Image from the archive of the Culver City Historical Society
The beginnings of Culver City were not as black and white as the movies that were filmed here. For many years this landscape was travelled through by the Native Americans who would harvest this area for food and materials. When the Spanish started to settle in California they referred to the Natives as `Los Gabrielinos´ because of their proximity to San Gabriel Mission. The first Spanish families in the early 1800´s based themselves within this fertile land, located between the Pacific coast and what is now Downtown Los Angeles. There were mainly two ranchos occupying what is today Culver City and were known as Rancho Rincón de los Bueyes and Rancho La Ballona.
Culver City´s heritage includes rich ties with the film industry as many major picture studios have established their headquarters here over the last century. Silent films, westerns and titles like Citizen Kane, The Wizard of Oz and King Kong have been produced in Culver City. Today, the movie industry still plays an important role in supporting the local economy thanks to the studios still in operation and the additional sectors that support them. Sony Pictures Entertainment is one of the main employers in the city having many Spanish descendants amongst their staff.
I met with Julie Lugo Cerra and Alexander King, members of the Culver City Historical Society Archives and Resource Center. I will be posting their interviews soon.
With Julie Lugo Cerra at the Culver City Museum