WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA.com) — The face of Southland shopping malls has changed over the years.

Tom Carroll hosts and produces “Tom Explores Los Angeles” on YouTube, which features neglected corners of the city.

He recently trespassed inside the old Hawthorne Plaza to give Angelenos a tour inside an indoor mall that has been shut down and empty for 15 years.

“They had taken the time to gut all the drywall and sort of the cosmetic façade,” Carroll said. “Very much spooky because there are escalators to nowhere. It’s very much unsafe.”

Carroll’s video contrasted what malls were like in their heyday.

“Indoor, insular shopping malls [are] no longer something people are excited about,” Carroll said.

CBS2’s Serene Branson reports that a new indoor mall hasn’t been built in the United States in eight years.

The Westfield Group’s newest venture in Woodland Hills will be a massive outdoor village. The Santa Monica Place recently transformed into a high-end outdoor destination and projects like the Americana at Brand are booming.

Lousina Hovespian said she rarely goes to a traditional mall anymore. She said she either does a lot of online shopping or goes somewhere with space for her three children.

“I prefer the outdoors. You get to enjoy the scenery and it’s much better than indoor malls,” she said.

Carroll said most people are looking to shop at more Disneyland-esque environments.

“It seems like people … want to be transported more and more in their shopping environments,” he said.


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