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Fountain show at Americana remains on, as much of the immediate world shuts down

Most stores in the Americana at Brand are closed due to the novel coronavirus, but the outdoor mall's fountain continues to dance to timeless classics.
Most stores in the Americana at Brand are closed due to the novel coronavirus, but the outdoor mall’s fountain continues to dance to timeless classics.
(Lila Seidman )

A shiny gold form of a young man emerges from the clouds on a recent rainy afternoon at the Americana at Brand like beacon of hope.

It’s the statue in the Glendale outdoor mall’s iconic fountain, and — mass closures across the city and state be darned — it’s still spraying majestic bursts of waters in sync to tunes by timeless legends like Dean Martin and Judy Garland.

Rick Caruso, the property magnate behind the Americana, the Grove and several other outdoor malls, wrote in an open letter in mid-March that he would be keeping the spaces open as “valuable resources for the public,” but subject to social-distancing and stay-at-home orders.

“Our fountains are on, our lights are bright and our properties remain secure,” Caruso said in the letter.

A person braves the rain to make a food pickup at the Americana on Brand on April 7.
A person braves the rain to make a food pickup at the Americana on Brand on April 7.
(Lila Seidman)

“We have never turned our back on our communities, and more than ever before, we are here for you,” the letter continues. “We will also do everything we can to look after those who are most vulnerable.”

Umbrellas were shut at the Americana's Cheesecake Factory in a closed outdoor dining area.
(Lila Seidman )

All nonessential businesses on the premises are closed, including restaurants and the movie theater, but some grocery-store and pharmacy tenants remain open to provide essential services.

Customers can still preorder and pickup cupcakes at the mall's Sprinkles cupcake store. A nearby "cupcake ATM" also remains open for use.
Customers can still preorder and pickup cupcakes at the mall’s Sprinkles cupcake store. A nearby “cupcake ATM” also remains open for use.
(Lila Seidman )

For the time being, all on-site parking is free and there are hand-sanitizer stations located throughout the malls. Valet services have been put on hold for the safety of staff and customers, according to Caruso.

A sign directs mall visitors to hand-sanitizer station.
A sign directs mall visitors to hand-sanitizer station.
(Lila Seidman)

County officials have advised people to even avoid grocery shopping this week, calling it a critical period to reduce the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, a sparse handful of passersby, many sporting masks and gloves, stopped to take in the Bellagio-esque fountain as rain beat down on the manicured pavement.

Two individuals wearing facial coverings snap photos in front of the Americana fountain.
Two individuals wearing facial coverings snap photos in front of the Americana fountain.
(Lila Seidman )

Some whipped out their phones to record the fountain as it danced to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and other familiar classics.

The mall’s familiar trolley, temporarily closed, sat inert behind bars in its depot.

The mall's signature trolley has suspended operations during the coronavirus emergency.
The mall’s signature trolley has suspended operations during the coronavirus emergency.
(Lila Seidman )

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