acre (14 ha) plot of land. Ground was broken for the mall in January 1974 and most of the mall's 134 stores opened in February 1977.[3] It included an indoor mall with three anchor stores - Montgomery Ward, The Broadway, and J.C. Penney and freestanding stores at the property's south end. The mall largely catered to the middle-class residents living in and around Hawthorne, and featured cheaper stores than other nearby malls such as South Bay Galleria, Manhattan Village and the Del Amo Fashion Center.[4]


parking structure and former Broadway entrance c.2022

Despite initial popularity, the mall's early years were marred by two shootings in 1979. The mall went further into decline in the 1980s and 1990s, due in part to the economic decline of the area after the cutbacks in aerospace jobs, white flight, and to competition from other shopping centers.

In 1992, the mall was heavily looted and damaged during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, but sales stayed consistent following the unrest briefly until the end of the decade.[5]

The mall's number of occupied stores declined from 130 in the late 1980s to 87 in 1994 and around 70 in 1998. After the Macy's Clearance Center (which replaced The Broadway upon the latter's purchase by Federated Department Stores) closed in December 1997, plans were announced to put in an AMC Theatre on the site and convert the mall into an open-air shopping center, but the renovations failed to materialize. The mall's final anchor, JCPenney, closed in 1998[3] and the mall itself closed in 1999.[4]

The southern section of the mall across from the parking structure was demolished in 1998 and rebuilt as a strip mall. It currently includes a supermarket, a pharmacy, and some small restaurants.

Potential redevelopment plans

Vestiges of the mall's past—the scar of a former Thom McAn shop

Numerous redevelopment plans for the abandoned mall have been proposed, plans to redevelop the mall started since 1998, however, none of the proposals have came to fruition.

On November 21, 2014, ABC News announced that Hawthorne Plaza would be revitalized as an outlet mall.[6]

In February 2016, it was announced that Hawthorne Plaza would be revitalized as a large "power center", which could include an outdoor mini-mall, an office complex and walkable outdoor retail strips with upper-level homes.[7]

A month later, on March 10, 2016, the Hawthorne Specific Plan, which included the revitalization of the ailing mall, was approved by the city council. The plan also called for 500 high-end housing units, innovative office units, commercial outlets open to Hawthorne Blvd, and outdoor dining sites.[8] Property owner Charles Co. never began construction.[9]

On November 29, 2016, the Hawthorne City Hall commission announced plans to demolish Hawthorne Plaza and build something similar to the Farmers Market in Los Angeles. As of 2021 the future developments have been put on an indefinite hold.[10]

On December 15, 2022, mall owner Arman Gabaee was sentenced to four years in prison for bribing a Los Angeles County official in a scheme to sign a lucrative tenancy agreement for the abandoned mall.[11]


The mall building and most of its multistory parking lots are now abandoned except for a police training center that was built in the portion formerly occupied by Montgomery Ward. Most of the interior was gutted sometime around the mid 2000s.

On the northern side is an annex administrative office for the Hawthorne School District. The southern parking structure and adjacent parking lot connected to the mall are being used to store Tesla vehicles.

Sometime between 2019 and 2020, most of the signage and labelscars of the former stores on Hawthorne Boulevard were either removed or painted over, most notably the removal of The Broadway sign. Many of the entrance signs were also removed, and the labelscar on the JCPenney building was painted over.

On January 26, 2022, the mall was heavily damaged by arson in connection to a makeshift homeless encampment. The entrance to the former Broadway building and the central entrance were both severely damaged following the fire.[12]

As a Filming Location

The abandoned mall has also been used to film numerous movies, TV shows, and music videos such as Evolution (2001), Minority Report (2002), The Green Hornet (2006), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Teen Wolf (2011), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013), Beyoncé's "Superpower" (2013), Gone Girl (2014), Lindsey Sterling's "Heist" (2014), David Guetta's "Bang My Head" (2014), Rush Hour (2016), Colony (2016), Westworld (2016), Taylor Swift's "...Ready for It?" (2017), Chris Brown's "Party" (2017), Travis Scott's Astroworld trailer (2018), Drake's "Nice For What" (2018), and Tenet (2020).

See also


  1. ^ Gnerre, Sam (20 October 2010). "Hawthorne Plaza". The Daily Breeze. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Construction Under Way at Hawthorne Plaza Site". Los Angeles Times. 27 July 1975. pp. F13. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b "SOUTH BAY HISTORY: Hawthorne Plaza". 20 October 2010.
  4. ^ a b Jeff Arellano (2 October 2005). "Hawthorne Mall: Hawthorne California". DeadMalls.com. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  5. ^ "25 years later: LA riots quickly spread to South Bay, Harbor Area". dailybreeze.com. 23 April 2017.
  6. ^ Hernandez, Miriam (19 November 2014). "Hawthorne staging comeback with outlet mall". KABC-TV. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  7. ^ Mazza, Sandy (18 February 2016). "Ambitious new plans emerge for abandoned Hawthorne Plaza mall". Daily Breeze. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Hawthorne Happenings March 10, 2016". City of Hawthorne. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  9. ^ Mazza, Sandy (12 February 2018). "Makeover of decrepit Hawthorne Plaza Mall canceled again". The Daily Breeze. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Broken promises, uncertainty fill shuttered mall's past, future". spectrumnews1.com. 11 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Beverly Hills developer gets 4 years in prison for bribing L.A. County official - Los Angeles Times".
  12. ^ "Firefighters Battling Blaze At Abandoned Hawthorne Mall". losangeles.cbslocal.com. Retrieved 26 January 2022.