The Online Community for Culver City – The New Scene
KCET.org recently offered an in-depth and quite entertaining look at Culver City's own Culver Hotel. Describing the building as having "the cramped, faded glamour of a European establishment," author Hadley Meares takes a spin through the origin story of the city and the hotel.
The article describes the hotel's wild early years:
MGM housed the Charleston-crazed Joan Crawford and other young starlets there when they were first contracted to the studio. Stars with a reputation for hell raising, including Buster Keaton and Lupe Velez, kept apartments at the centrally located hotel, as did Clark Gable, Rod La Roque, and Greta Garbo. When Pathe had a special screening of Cecil B. DeMille's "The Godless Girl," the whole cast gathered at the Culver Building before making their way to the theater. And in 1928, a precursor to the legendary Munchkin invasion of 1938 occurred when the hotel hosted 40 little people. They had been brought to Hollywood for the filming of MGM's "Mysterious Isle."
Although it affirms that 124 little people stayed in the hotel during the filming of "The Wizard of Oz," the article debunks the rumors that drunken revelry was the result. Quotes one of the those present: "There weren't any drunken orgies. First of all, if you're making $50 a week, you don't have much money for booze, No. 1. You're working late; we all got tired, you know. So I never saw anybody drunk. Oh, there was one or two guys got drunk, the Kelley brothers, you know. They'd get drunk anywhere."
The article goes on to explain how John Wayne came to own the hotel for a time (it wasn't because Charlie Chaplin sold it to Wayne for $1 in a poker game) and what led to the current ownership by the Mallick family.
You can (and should) read the whole article HERE.