LOS CERRITOS CENTER
South Street and Gridley Road
Cerritos, California

Los Angeles County witnessed the grand openings of two fully-enclosed, superregional shopping malls during the autumn of 1971. The first phase of stores at LOS CERRITOS CENTER made their debut September 13, with the first beginning business at NORTHRIDGE FASHION CENTER on September 17.

LOS CERRITOS CENTER was developed by El Segundo, California's Ernest W. Hahn, Incorporated and constructed on a 97 acre plot, located 20 miles southeast of center city Los Angeles. The site was adjacent to the San Gabriel River Freeway / Interstate 605, with the section passing by the mall having opened to traffic July 27, 1966.

The original, single-level complex opened in three phases. A 3-level (174,500 square foot) The Broadway, 2-level (145,600 square foot) J.W. Robinson's, and the accompanying South Wing, were dedicated September 13, 1971.

A 2-level (85,600 square foot), New York City-based Ohrbach's, and adjacent stores, opened March 24, 1972. A 3-level (277,500 square foot) Sears, and thirty-six store North Wing, was dedicated May 11, 1972. The completed LOS CERRITOS CENTER now encompassed approximately 1,141,900 square feet.

A compliment of one hundred and twenty stores and services were housed in the forty million dollar shopping venue. Charter tenants included Roos-Atkins apparel, Baker's Shoes, Lane Bryant, The Limited and an F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 (with Harvest House Cafeteria).

There were two cinematic venues at the original shopping center. Along the South Wing was the United Artists Mall Cinemas 1-2-3-4, which showed its first features September 15, 1971. The United Artists Twin Cinemas A & B was situated in the southwest corner of the mall site. This venue opened for business March 22, 1972.

Commercial competitors of LOS CERRITOS CENTER included LAKEWOOD CENTER (1951) {2.4 miles southwest, in Lakewood}, STONEWOOD CENTER (1958) {4.9 miles northwest, in Downey} and BEUNA PARK MALL (1961) {5.8 miles southeast, in Orange County}.

LOS CERRITOS CENTER was expanded with a 2-level (117,800 square foot) Nordstrom and nineteen new stores. These were officially dedicated April 12, 1981. The mall now spanned approximately 1,290,000 leasable square feet and housed one hundred and fifty stores and services.

The first anchor rebranding took place after Ohrbach's was shuttered, in December 1986. The store re-opened as a Mervyn's in April 1987. Next came the rebranding of J.W. Robinson's, as a Robinsons-May, on January 31, 1993. Lastly, The Broadway was "Macy-ated" in 1996.

A major renovation was given the mall during 1994, with the original stained glass skylights being replaced. Marble and stone floors were installed throughout and the 13-bay Palm Court Cafes Food Court was built in previously-existing space in the North Wing.

Moreover, each of the three mallways were designated with a specific name and marketing focus. The Garden extended between Mervyn's and Sears and had a family entertainment orientation. The Grand Hall ran from Nordstrom to Robinsons-May; its theme being high fashion. Lastly, there was The Avenue, between Robinsons-May and The Broadway / Macy's. It was geared toward more general merchandise.

By this time, the two cinemas at the mall had closed. With the shuttering of Woolworth in 1997, a space was provided for the new United Artists Galaxy 11 stadium seating multiplex. The venue was dedicated May 20, 1998.

LOS CERRITOS CENTER was owned by the Australia-based Westfield Group between November 1998 and May 1999, when it was acquired by the Santa Monica-based Macerich Company. The fourth renovation of the shopping hub got underway in December 2008.

Mervyn's, shuttered in early 2009, was thoroughly remodeled. It re-opened, as a Los Angeles-based Forever 21, January 23, 2010. Robinsons-May, shuttered in late 2006, was demolished in October 2008. In its place, a 2-level (138,000 square foot) Nordstrom was built. This store opened May 7, 2010.

Ten retailers were added along with the new Nordstrom. These included Apple Computers, Foreign Exchange Clothing, Vision Shoes, Mac Cosmetics, True Religion Jeans, Carlton Hair Salon and Love Culture. With all mall modifications completed, LOS CERRITOS CENTER enveloped 1,310,100 leasable square feet and over one hundred and eighty shops and services.

The latest LOS CERRITOS CENTER news revolves around the old Nordstrom and vacant 11-plex cinema, which was shuttered in February 2014. Both structures were demolished in the summer of 2014 in anticipation of a 40 million dollar mall expansion.

A 2-level (80,000 square foot) Dick's Sporting Goods was built on the old Woolworth / UA Cinema site. The circa-1981 Nordstrom was demolished and replaced by the 1-level (55,000 square foot) Harkins Cerritos 16 megaplex. Inline store space adjacent to the Dick's and Harkins theater was also reconfigured.

Renovation work on the mall was completed in November 2015, with the Harkins megaplex showing its first features May 5, 2016. With these modifications, the GLA of the mall had been reduced to approximately 1,278,900 leasable square feet.

Sources:

"Los Cerritos Center" article on Wikipedia
Malls of America Blogspot / Keith Milford webmaster
www.shoploscerritos.com
www.macerich.com
www.movietheatre.org
www.cinematreasures.org
www.mitchglaser.com
Los Angeles County, California tax assessor website