Puente Hills Mall

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Puente Hills Mall
South Exterior
LocationCity of Industry, California
Coordinates33°59′36″N 117°55′39″W / 33.993249°N 117.927492°W / 33.993249; -117.927492
Opening date1974
DeveloperThe Hahn Company
OwnerKam Sang Company
No. of stores and services155
No. of anchor tenants7 (5 open, 2 vacant)[1]
Total retail floor area1.1 million square feet[2]
No. of floors2

Puente Hills Mall, located in the Rowland Heights, California, United States, is a major regional shopping center in the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County. It is most famous for serving as the filming site for the Twin Pines/Lone Pine Mall for the 1985 movie Back to the Future starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.


Puente Hills Mall was built in 1974 after the completion of the Pomona Freeway a few years earlier. It opened with four primary anchors in a cross-shaped design by The Hahn Company. One of the mall's original tenants was the first Foot Locker store which still stands there today.[3]

In 1996, two anchor stores, The Broadway (at the time purchased by Macy's) and JCPenney, were closed. At the time of JCPenney's departure, the mall had about a 50% occupancy.[4] The mall was extensively renovated afterwards and features a 20-screen AMC Theatres megaplex, and stores traditionally found in power centers such as 24 Hour Fitness and Burlington Coat Factory, in addition to the remaining two original anchors, Macy's (formerly Robinsons-May) and Sears. Ross Dress for Less, Circuit City, Linens 'n Things, Spectrum Club, Burlington Coat Factory, and CompUSA all opened in 1998. Linens 'n Things, Circuit City, and CompUSA all closed their locations at the mall in 2008 and 2009. Circuit City and CompUSA had both gone bankrupt while Linens 'n Things was closed as part of a strategy to focus on online shopping. On August 28, 2010, the Japanese sports entertainment chain Round1 opened the first U.S. location of Round1 Bowling & Amusement, a video game arcade and bowling alley, as a new anchor. It was the company's first overseas store, replacing Linens 'n Things'.

The southern side of Puente Hills Mall as seen from Colima Road in 2019

It also includes retail stores such as Forever 21, Hollister, Old Navy, Hot Topic, Zumiez, Aéropostale and G by Guess. The newest addition to the mall, Toys "R" Us, opened its doors in June 2011, taking the spot previously occupied by Circuit City. Toys "R" Us had formerly been located at the Plaza at Puente Hills on Gale Avenue in Industry.[5] The store shut down on April 15, 2018.

The center of the mall previously featured a large cubed water fountain, then a merry-go-round attraction built in 1990, but it was later removed by the mall's owners, Krausz Companies, as they were losing money in its operation. An East Asian-style koi pond replaced the carousel, but was removed as of 2006. The koi were moved to Sycamore Lake at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. The mall underwent a full interior makeover in 2007 after the removal of the koi pond.

Due to the large and influential Asian immigrant populations residing and/or operating businesses in nearby areas (notably in Industry, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut, and Diamond Bar), some redesigns of the mall incorporated feng shui principles. [6]

On May 31, 2018, it was announced that Sears would be closing as part of a plan to close 72 stores nationwide. The store was scheduled to close in September 2018 and closed sometime in 2019.[7]

On December 1st, 2019, Forever 21 announced it would close the Puente Hills Mall store along with 21 other locations in California & 90 stores nationwide. It is set to close in January 2020.[8]

Back to the Future[edit]

Puente Hills Mall served as a filming location for the fictional Twin Pines Mall (later Lone Pine Mall) in the 1985 film Back to the Future. In the film, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) uses the mall's south parking lot (visible in the above photograph) to stage his time travel experiments with the DeLorean time machine. A JCPenney store and Robinson's features prominently in the background. A Ross Dress for Less store can be seen in a strip mall across the street. The scenes were filmed in January 1985. According to the DVD audio commentary, screenplay writer Bob Gale says that several fans gathered at the Puente Hills Mall in the early hours of October 26, 1985, the date given in the film as the present day, to see if anything would happen.

Puente Hills Mall featured replicas of the Twin Pines Mall sign, the time machine, and Dr. E. Brown Enterprises truck in its parking lot in October 2015.[9]


  1. ^ "Puente Hills Mall" (PDF). glimcher.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 30, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  2. ^ "PUENTE HILLS MALL". www.glimcher.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Evolution of Foot Locker Stores Over 40 Years". solecollector.com.
  4. ^ Fickes, Michael (January 1, 1998). "The Puente Hills Comeback". Retail Traffic.
  5. ^ "Toys 'R' Us casualties include West Covina and Puente Hills stores". 24 January 2018.
  6. ^ Belgum, Deborah (2002-01-21), "Colima Road: Neighborhood puts Cultural Face on Firms. (Chinese Prosperity – L.A.'s Growth Market)", Los Angeles Business Journal
  7. ^ "Sears to close another 72 stores, one in City of Industry, as sales plunge". 31 May 2018.
  8. ^ Template:Https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ocregister.com/2019/12/09/see-the-list-of-forever-21-stores-closing-in-southern-california/amp/
  9. ^ Jensen, Danny. "Photos: 'Back To The Future' Fans Swarm The 'Twin Pines Mall'". laist. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°59′37″N 117°55′39″W / 33.99356°N 117.92750°W / 33.99356; -117.92750