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Stories From The Hollywood Golden Era- The Culver Hotel

It's more than a story. If you want to explore a place teeming with Californian life in the spirit of golden cinema, you must visit Culver City, specially The Culver Hotel, that combines the entire history of the city and its ghosts within its walls. Literally!


If these walls could talk...

A long and illustrious past is what makes the Culver Hotel so endearing to the many visitors that pass through its halls each year.  From legendary ownership to memorable guests, our rooms tell stories - mischievous munchkins, secret passageways and high-stake poker games are all part of what make the fabric of our history.  As a National Historic Landmark and almost a century old, the Culver Hotel gracefully retains its prestige and nostalgia of days long past.  It remains a true icon.

The Wizard of Oz

The most famous story from this legendary hotel comes straight from the film, “The Wizard of Oz” where the Culver Hotel housed nearly all of the 124 “little people” who played the Munchkins in the film.

The film was being shot down the street at MGM studios in 1939 and it was reported that the Munchkin actors threw wild parties at the hotel and used underground tunnels to get to the studio and back. The “LAist” was able to interview Seth Horowitz, the general manager of the Culver Hotel who said that he couldn’t speak about the Munchkins alleged behavior, but he did note that the Munchkins slept in three to a bed. This story about the Munchkins became so famous that a film was later made inspired by the alleged events that had taken place at the hotel. The film came out in 1981 and was called “Under The Rainbow” and starred Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher. The film was even filmed at the Culver Hotel to represent the story in the correct way. In 1997 some of the cast of “Under The Rainbow” came back to the city for an event to share their remembrances with the Culver City Historical Society. Some of the original Oz Munchkins came back for this remembrance event and spoke about their costumes, the set designs, makeup, and lighting, as well as their fond memories of working with Judy Garland.

Many movie stars have also called the Culver Hotel their part-time residences including; Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Ronald Reagan, and Joan Crawford, to name a few.

The cast from “Gone with the Wind” stayed at the Culver Hotel during their filming. Today, many television shows, movies, and television commercials still continue to shoot at the Culver Hotel and around historic Culver City.

Parts of the hotels interior and exterior have been used to replicate a street in London, a cafe in Paris, and even an apartment in Barcelona. No matter what time period, the legendary hotel consistently remains part of what is called the “Hollywood Golden Era”.

The Culver Hotel has been around for over 90 years, and within those 90 years, ghost stories are inevitable to come up along the way.

It has been noted that there is no actual proof that the Culver Hotel is in fact haunted, these are only stories that have been told. Ever since Harry C. Culver passed away in 1946, Mr. Culver’s ghost has been reportedly seen in the hallways of the hotel at times. Staff members have heard the windows in Mr. Culver’s personal office banging shut at night. Amateur ghost hunters often visit the Culver Hotel late at night investigating thoroughly and searching for stories of spiritual happenings. Many believe that even in his death, Mr. Culver still keeps watching over the hotel and city that bear his name.

Next time you make a visit to Los Angeles, be sure to stop for a visit to a Culver City landmark and to one of the most fascinating hotels in La La Land. You never know, maybe you’ll see the ghost of Harry Culver hiding down a hallway.

Culver hotel Website >>>


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