Culver City, California
My Home Town

          Essay
Official Links
Local Organizations
State & Local Politicians
Local Eateries

Local Businesses Page
Palms [neighboring L.A. 90034]
Cheviot Hills [neighboring L.A. 90064]
Mar Vista [neighboring L.A. 90066]
Westchester [neighboring L.A. 90045]
Nearby Beach Towns Page

Where exactly IS Culver City, California?

Official Links
Culver City, California official website

Culver City City Council
Councilman Alan Corlin
Councilmember Carol Gross
Christopher Armenta, Mayor
Micheál O' Leary, Vice Mayor
Councilmember D. Scott Malsin
Councilmember Andrew Weissman
Councilmember Jeffrey Cooper
former Councilman Steven J. Rose
former Mayor Albert Vera [1935-2010]
[last update 6/2010]

free wireless internet in Downtown Culver City [launched Sept 2004]

Culver City Senior Center
Official Culver City History Pages
La Ballona Valley History [circa 1939] at ExpoGreenway
C.C.-Julian Dixon Branch of the L.A. County Library
Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Southern California

DMOZ / Open Directory category for Culver City, CA
Yahoo! Directory category for Culver City, CA
City Data info for Culver City, CA




Local Schools

Culver City Unified School District
Culver City High School
C.C.H.S. Academy of Visual & Performing Arts
Culver City P.T.A.
Culver City Education Foundation [est. 1981]
Turning Point School [K-6]
Antioch University Los Angeles now headquartered in Culver City, CA
Star ECOstation teaching zoo in Culver City, CA
I.C.D.C. College on Sepulveda is a student loan scam
STAR Prep Academy Middle & High School in Culver City, CA

Wildwood School [K-12]

West Los Angeles Community College

Culver City High School's centaur mascot            Culver City High School Alumni Assn. website
Culver City High School - Classes of the 1960s website

join/update Alumni.Net: Bringing School Friends Together {website broken? 12/2010}

Annual Culver City High School 1960s Alumni Picnic [Sept 2011 = #3] at the Culver High campus


Local Organizations
Culver City, California Chamber of Commerce

Culver City Historical Society [est. 1980]
Culver City Rock & Mineral Club
Culver City Online Community Center
Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center
Downtown Business Assn.
Culver City Community Page at SoCal.com
Ballona Creek Renaissance
Culver City Veterans Center
CulverWest Neighborhood Assn.
Culver City Rotary Club Intl. [est 1930]
Kayne-ERAS Center [est. 1980]
Culver City Exchange Club [est. 1911]
Culver City Democrats [est. 1952]
Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum and Black Research & Education Center
Stop The Cell Tower on Sawtelle Blvd. [est. 1/2010]
Ballona Creek Renaissance
California National Guard Armory in Culver City {not renewing lease 2013}

Cultural Events
Backlot Film Festival [Dec 2004 = #1] at W.L.A. College
2nd annual "Cruisin' Back to the 50s" car show [May 2005 = #2]
"Cruisin' Back to the 50s" car show [May 2004 = #1] + poster
Western Hemisphere Marathon [est. 1947]
C.T.G. Kirk Douglas Theater
Culver City Public Theatre
Fiesta La Ballona [August]
C.C. Summer Sunset Music Festival
July Fourth Fireworks [est. 1950]
Culver City Online Film Festival

Neighbors
Proposed Exposition Light Rail Transit Line
Palms [Los Angeles 90034]
Mar Vista [Los Angeles 90066]
Westchester [neighboring L.A. 90045]
Nearby Beaches & Towns Page


