Puente Hills Mall

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Puente Hills Mall
South Exterior
Location City of Industry, California
Opening date 1974
Developer The Hahn Company
Owner Kam Sang Company
No. of stores and services 155
No. of anchor tenants 7 (6 open, 1 vacant)[1]
Total retail floor area 1.1 million square feet[2]
No. of floors 2

Puente Hills Mall, located in the City of Industry, 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]

Two anchors departed in 1996, The Broadway (at the time purchased by Macy's) and JCPenney. At the time of JCPenney's departure, the mall had about a 50% occupancy.[4] The mall was extensively renovated afterwards and now 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 added in 1998. Linens 'n Things, which had an anchor in the store, closed its Puente Hills store in 2008 as a nationwide effort to take the company's operations online. On August 28, 2010, the Japanese sports entertainment chain Round1 opened Round1 Bowling & Amusement, a state-of-the-art video game arcade and bowling alley with karaoke rooms, as a new anchor to Puente Hills Mall, marking the Japanese company's first store overseas, taking Linens 'n Things' old anchor. As a result, CompUSA and Circuit City closed in 2008 and 2009.

It also includes popular 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, replacing Circuit City. This Toys "R" Us was previously located in the Plaza at Puente Hills on Gale Avenue in Industry.[5] The Toys "R" Us in Puente Hills Mall permanently shut its doors on April 15, 2018.

Today the mall has lost the popularity it once had due to lack of foot traffic. Being that there are no major brands such as Coach or Michael Kors there is no real draw of foot traffic besides the AMC and the Round One arcade. The mall currently advertises a grand expansion/renovation to an outdoor mall and new stores but no such renovation has taken place.

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, shortly 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), past owners of the mall redesigned some elements of Puente Hills Mall in order to conform to feng shui principles. [6] There are also outlets of the Filipino chain restaurants Max's of Manila, designed to attract the large Filipino-American population in the Rowland Heights, Walnut, and West Covina areas. Jolibee and Chow's King outlets have since closed. Puente Hills Mall also caters to a large Latino population that primarily reside in the La Puente, El Monte, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, and West Covina areas.

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

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.[8]

Nobel Son[edit]

Nobel Son, a 2007 American comedy featuring Alan Rickman, Mary Steenburgen (who was coincidentally in Back to the Future Part III), Bryan Greenberg and Danny DeVito was filmed at Puente Hills Mall in 2005.[citation needed]


  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. ^ 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