California Fool’s Gold — Exploring the City of Industry

City of Industry Panorama

This Los Angeles County community blog is about City of Industry. To vote for more LA County Communites, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles Neighborhoods, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

 Map of City of Industry
Pendersleigh & Sons‘ Official Map of City of Industry

It’s a strangely shaped neighborhood in the south end of the San Gabriel Valley surrounded by Whittier Narrows, South El Monte, El Monte, Baldwin Park, West Puente Valley, La Puente, Valinda, South San Jose Hills, Walnut, Diamond Bar, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights and North Whittier. It almost completely surrounds Avocado Heights.

Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum


Industry (or City of Industry) is a city located in the San Gabriel Valley. It, like most of the area, was inhabited by the Tongva, who were then displaced by the Spaniards, which was followed by the land becoming part of Mexico. One of the few vestiges from that era is the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, an historical landmark and the burial sight of Pío Pico, the last Mexican governor of Alta California. Industry was incorporated in 1957 in a move designed to prevent surrounding cities from annexing the land for tax revenue.

Stadium

Most recently, Industry has been designated the sight of the future Los Angeles Stadium, which will return the NFL to the area. Above is an artist’s conception. Apparently the artist also conceives of the surrounding warehouses being obliterated and replaced with large, well maintained lawns.

Befitting its name, Industry is almost entirely industrial (92%) and just a little commercial (8%). The current population is estimated to be around 1,000. It’s not called “The City of Residents,” after all. That tiny group of people is roughly 62% Latino (mostly Mexican), 24% white (mostly Danish) and 9% Asian.

The city produces about 35,000 to 50,000 tons of pre-consumer food waste daily, mostly cheese by-products and imperfect tortillas. In a novel solution, the city’s garbage trucks run on cheese by-products. They could call it, therefore, “City of Cheese Waste,” but there’s more to Industry than curds and whey as you shall see…

For starters, there’s an exposed area of rock that locals call Fossil Hill, located behind the Colima Rd McDonald’s in Stoner Creek.

In general, there’s a fair amount of confusion about what’s in Industry and what’s not (such as the not-in-Walnut Gurdwara Walnut)

Gurdwara Walnut
There are a few popular bars in the area too, including Opium Pub ($25 all you can drink), Dream Lounge and Vip Lounge.
Pacific Palms Resort

For those who venture to Industry and need to spend the night (perhaps having drunk all one can drink), there’s The Pacific Palms ResortThe golf course at the resort was featured in a memorable scene in the cult classic Joel “sexual outlaw” Schumacher film, Falling Down.

Popular restaurants in the area tend to reflect the surrounding areas more than the local population but with over fifty in the city, there’s considerable variety. Some of the more popular places to eat are Roda Viva, King’s Palace, Curry House, Frisco’s Carhop, Jurassic, Iguanas Ranas, La Kaffa, Little Tokyo, Shabu Shabu, Sakura, and Smile Express.

The headquarters for Newegg.com, Emtek Products, and Engineering Model Associates/Plastruct are all located in Industry, as are a lot of Chinese owned businesses. However, the most Amoeba-relevant business (since it has something to do with music culture) is Hot Topic.

Puente Hills Mall

The aging Puente Hills Mall, built in 1974, served as Twin Pines Mall (and Lone Pine Mall) in the Back to the Future.

Nowadays, the mall is pretty empty except for the AMC theater, so the mall’s owners ensure people have to pass by the remaining stores by not allowing entrance directly into the theater.

Speed Zone was featured in Kevin Smith‘s Clerks II, Summer School and 1979’s Van Nuys Blvd. The final fight scene was filmed there, in a now demolished Ikea.

McDonalds Production Center

One of the most interesting businesses in Industry is the McDonald’s that’s only used for commercials and films, such as Mac & Me.

Industry is also home of Vineland Drive-In, one of two drive-in theaters in the Southland.

Brea Canyon Rd & Old Ranch Rd

A phone booth (no longer there) at Brea Canyon and Old Ranch Road was featured in Halloween.

Kern's
Kern’s of California

The factory showdown in Terminator was shot at Kern’s Of California. It was there that Linda Hamilton‘s character uttered one of the most squirm inducingly corny one liners in film history.

It’s also been a filming location for NWA and AWS matches, Raspberry & Lavender, Street Fury: Inferno, Suicide Kings, Bye Bye Love, Fun with Dick and Jane and American Pie

As far as mom & pop video stores, there’s John’s Video Place.

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Eric Brightwell is a writer, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener. His written work has appeared in AmoeblogdiaCRITICS, and KCET Departures. His art has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft & Folk Art Museum, and 1650 Gallery (art prints of his maps are available from 1650 Gallery and on other products from Cal31). Brightwell has been featured in the Los Angeles TimesHuffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA? and at Emerson College. He is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Finally, Brightwell is always seeking writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities; however, job offers must pay more than slave wages as he would rather write for pleasure than for peanuts.

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