With its rich past as the site of amusement rides and Hollywood magic, it’s no wonder that the Beverly Center
retains its sense of whimsy, even as it caters to glamorous shoppers. Although the iconic shopping mall is a well-known place to spot celebrities and score upscale bargains, it continues to build on its current success with new renovations. We think that one of the best things about the Beverly Center is that it is right around the corner from Beverly Hills Carmel!
Ever wondered what inspired Beverly Center’s unique configuration? The complex’s famous kidney shape was engineered to accommodate oil drills. In fact, the Salt Lake Oil Field, on which Beverly Center and its neighbors sit, continues to produce oil. Because the wells near Beverly Center are within city limits, oil production takes place in a soundproof, shielded island in which the wells are engineered to slant diagonally to minimize height.
An Amusing Lot
Before Beverly Center itself was built, the lot was known for two fun attractions, Beverly Park and Beverly Ponyland, which existed between the mid-1940s through the mid-1970s. Between the two of them, which were collectively known as “Kiddieland” to local fans, the amusement centers offered a Ferris wheel, carnival games, food, a pony ride area and even a mini-roller coaster. The Kiddieland complex was such a famous draw in its day that it inspired frequent visitor Walt Disney to dream up his own theme park. Higher rents, along with pressure to develop the property, ultimately closed down the Beverly Park facility, with Ponyland soon following suit.
While they were still operational, however, the Kiddieland parks became an iconic part of the city -- so much so that television and movies often filmed there (Beverly Park’s merry-go-round was heavily featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train,” for example). For that reason, the section of Beverly Center that sits where the Kiddieland parks were is still considered to be part of the entertainment industry’s “studio zone.”
Birth of an Icon
Officially debuting in 1982, Beverly Center instantly became the place to see and be seen. At the time of its opening, the Center’s movie theater boasted the largest number of screens of any complex of its kind. Beverly Center also holds the distinction of housing the first Hard Rock Cafe in the U.S.
The instantly famous Beverly Center complex was featured in movies like “Scenes from a Mall” and “Volcano,” and has been renovated several times since it opened. A future planned $500-million renovation will include more eateries, a high-tech parking structure, a shimmering steel facade and an airier look throughout, via the addition of a massive skylight “ribbon.” Ultimately, this addition will add more for the residents at the Beverly Hills Carmel facility to do.
Interested in learning more about our historic neighborhood? Be sure to request a tour of the Beverly Hills Carmel, where you can find out not only about our senior care and retirement living options but also about the fascinating, vibrant area in which we’re located.