Culver City

Culver City is a city on the Westside of Los Angeles County, and was given the moniker the "Heart of Screenland" during the 1930s and 1940s when it was responsible for half of America's motion picture production; today it remains home to Sony Studios (formerly MGM Studios) and Culver Studios. In addition to its role in the film and television industry the city has a reputation as a great food destination due to the huge number of trendy restaurants found in the downtown and elsewhere.

Understand

Culver City has a history in the film industry that goes back to the 1920s.

Harry Culver, a real estate developer, founded the city in 1913. Located along the roads and rail line that connected the beach resort city of Venice with downtown Los Angeles, the town grew fairly quickly. Culver attracted "immigrants" from the Midwest by offering homes that included furniture and even appliances in exchange for a monthly mortgage payment.

During the 1920s the film industry arrived, with silent film comedy producer Hal Roach and Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) building studios. During the 1930s through the 1940s Culver City was home to half of America's motion picture production and was dubbed the "Heart of Screenland." Today the entertainment industry is represented in Culver City by Sony Studios (formerly MGM), Culver Studios, National Public Radio's "NPR West" facility, the NFL Network studios, and a handful of smaller media companies.

Movies that have been produced in Culver City include classics such as Citizen Kane, the original King Kong, and Gone With the Wind. The Wizard of Oz was filmed at MGM studios, and the original yellow brick road is still inside the lot on Stage 27 of Sony Studios. In addition to being the home of classic films, the television show I Love Lucy was produced at Desilu Studios. More recent productions include Grease, Raging Bull, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, City Slickers, Men in Black, Air Force One and Spider-Man. In addition to I Love Lucy, television shows made on Culver City sets include Lassie, Batman, The Andy Griffith Show, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.

The city has other ties to the entertainment industry beyond the movies and television shows created at its studios. The iconic Culver Hotel was once owned by Charlie Chaplin, and was later sold to John Wayne, legend has it for the price of $1 after a high-stakes poker game. The town's streets also reflect Culver City's entertainment history, with names such as (Mary) Pickford and (Douglas) Fairbanks.

Culver City was in a state of decline in the 1990s, but since that time has undergone a tremendous revival. The downtown area is now a bustling district that is home to dozens of restaurants and multiple theaters, while other districts throughout the city are gaining reputations for the culinary and artistic businesses that have set up shop.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 65 66 67 70 72 75 78 79 78 74 69 65
Nightly lows (°F) 48 49 50 53 57 60 63 63 62 57 51 47
Precipitation (in) 2.8 3.8 2.4 0.6 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.5 1.2 2.1

   Data from NOAA (1981-2010)

Get in

The Metro Rail Expo Line extension to Santa Monica will begin operation on May 20, 2016, but until then Culver City is the western terminus of the line that travels through Exposition Park and onward to Downtown LA. The station is at the northern end of downtown Culver City, off National Blvd between Washington and Venice Blvds, approximately a five-minute walk from downtown Culver City.

Culver CityBus has seven bus lines:

Get around

Culver CityBus operates buses in and around Culver City.

Be aware that red light cameras are present throughout Culver City, and at $490 per violation the fines are some of the highest in the country.

See

Despite having two movie studios and several television production facilities located within the city limits, the only public tour is at Sony Studios, which offers an actual tour rather than a theme park attraction like Universal City. In addition, a handful of museums are scattered throughout the city, each one small and focused on a particular subject - those looking for large museums geared towards a general audience might want to take the Expo line to Exposition Park, but those with special interests will find Culver City's offerings to be excellent. Two highlights include the Wende Museum, which is highly regarded for its Cold War collection, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which has somewhat of a cult following for both its general weirdness and willingness to mix truth and fiction.

Public art

The city has a wide array of sculpture, murals, and other installations that will be of interest to art lovers.

Do

"The Mansion" at Culver Studios.

Events

Buy

Culver City offers a bit of everything when it comes to shopping. The Westfield Malls, located just off of I-405 at Sepulveda, is a 200 store mega-mall. The district near the intersection of Washington Blvd and La Cienaga Blvd is a major art destination, featuring dozens of galleries. The downtown area is home to several smaller and more upscale shops, as well as the old Helms Bakery complex, now home to a variety of furniture stores. And for those looking for familiar shopping establishments, major chain stores such as Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Toys 'R Us are also represented within the city limits.

Shopping centers

Notable stores

Eat

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $10
Mid-range $10 - $20
Splurge Over $20

Since the late 1990s Culver City has been undergoing a transformation and today is known as a destination for food lovers, with a huge number of unique and well-reviewed restaurants setting up shop in the city. The downtown area is home to dozens of restaurants opened by famous chefs or aspiring restaurateurs, while other foodie hotspots include the Helm's Bakery complex and the Culver West neighborhood along Washington Boulevard. For those who just need a quick bite, the standard chains are well-represented including Pei Wei, Denny's, Coco's, Chipotle, and dozens of other fast food restaurants. On a historical note, the steakhouse chain Sizzler, which today has hundreds of locations across the country, got its start in Culver City in 1958 as Del's Sizzler Family Steak House.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Bars

Most of the downtown restaurants also have a lively bar scene. Other bars located throughout the city include:

Coffee & Teas

Sleep

The historic Culver Hotel in downtown Culver City

Culver City has a handful of large hotels located near the intersection of I-405 and Sepulveda Blvd, with several cheaper but more rundown options located on Sepulveda near the intersection with Venice Blvd, and also along Washington Blvd. The historic Culver Hotel is located downtown and offers a more unique lodging option. Neighboring cities such as Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey and El Segundo have numerous options within a 10-15 minute drive of Culver City.

Connect

Culver City offers free internet access in several areas.

Go next

The cities and neighborhoods that border Culver City include the following:

Routes through Culver City

North Valley West LA  N  S  Westchester Long Beach
END  W  E  South Central L.A. Downtown L.A.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.