Local Places to Eat
list of Culver City restaurants on the Menupages website

Johnnie's Pastrami [est. 1952], 4017 Sepulveda Blvd.
George Petrelli Famous Steaks
Joxer Daly's Irish Bar & Restaurant, 11168 Washington Blvd.
Victor Jr's Culver City-Style Pizza [est. 1999], 10113 Washington Blvd.
Nathalee Thai on Venice
Giovanni's Trattoria & Pizzeria
Tito's Tacos [est.1959]
Empanada's Place
Maxwell's Cafe, 13329 W. Washington Blvd.
Dolce Vita Bakery Café on Sepulveda
Rutt's Hawaiian Restaurant on Washington Blvd. [est. 1976]
Blé D'or Bakery on Washington Blvd.
Mrs. Garcia's Mexican restaurant on Washington Blvd.
Kazuto Matsusaka's Beacon Asian Cafe [est. 2004] at Helms Bakery
Mi Ranchito Restaurant on Washington Blvd.
Roll 'n Rye Restaurant & Delicatessen on Jefferson Blvd.
X'otik Kitchen take-out in East Culver City, CA
Synergy Cafe & Lounge on Overland Avenue
Leaf Organics & Vegan Cafe [est. 2004] 11938 W. Washington Blvd.
The Outdoor Grill 12630 Washington Place
Bellagio Ristorante, formerly Caffe Roberto, 11800 Jefferson Blvd. in Culver City, CA
Pampas Grill [est. 2008], 3857 Overland Avenue in Culver Center
Samosa House West [est. 1979 as Bharat Bazaar], 11510 W. Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA
Samosa House East [est. 2006], 10700 W. Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA
Green Peas Casual Food vegetarian-friendly cafe, 4437 Sepulveda Blvd. in Culver City, CA {website broken?}

Dinah's Restaurant [est. 1959]        Overland Cafe [est. 1974]        Red Brick Pizza on Overland Blvd. in Culver City {closed in 2007}

Sorrento Market on Sepulveda Blvd.

Mr. Breakfast listings for Culver City, CA

somebody should open a franchise here!
Culver's ButterBurgers & Frozen Custard [est. 1984]

Downtown Culver City Dining
Kay & Dave's Cantina [est. 6/2009], 9341 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA
Rush Street microbrew pub [est. 2010], 9546 W. Washington Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA
Santa Maria Barbecue Co. Cafe in Downtown Culver City, CA
Meet French Bistro, 9727 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA
Tender Greens Restaurant, 9523 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA

Ford's Filling Station, 9531 Culver Blvd. in Culver City, California

Bistro de L'Hermitage, 9727 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA { closed }
Double Dutch Dinette [1985-2010], 9806 W. Washington Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA { closed }
Pacifico's Seafood Restaurant, 9341 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA { closed 2009 }
Sagebrush Cantina { Downtown Culver City location closed }
San Gennaro Pasta Cafe & Bar, 9543 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City, CA { closed }


Old Time, Long Time Local Places That Aren't There Anymore
The A&W Drive-In on Sepulveda
Airport Village on Sepulveda at Centinela
Albertson Oldsmobile Geo [1948-2007] at Washington Blvd. & Sepulveda
The Baldwin Theater, over on La Brea [opened 1949, closed 1994, torn down]
Barnes / Culver City Airport

The Big Donut at Sepulveda & Washington Blvd.
b&w photo of Sepulveda & Washington intersection by Dennis Stock, circa 1960color photo, circa 1978

Bill Murphy Chrysler-Plymouth on Washington Blvd.
Culver City Auto Racetrack
Culver City Golf Course
Culver Stationers in Culver Center
Curry's Ice Cream {chain} [circa 1950] in Culver Center
Delores' Drive-in [circa 1960] at Washington Blvd. & Sepulveda
Dusty's Gym
Fatty Arbuckle's Plantation Club
Foster's Freeze on Washington Place
Fox Hills Golf Course
Frontier Shop [est. 1954; bulldozed July 2000; reopened May 2003; dead website 2011]
W.T. Grant's Department Store in Culver Center
Hal Roach Studios
Helms Bakery [1931-69]
Hughes Aircraft plant
Jack's Ranch Market
Lopez Ranch on Jefferson Blvd.
Lytell's Restaurant [circa 1963] at Washington Blvd. & Sepulveda
Market Basket grocery store in Culver Center
Martin's Music
McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft plant on Washington Blvd. near Lincoln
The Ponderosa Restaurant on Jefferson Blvd.
Revell Plastics model kits factory in Venice
The Rollerdrome
Ship's Restaurant at Culver Center
Venice Racetrack

the original Sizzler in Airport Village
original Del's Sizzler Steak House at Airport Village in Culver City, circa 1958

Meralta Theater
Palms Theater
GOLD STAR: built in 1930s, said to be the first drive-in in California; often used for feature films & TV shows; closed in 1993; demolished in 1998 - no trace left  Studio Drive-In Theater; 1930s-1998]



seal of the City of Culver City, California

CULVER CITY & ME
Copyright 1999-2010 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved

          Culver City is nestled on the flats, mostly, of the La Ballona Valley, between Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The weather is mild, with sea breezes that arise around three o'clock every afternoon. Traffic is terrible – the I-405 freeway runs thru it – but the natural ambience makes up for such problems.

