The grand opening ceremony for the newly renovated Santa Monica Place shopping center is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6 with a full weekend of special events, live dancing performances, DJs and interactive art programs.
There will literally be “dancing in the streets” and everyone is invited to join this fun, free celebration, say officials at Macerich, the mall owner.
The grand opening celebration will star KCRW’s DJ, Jason Bentley, and The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, as seen on “The Oscars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Doors open to the public at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 6.
The new retail and dining destination, which is opening after a two-year closure, is located at Third Street and Broadway in Santa Monica, with other entrances located on Second Street, Fourth Street and on Colorado Avenue. Stores and restaurants will open immediately following the 10 a.m. opening celebration.
Macerich officials have billed Santa Monica Place as a new nexus for fashion, food and the visual arts. The mall owner has been based in Santa Monica for 30 years.
Kathleen Rawson, CEO of the Bayside District Corporation, which manages downtown, said Macerich has sought mall tenants that will enhance the already diverse downtown restaurant and merchandising assortment. She believes that downtown is going to be a stronger destination because of the newly remodeled Santa Monica Place.
“Everyone in the (Bayside) district is confident that we will see the vitality of downtown Santa Monica increase with the opening of Santa Monica Place,” Rawson said.
The new shopping center’s visual arts component includes a work of art by Christian Moeller, Sliver, called a slender, 60-foot “dynamic line of light” that shows an everchanging “sliver” of news media, whether it’s a hair’s breadth of CNN news or a pencil-thin view of the BBC, say Santa Monica Place officials.
“Sliver is a constantly changing commentary on media — a compelling contemporary concept for a city where an impressive percentage of people are involved with media, the arts and entertainment,” Santa Monica Place officials said.
Two other works of art are Cradle by Ball Nogues Studio of Los Angeles, located in Parking Structure 7, and Wheels, by Anne Marie Karlsen in Parking Structure 8
Cradle is called an aggregation of mirror-polished, stainless steel spheres, and the sculpture operates structurally like an enormous Newton’s Cradle — the ubiquitous toy that can be found on the desktops of corporate executives. Each ball is suspended by a cable from a point on the wall and locked in position by a combination of gravity and neighboring balls. As a whole, the balls imply an articulated surface suggestive of foam or sea life, said Ball Nogues Studio representatives.
The circular wheel motif in the artwork of Wheels is loosely inspired by the structure of the recently retired Pacific Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. Viewers will discover the abstracted shapes in the circular forms are actual photographic images the artist has taken of the Pacific Wheel in motion. The composition is meant to create a “sort of whirling, topsy-turvey effect that one experiences on an amusement ride,” according to the artist. The artwork acknowledges a part of Santa Monica history, and allows the viewer to decode the photographic information, according to Karlsen.
Karlsen is an artist and professor at Santa Monica College whose work is part of public venues ranging from the California State Capitol to the North Hollywood MTA stations, say Macerich officials.
Shopping center parking will be available in the city’s eight public parking structures, including Structures 7 and 8, immediately adjacent to Santa Monica Place.
For real-time parking information, www.smgov.net/parkingspacenow/.
For shopping, dining and event information, www.santamonicaplace.com/.