Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Shop.

10250 Santa Monica Boulevard,
Century City, CA. / (310) 277-3898 or (310) 553-5300.

Located just one mile from Rodeo Drive, Century City Shopping Center is an upscale locale, no doubt about that - it's surrounded by the gleaming office towers and fountains of Century City, next door to the hotel where Presidents stay when they're in town. It included the prestigious Shubert Theatre, the west coast home to many star-studded Broadway musicals (before it closed).

Given its locale, Century City is the mall of choice for many residents of both Beverly Hills and Westwood, and as you might expect, the center also attracts a lot of stars.

Leonardo DiCaprio went to see a regular screening of a movie ("Iron Man 2") at the theatres here in 2010, and didn't realize that they sold reserved seats. As a result, Leo was asked to change seats several times, as ticketholders showed up and kicked him out of their seats. He was a good sport about it. They wound up sitting in the front row. Ironically, he was asked to move when the trailer for his own film ("Inception") was airing on the screen.

Julia Roberts ("Pretty Woman") was spotted here, trying to stay incognito in a loose brown dress, a big cardigan, and flats. Angelina Jolie was here shopping with her young son. Supermodel Rachel Hunter (former wife of Rod Stewart) was seen shopping with her kids. Joey Lawrence ("Blossom") was here with his girlfriend. 

I saw Jerry Seinfeld dining at the former Houston's restaurant here, and members of the L.A. Lakers and Byron Allen have been seen here as well. Adam Sandler had his first date with his (then) girlfriend at Houston's in Century City, and in 2007 he was seen at the restaurant again with his (now) wife. Chris Rock was also spotted at the center recently.

Both Ron Howard and John Lithgow were recently spotted checking out the art at the center's Martin Lawrence Gallery.

Leonard Nimoy ("Star Trek") has been spotted going to the movies here, as was Kevin Sorbo ("Hercules") and Hilary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry"). In 2006, there was a nasty celebrity incident at a "Superman Returns" showing at the AMC theatre, when Darren Star (creator of "Sex and the City") sat in seats reserved by Friend's star Matthew Perry and had to be asked to move by the management.

Funnyman Mel Brooks, and his wife, actress Anne Bancroft, along with Mr. & Mrs. Carl Reiner have been seen dining at the Stage Deli and Yin Yang, followed by a movie.

Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser M.D." and "Starship Troopers") adores Brentanos, the book store next to the theaters, as does Jackie Collins, and singer Meredith Brooks.

Garry Shandling recently showed up at Brentano's to sign his new book (as did Monica Lewinsky.).

The opening of Bloomingdale's brought out Magic Johnson, Penny Marshall ("Laverne & Shirley") and Michael Ovitz. Since then, celebrity shoppers at Bloomingdale's have included Cameron Diaz (with a friend, Christmas shopping for her mother), Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina Jolie, Teri Garr, and Tea Leoni (who came in and asked for the maternity department (there isn't one) before the birth of her last child). In 2003, James Van Der Beek (of "Dawson's Creek") came to Bloomie's to register with his fiance.

And recently both Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and International Creative Management (ICM), two of the largest agencies in Hollywood, moved to new headquarters in Century City.  So the place is now crawling with agents chatting up clients, including the mall food court.

Actually, the Century City Shopping Center isn't even a mall in the usual (enclosed) sense of the word - only a small part of the center is actually enclosed. Most of the shopping center is an open-air affair, with spacious walkways sheltered by a canopy of white, wooden latticework.

The most interesting part of the center may be The Marketplace, an indoor/outdoor dining area which is part food court, part restaurant row. Here you'll find a branch of the New York's famous The Stage Deli (its walls decorated with movie posters of every New York-themed movie ever made), Johnny Rockets (reportedly one of Liz Taylor's favorite burger joint) and Houston's. It once also housed director Steven Spielberg's old submarine-themed restaurant, called "Dive!" before it shut its doors.

When Barnum’s new Kaleidoscape circus set up its tent in the Century City parking lot one May, Army Archerd reports that one weekend's audience saw such celebs as Tom HanksRita Wilson, Geena Davis, John Travolta & Kelly Preston, David Kelley & Michelle Pfeiffer and the Art Linkletters.

The AMC 14 theatre multiplex upstairs is the busiest movie theatre complex in L.A., and Tobey Maguire was spotted there recently. The Gelson's market, in the southwest corner of the shopping center, offers the chance to catch celebs such as Jodie Foster and John Lithgow shopping for groceries. (Word has it AMC may be expanding soon)

Others spotted at the mall include Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr., Debra Messing, Jessica Simpson, Kate Jackson, Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Brian McKnight and Kristian Alfonso.

Getting there: The Century City Shopping Center and Marketplace is located in the northwest portion of Century City, on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard (on the north) and Century Park West (on the west). It is bounded on the south by Constellation Boulevard, and the nearest eastern street is Avenue of the Stars. / From Rodeo Drive, take Santa Monica Boulevard southwest (about one mile) to Avenue of the Stars. Turn left (south) on Avenue of the Stars, then right again (west) at Constellation Boulevard. The center will be on your right (north) side.

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