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Video History of Valley and Laurel Plazas, Part 1: Empty, Forgotten, Abandoned

Patch explores how an economic hub became "an economic black hole."

This is Part One of a five-part video documentary series on the history of Valley Plaza and Laurel Plaza in North Hollywood. Here are links to the other four parts:

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

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Back in November, North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch broke the news that a $333-million renovation of Laurel and Valley plazas was on hold. Then, on April 14, developer J.H. Snyder announced it had entirely and sold its Valley Plaza land holdings back to IStar, a New York-based commercial lender.

With the death of yet another redevelopment plan of the area, which has been devastated ever since the 1994 Northridge earthquake, North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch decided to investigate the history of the mall in an effort to better understand what the Laurel and Valley plazas were, what they are and what they could be.

Special thanks to Sam Shakerchi, administrator of the Facebook page I Used to Hang Out at at Laurel Plaza Ice Capades Chalet Public Skating Rink for giving permission to use photos from the site.

For more information on the history of the malls, check out Sirnya Tritipeskul's Web site at http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/valley_plaza.html and at http://stritipeskul.bol.ucla.edu/HOME.html.


kenneth scalir September 30, 2011 at 01:27 AM
It least there is still a $3 movie theatre at Valley Plaza, the Regency 6.
Paul Zollo October 13, 2011 at 08:58 PM
This is great, Mr. Clough. Thank you for answering so many questions about my neighborhood. This is good work - will show my family this tonight on the big screen.
Craig Clough October 14, 2011 at 05:00 AM
Thank you, Paul. The big screen? I hope the family enjoys it as much as you did.
Bob Peppermuller August 08, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Yes I remember all the "good ol days" of shopping there. The demographics of the area has changed over the last decades so what kind of businesses could survive there? Should it be converted to some entirely different function? Tear it down as a similar mall I have seen in Toledo, OH and left barren? Sears Holding is on shaky ground. The LAUSD JHS split the northern part in half. CC Paul Kerkorian even left. Can the Wells Fargo mural be restored? Big challenges.
Doreen Mulman January 24, 2014 at 03:19 AM
These videos needed a fact-checker. I've lived between the two plazas since 1962 and in the first video alone I caught some errors, two of which really bothered me. First of all, JFK campaigned in the parking lot where Woolworth was (where the ugly middle school is now) not in front of Sears. And the fountain the other guy said was in Laurel Plaza was actually in Topanga Plaza.

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