          History began here with the California Missions Era. The Machado and Talamantes families acquired grazing rights in 1819. Then in 1839, Mexico granted Augustin Machado all the land that he could ride around from dawn to dusk. Being a rather cunning fellow, he began his ride at the Playa del Rey foothills (present-day Westchester), rode east to the Baldwin Hills, north to Pico Boulevard, and then west to the beach – allowing the fourth side to be at the water's edge and encompassing almost 14,000 acres. Members of the Machado family still owned big pieces of land here thru the 1980s.

          Real estate visionary Harry Culver founded the town in 1917, where the Pacific Electric's interurban Redondo Line branched off from the Venice Short Line. The town is surrounded by the City of Los Angeles, and yet maintains a distinctive personality: Culver City is a true small town.

          On the day that I was born in Oakland, California, in 1944, my father was notified of the event while at work in the property department at the Army Air Force's First Motion Picture Unit ["F.M.P.U."] at 'Fort' Hal Roach Studios in Culver City. Younger brother Tom was born while we lived just north of Culver City, on Keystone. Next brother Richard was born in Oakland as well, before we moved into the 'Old House' on Spad Place, near the 'proto-mall' of Culver Center. (I remember well that journey of 1947: Mom and Dad and three babies in a Model A Ford rushing south on Highway 99 in the dark of night to meet the moving van's arrival in Culver City.) We moved into the 'New House' at Lindberg Park in 1956, two years after sister Melissa was born.

          Culver City calls itself 'The Heart of Screenland' because so much of movie history has taken place here, from the early Silent Era to the present day: Thomas Ince, Hal Roach & the Our Gang comedies, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios & Leo the Lion, R.K.O., David Selznick, Desilu, United Artists, and now Sony Pictures & Columbia & TriStar.
          Producer-director Cecil B. DeMille filmed part of 'The Squawman' on Ballona Creek in 1914; the 'Rocky' movies were filmed here, and 'Gone With The Wind' and 'Wizard of Oz' and 'Showboat'; you will see the buildings of Culver City's Downtown in films by Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy and Charley Chase and Charlie Chaplin. (Check out more on the Culver City Film Festival Page.)
          And television too: our family car was in 'Richard Diamond'; I played hookey to watch filming of 'Combat' over the backlot fence; Culver Presbyterian Church was rented for 'Picket Fences' and so on...

          While the movie industry has always known that Culver City was as important as Hollywood or Burbank, Culver City's outside reputation mostly has had to do with the school system. Our schools somehow earned a reputation for excellence, which may once have been true, but since Propositions 8 & 13 altered California's property tax rules, the facilities have become worn out, and local efforts to maintain the schools have been a real struggle. California schools overall are not rated high compared to other states in the U.S., and C.C.U.S.D. is perhaps only average these days.

          The Downtown area has almost no nightlife, though a Community Redevelopment Agency works to modernize and add vitality by bringing in movie theaters and such. (The Mann Culver Multiplex is across a gerrymandered line and actually in Los Angeles city limits.) There would be no daytime activity either, were it not for Sony Pictures who took over the old M.G.M. Studios Lot 1 – the best thing to happen to Downtown in a while, because of their huge economic presence and the satellite businesses that have moved into the area.

          Do I seem negative about Culver City? The negative occurs: Only 30 percent of the citizenry cared enough to vote in the municipal election of April 2002, against a comparison to Finland, for example, where 85% vote. The small clique of involved citizens now and then bicker loudly enough to get attention from the L.A. Times, but I give them credit for taking action, even if for banal NIMBY purposes. And the Police Department has a reputation for fascist harassment of 'undesirables' – read an L.A. Weekly article from 1998.
          We have two tiny local papers struggling for existence, the C.C. News and the C.C. Observer; for the longest time, neither had a website. A recent battle, with childish tirades at City Council meetings, is about a ballot measure on the April 2004 ballot, calling for reduction of the Utility Users Tax, which, if passed, would shrink the already meager City budget by 10% – a really dumb idea. [Good news: Though the turnout was light – only 5760 voters in a population of 40,000 – Proposition U was defeated by 81% to 19%!]
          Still, the city and its government and local organizations stumble along, doing the best that they can.

