Kaiser Steel built the largest steel plant on the West Coast during World War II. Located in the Los Angeles area’s Inland Empire town of Fontana, the plant operated for many years after the war, and employed more than 2,500 workers at its peak. Kaiser Steel declared bankruptcy in the 1980s, and much of the plant was torn down and redeveloped. Some of its modern components were purchased by the Chinese government, disassembled by a Chinese crew, and reassembled in China. A large part of the plant was paved over and turned into an automotive race track, the Automobile Association’s California Speedway. Another portion is operated as California Steel Industries, making pipe and steel products out of slabs and rolls from other sources. As one of the few remaining heavy industry sites near Los Angeles, the site is a common filming location. It was used as a location for the film Black Rain, and for the Schwarzenegger showdown with the cyborg in Terminator II. The film Pearl Harbor was refused permission to film at the site because the operator of the plant, California Steel, was partially owned by Kawasaki Steel, a Japanese company.
Kaiser Steel Plant Site, California