With all the Academy Award hullabaloo this week, you may not have associated the honored movies with Culver City. You probably think of Hollywood as the home of all the movies. But Culver City, just a few miles away, is a small town that holds a surprising history of the silver screen as well. With its recently renovated downtown, it’s a place where you can enjoy breakfast at a sidewalk café, stroll along, and visit the historic Culver Hotel.
Founded in 1924, Culver City calls itself The Heart of Screenland. It was home to Goldwyn Studios, Cecil deMille Studios, and MGM studios in the early 1900s. Later the Desilu Productions studio in Hollywood opened a branch here. The Wizard of Oz (MGM) and Gone With The Wind (Selznick International) both came out of Culver City.
The centerpiece of downtown is the Culver Hotel, opened in 1924 by city founder Harry Culver. At almost a century old, this iconic hotel maintains its elegance. You can almost hear echoes of the stars and dignitaries who have visited. During the 1920s, with prohibition in place, the lounges and “secret” rooms of the hotel surely saw a lot of partying. Today, events such as wedding receptions take place regularly in this beautiful setting.
“City packed with visitors for opening of Culver Skyscraper” were the headlines in the Culver City Daily News when the hotel opened. This is amusing now, but the hotel is certainly tall and thin, though we now are used to buildings much taller.
As we were leaving, we walked by the patio café and found this blue velvet sofa. Glamourous, don’t you think?
If you are in the Los Angeles area, plan to stop in Culver City and enjoy a meal in one of restaurants and check out the lobby of the Culver Hotel. And dream of days gone by in this heart of screenland.
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