          This is what I admire about my hometown: We may be behind the times and struggling mightily to catch up, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Other cities and neighborhoods have given up, but Culver City – as a government and among the core active citizenry – will never: nobody can say that the City of Culver City breeds quitters.
          Culver City happens to be My Hometown, it happens to be a big part of who I am, so the thing to do is to love it dearly.

          Note added August 2005: So now I get to love Culver City from afar. I have moved to Belén, New Mexico, a small rural town just 30 miles south of Albuquerque. Every town is hometown to somebody, and this new location is just how I want to live. I am happy here atop a mesa overlooking the Rio Grande River and am in a world entirely different than the craziness of Southern California. The people here are workers in the earth, and not wannabe hustlers or gangsta fools. Here the air is clear and dry, the skies blue, and the night is pitch dark. I can hear the whistles of passing B.N.S.F. trains all day, and see Mt. Taylor, 70 miles away, from my driveway. (And in October 2008, I installed solar panels in my back yard.)
          Culver City will be fine without me, and I will be just fine without Culver City.
          Looking back comes to an end; now there is looking forward . . .


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seal of the City of Culver City, California

Local Folks
Ed Little
Efrem Violin
Sandra Kallander's webstore
local film reviewer & culture critic Frédérik Sisa
Medal of Honor recipient Jimmy Wayne Phipps [1950-69]

Movie Studios of Culver City book by Julie Lugo Cerra & Marc Wanamaker  
"Movie Studios of Culver City (Images of America)" [2011]
by Julie Lugo Cerra & Marc Wanamaker

Arcadia Publng 9¼x6½ pb [3/2011] for $14.95
M.G.M. Hollywood's Greatest Backlot book   "M.G.M.: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot" [2011]
by Steven Bingen, Stephen X. Sylvester & Michael Troyan,
Foreword by Debbie Reynolds

Santa Monica Press 11¼x8½ hardcover [2/2011] for $23.07
official book page
Images of America Culver City California book by Julie Lugo Cerra  
"Images of America: Culver City (California)" [2004]
by Julie Lugo Cerra (the Honorary C.C. Historian)

Arcadia Publng 9¼x6½ pb [7/2004] for $19.99
Brownstein book  "Los Angeles: Where Anything Is Possible" [2003]
photos by C.C. resident Larry Brownstein

self-publd pb [12/2003] for $13.97
J.L.C. Movie Maker  "You Can Be a Woman Movie Maker" book & DVD
co-authored by C.C. resident Judith Love Cohen

Cascade Press pb [9/2003] for $11.66
Cascade Press hardcover [9/2003] for $13.97
publisher bookpage
other books by J.L.C. including more in the "You Can Be A Woman..." series  click here
The Souvenir   "The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War" [2001]
by Louise Steinman

When retired Culver City pharmacist Norman Steinman died in 1990, his daughter found
an ammunition box in the garage containing 474 letters and a rising sun flag...

Plume 8x5¼ pb [10/2002] for $11.20
Workman/Algonquin hardcover [10/2001] for $16.77
Culver City, Heart of Screenland book by Julie Lugo Cerra  "Culver City: The Heart of Screenland - An Illustrated History" [1992]
by Julie Lugo Cerra (the Honorary C.C. Historian)

Windsor Press 11x8½ hardcover [1/92] out of print/used

If you have a book or a business related to Culver City,
or you are a local resident with a personal website,
send a request to have the link added here.
email •• contact page


Our State & Local Politicians

U.S. flag
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
Congresswoman Karen Bass [CA 33rd District; elected 2010]

California flag
Gov. Jerry Brown [sworn Jan 2011]
CA Senate 26th District = Curren Price [elected 2009]
CA Assembly 47th District: Holly Mitchell [elected 2010]


Culver City Businesses Page
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Local Automobile Dealers
Local Lodging
Movie & TV Production
Local News & Broadcast Media
Construction & Interiors
Local Entertainment
Computers & Internet
neighboring Palms [L.A. 90034]
neighboring Cheviot Hills [L.A. 90064]
neighboring Mar Vista [L.A. 90066]
neighboring Westchester [L.A. 90045]

Local Places To Eat [above on this page]


Nearby Beaches & Towns
Southern California Links Page
SoCal Day Trips Links Page
Central California Links Page
Northern California Links Page

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