Westside Pavilion, 2008
|Location||West Los Angeles, California|
|Owner||The Macerich Company|
|No. of stores and services||150|
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|No. of floors||3|
The Westside Pavilion is a shopping mall located in West Los Angeles. It is owned and operated by The Macerich Company. It is a three-story urban-style shopping mall with 150 shops and is anchored by a Macy's (formerly May Company and later Robinsons-May) and a Nordstrom. A 12-screen movie theater owned by the Landmark Theatres company opened at the mall in 2007, which serves as the flagship location for the company.
Mall and location history
Before the Westside Pavilion was opened in 1985, the site was occupied by a mini mall known as Westland and a free-standing May Company building that was later incorporated into the mall. Part of the current mall occupies the site of the Pico Drive-in movie theater - which was located there from 1934 to 1950 - and is considered only the fourth drive-in in the United States, and the first in California.
The plans to build the mall caused an uproar from the surrounding community over concerns of increased traffic and parking on the street. The community responded by banning street parking to non-residents and the developers agreed to provide adequate parking within the mall, as well as retain the Vons supermarket that existed in the previous shopping center. The mall was designed by the same architect who designed structures for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and had a look that was a cross between 1980s kitsch, a "palace" of geometrical shapes of different bright colors, and a Parisian shop-lined street. The mall quickly became a Westside landmark.
There was a plan to build a massive movie theater complex on the opposite side of Westwood Boulevard from the mall in 1986. That plan eventually evolved into an expansion of the mall, designed by the mall's original architect, Jon Jerde, which included new shops and al fresco restaurants all connected to the rest of the mall by a bridge over Westwood.  The addition to the Westside Pavilion opened in 1991 despite criticism from many, including Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, The addition, officially known as "Westside Too", opened up with great fanfare and was very popular for the first couple of years, but its popularity soon began to decline as clients favored the original part of the mall.
One problem was that the mall's designers had failed to reserve a route linking the mall's central atrium to the bridge to Westside Too. Instead, the bridge was coupled directly to the third floor of the mall's western anchor store (now Nordstrom) meaning that people wishing to transit between the two halves of the mall had to wander through the store.
By the late 1990s only a few shops and restaurants remained open in Westside Too, and the only major features remaining were the Barnes & Noble bookstore (which opened in 1995 in the space of three floors covering four previous shops) and the 1,000 parking spaces it had added. Most of Westside Too still had the dated early-1990s decor on the abandoned storefronts. Agencies serving the community, such as the West L.A. Chamber of Commerce and an infant and toddler gym, soon took over some of these spaces.
The original part of the mall was renovated in 2000 with the installation of carpeted seating areas and German limestone flooring to give it a more contemporary and upscale look. Westside Too remained open until January 2006, when it was closed to make way for a 12-screen Landmark movie theater and new restaurants.
The new addition opened in June 2007; Barnes and Noble was the only store from Westside Too that remained in the new addition. (The bookstore was closed for the duration of the renovations, but was not itself renovated.) The new addition complex, which was designed by the architectural firms F+A Architects and PleskowRael, features the largest movie theater in the U.S. showing exclusively independent films - with 12-screens and 2,000 total seats. The theater also features Landmark's new "Living Room" brand auditoriums. The "Living Room" concept features smaller capacity theaters (30-50 people) with sofas, ottomans, side-tables and other home-like amenities. The theater also features reserved seating and a wine bar.
In late 2008, a group of animal rights activists began peaceful protests in Westside Pavilion against a pet store called BarkWorks, which they alleged was a retailer for puppy mills. Macerich restricted the protesters to the pedestrian bridge over Westwood Boulevard and prohibited them from protesting on certain blackout days. The protesters conformed their conduct to Macerich's restrictions, but also filed a lawsuit to enjoin Macerich from enforcing them. On March 2, 2011, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ruled that the trial court had erred in denying the protesters' motion for a preliminary injunction. The appellate court held that Macerich's restrictions (blackout days and not protesting directly in front of the targeted tenant) were unreasonable as a matter of law, and reversed and remanded for further proceedings. The lawsuit was settled in November 2011.
In 2009, Westside Tavern, a full service restaurant and bar opened adjacent to the movie theater and has been well received by many visitors who frequent both the restaurant and the theater.
In 2010, the exterior of the main portion of the mall received a facelift to "tone down" the dated look of its exterior. The bright 1980s pastels were replaced with a relatively conservative dark gray and tan color scheme.
In December 2011, the Barnes and Noble store in Westside Too closed, after negotiations over renewal of its lease were unsuccessful. It was replaced within a few months by an Urban Home furniture store.
In the media
Like most malls in Los Angeles, Westside Pavilion has been used for music videos and motion pictures. The mall scenes in Tom Petty's video for "Free Fallin'" were filmed here, while its exterior was featured in the film "Clueless", though none of the interior scenes were filmed there. More recently, Howie Mandel visited this mall during an episode of Deal or No Deal to pick a contestant at random. He selected an employee who was working at the mall's Hot Dog on a Stick at the time.
- Urban Home (27,586 sq ft.)
- Landmark Theatre (12-screen movie theater with 2,000 seats)
- Macy's (220,000 sq ft.)
- Macy's Furniture Gallery (43,435 sq ft.)
- Nordstrom (140,000 sq ft.)
- Hawthorne, Christopher (2007-06-01), "Make Believe It's Your Living Room", Los Angeles Times: E1, retrieved 2008-10-28
- driveintheater.com, The Drive-in Theater History Page: 1930's, retrieved 2008-10-28
- Best Friends Animal Society v. Macerich Westside Pavilion Property LLC, 193 Cal. App. 4th 168 (2011).