Lights, Cameras, Action!!! Photo by Broderbund
You’re off to see the “Heart of Screenland” which is Culver City, California. Movie history surrounds you as you take the tour of this city’s art district and downtown area. You’ll feel as if you just stepped onto a gigantic movie set. This tour, your second one on the Culver City Bus Lines, goes through the heart of the city. Treat yourself like a movie star and let someone else do the driving. “Lights, cameras, action”.
This tour starts at the West Los Angeles Transit Center. You last visited this location when you took the tour to the Farmers Market, the Grove and West Hollywood in the article Old and New Union. To get there, you may ride MTA Line #439, See LA on the MTA, from the LAX Transit Center to this center. When you exit the bus, walk south on Fairfax to the northeast corner of Washington and Fairfax. From this intersection you will take the Culver City bus #1 headed west on Washington Blvd. You may also connect with this line at Washington and Lincoln via the Santa Monica bus #3, It’s the big one!; Washington and Sepulveda via the Culver City bus #6 or Washington and Overland via the Culver City bus #3, The Green Machines; however, for a smoother tour, the best route starts at the West LA Transit Center or in the Los Angeles community of Venice.
Culver City Art District
The first part of your tour takes you through the eastern portion of Culver City called the Culver City Art District. This artsy, industrial area of Washington Blvd. between Fairfax and National is lined on both sides of the street with bright yellow colored mock camera/movie projectors that list many of the movies that were made at the city’s movie studios. Some of the movies listed are: “Adams Rib”, “Beetle Juice”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, “City Slickers”, “Dinner at Eight”, “Father of the Bride”, “High Society”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Little Women”, “National Velvet”, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, etc.; See the article The Green Machines for a different tour view of this studio.; At the intersection of Washington and Helms on the right is the former home of the Helms Bakery. This bakery went out of business in 1969; however, the complex is currently home to several retail stores and eateries. This is a good place to exit the tour and explore.
Downtown Culver City
At the intersection of Washington and Ince, look to the left just as the bus starts to turn right and you will see a white colonial style building that looks as if it could be a private home. This building at 9336 West Washington Blvd. is Culver Studios where the movies, “Gone with the Wind, “Citizen Kane” and others were filmed. It is the former home of Desilu Productions and the TV classics “I Love Lucy”, “The Andy Griffith Show”, “Gomer Pyle”, etc. More recently, this studio has been the home to television’s “America’s Next Top Model” and “Deal or No Deal”.; After the bus turns, you will encounter on the left an odd shaped building which is the Culver Hotel. This historical hotel at 9400 Culver Blvd. was once owned by John Wayne and it’s rumored that he won it while gambling. The little people actors, the Munchkins, stayed at this hotel during the filming of “The Wizard of Oz”.; As you head west past the hotel, take a quick look to the left, on the west side of the hotel, and you can catch a glimpse of a statue of a lion.; After you pass the hotel, look to the left at Washington and Hughes for the Kirk Douglas Theatre at 9820 Washington Blvd.; Across the street from here is the Culver Plaza Theatres at 9919 Washington Blvd. which hosted the 2010 Pan African Film Festival.; To experience this area up close, exit the bus at Washington and Clarington and walk east.; You may re-board the #1 line at the Culver City bus stops on the north side of the street to continue your westbound tour.; At Washington and Madison, on the left, is the beginning of the northern side of the Sony Entertainment Studios lot which extends west to the corner of Washington and Overland.
Culver City/The Westside/Marina del Rey/Venice
At Washington and Huron, on the left, is the King Fahad Mosque at 10980 Washington Blvd.; The western border of Culver City is a few feet east of Washington and Lincoln.; After crossing Lincoln Boulevard, you will enter the LA community of Marina del Rey. Both sides of the street throughout much of this section are lined with restaurants and other commercial businesses.; The intersection of Washington and Pacific is another good area to exit the bus and explore before your bus tour makes a right turn at Pacific Ave. A short walk west of here is where you’ll encounter one section of the bike and sidewalk paths that run along the ocean.; If you’re still on the bus at this point, your tour will then head north down Pacific Ave. to Windward Ave.; On the left at the intersection of Pacific and Windward is the main entry point to Venice Beach.; As the bus turns right on Windward, it comes to the end of the line at the Venice Post Office across from the Roundabout.; For more about public transit tours to Venice Beach, read the article Sun and Sand.
• The city of Culver City like many other cities and communities in Southern California promotes public transit. Culver City recently hosted an historical walk, bike tour and an Art Walk is scheduled for June 5, 2010.
• The area from Washington and Ince thru Washington and Madison is a very good area to walk and explore the downtown section of Culver City.
• At Washington and Jasmine, on the left side of the street, you can get a glimpse inside the Sony Entertainment Studios.
• The Culver City Bus line #1 route makes different turns through the downtown main street area on its eastbound trip; therefore, the view of some of this area’s attractions are more visible than on the westbound trip.
• If you don’t have time to take a trip to Hollywood, a tour on this line through the downtown section of Culver City is another good way to experience movie history.
Disclaimer: This information is subject to change without notice.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”.---Helen Keller
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