FALLBROOK MALL: WEST HILLS, CA
Scott Mercer's Commentary
Posted April 8, 2005 (user submitted)
The Fallbrook Mall was/is located on Fallbrook Avenue in West Hills, California. Not sure when it opened originally, but I would guess the 1960's. I first started going there in the early to mid 1990's. The anchor tenants were Mervyn's, A JC Penney Outlet Store (same size as a large JC Penney), and a K-Mart. There was also a Target and a Ross Dress For Less. It was originally an enclosed mall. Most of the smaller stores were full, but they changed fairly often. Other chains included Radio Shack and Susie's Deals. My favorite store was "Everything's A Dollar" which seemed to carry a lot of weird stuff that the 99 Cent Only store didn't have. There were a bunch of women's clothing stores, jewelry, an antique store, photo studio, and a Hometown Buffet next to K-Mart. There was a food court with Burger King, Chinese food, Salad 2000 and Orange Julius, as well as a sit-down Marie Callendar's restaurant. There was a comic book store and a large arcade/laser tag place. A Hello Kitty store. Lots of indepenent small business operators here. There was also a detached building with an 8 screen theatre, auto repair shop, and a Chuck E. Cheese.
By the late 1990's, the mall was hurting and spaces were starting to empty out. Burlington Coat Factory moved in (seems to be the usual supsect in the decay of a dead mall, from many other entries I read on this web site) in the basement of K-Mart. There was a Sears originally, with an auto repair in the parking lot, but this closed down and the K-Mart and Burlington Coat factory moved in. There was a putative remodeling in the mid 1990s but this did not seem to save the place. The ownership of the mall seemed to change hands a few times, and at one point there were large advertising manners in the mall itself shouting "BUY THIS MALL." Not a good sign.
In 2001 the mall closed down and the interior mall portion was demolished. It was turned into an open-air shopping center.
The JC Penney outlet became Kohl's. The Mervyn's continued on. K-Mart closed down in their most recent wave of store closings. I think Burlington Coat Factory is still there. Hometown Buffet built their own building on site. The Target continued on. Chuck E. Cheese continued on. A Discount Shoe Warehouse and Michael's craft sore opened up. The movie theate was taken over by Laemmle Theatres, an "art house" theatre chain (a bit out of character for the immediate neighborhood, which is middle class, but there are richer folks nearby-- or is that just a stereotype?). Sports Chalet was there before and I think is still there. They built a Ralph's Supermarket building near the K-Mart end of the mall. I think they renamed it Fallbrook Center.
Kelly O'Connor's Commentary
Posted June 3, 2006 (user submitted)
The current text about Fallbrook by another poster is all correct, however there is more. This mall BEGAN life as an outdoor mall and has now returned to such. Granted, it looks nothing like it did then and is really more of a strip center now, but I wanted to make it clear that the mall was not born as enclosed. The original mall was called "Fallbrook Center" marked by a very large and tall sign featuring a fountain-shaped collection of illuminated balls. It remained well into the 80s even with some of the plastic balls coming halfway off the sign. The JCPenney outlet that the other poster speaks of was originally a regular JCPenney. There was also a Market Basket grocery store and an independent coffee shop on the Vanowen side.
Sears was a traditional, green scripted neon one story location with a basement featuring the usual pinball machines of the 70s. It was damaged in the Northridge Quake of 1994 and never reopened at Fallbrook, but instead moved to Topanga Plaza at Topanga and Victory, in the space originally occupied by the Broadway. (This Broadway never became a Macy's because there was already space for one at the neighboring mall, Promenade, formerly occupied by Robinson's and I. Magnin)
Marie Callender's was part of the original mall as a much larger full service location but it became a shadow of it's former self when the mall enclosed in the late 80s. Next door to it was Lindberg Nutrition, an early idea of a health food store/food counter that later would look more like today's Whole Foods Market.
Even though outdoors, there was an interior strip of smaller stores that faced eachother running the length between Sears and JCPenney. One of the highlights (at least for me) was Bo-Jan's arcade which was chock full of pinball and a few early video games of the times. It never reopened when the mall was enclosed.
Scott Tesar's Commentary
Posted December 5, 2006 (user submitted)
Fallbrook Mall opened somewhere around Christmas of 1964 or 1965, because I remember them bringing in "snow" (shaved ice" for the kids to play in, and there was a Santa Claus around, as well.
Original tenants included a True Value Hardware store called "Rea's Hardware", owned by Dean Knox, and a Woolworth's store.
Also on the north side was Plaza Bakery West, famous for their butter-creme frosted birthday cakes and elaborate decorations.