Few small cities are as well-equipped to provide their residents with a healthy environment than Culver City. From creating recreational opportunities to providing high-quality health care to helping their residents adopt a healthy lifestyle, Culver City does it all.
Culver City has grown from a sleepy “company town” that provided the workforce for the motion picture and aerospace industries into a city experiencing a renaissance with scores of things to do and see.
Originally, much like surrounding downtown Culver City, the former Culver Theater was a key part of classic Hollywood’s thriving entertainment community. Over time, the theater became dilapidated, tired and worn. Today, the Culver, renamed the Kirk Douglas Theatre, operates as a performing arts center and playhouse that has become a magnet for some of the area’s most unique and successful performances. For more information about what performances are coming to the Kirk Douglas, visit www.centertheatregroup.org.
Art & Culture
Culver City is home to 14 contemporary and fine art galleries with several more located just over the border in the City of Los Angeles. Most of the galleries are located in the Culver City Arts District along Washington and La Cienega Boulevards. For more about various art shows and exhibits in that area, please visit culvercityartsdistrict.com.
In addition, Culver City is home to many prominent performing arts organizations, which present performances and educational programs throughout the City. From the Actors’ Gang, the resident company at the Ivy Substation; and the Culver City Symphony Orchestra to the New American Theatre and Pacifico Dance Company, there is no shortage of cultural opportunities in and around the city.
Sony Pictures Entertainment offers the unique opportunity for visitors and residents to step on the lot to see how Hollywood magic is made. Walk through the famed gates and you’re behind the scenes at one of the most historic and exciting studio lots in the world. The two-hour guided walking tour (www.sonypicturesstudiostours.com) will give you the real experience of a working studio.
Visit soundstages once home to iconic films like “The Wizard of Oz,” “Men in Black” and “Spider-Man.” Swing by smash-hit games shows “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.” You might even catch a glimpse of the Barbra Streisand Scoring stage or a set from the hit comedy, “The Goldbergs.” Keep your eyes open… You never know what – or who – will be around the next corner on this amazing tour that runs several times every weekday.
Downtown Culver City
For those who love to shop, the search for that must-have item can be as fun as roaming through a studio lot. Culver City offers shoppers a bounty of options. The city is filled with unique one-of-a-kind shops that offer the highest level of customer service and high-quality products.
From Lundeen’s, where you can find unique gift items, to The Platform, a retail and restaurant hub that has attracted such unique shops as Bird Brooklyn, Modern Society and Tom Dixon, Culver City’s Downtown offers discerning shoppers a little bit of everything: home and baby goods, art galleries and all things in between at unique and enchanting shops within the quaint confines of downtown Culver City. (downtownculvercity.com)
But the rest of the city has much to offer as well.
Following its recent $170 million renovation, Westfield Culver City is a 1 million-square-foot retail attraction featuring a dynamic blend of 130 national retailers, local and new boutique concepts and a multitude of dining options.
Culver City is also home to a wide variety of national and regional retail and grocery outlets ranging from Costco to Trader Joe’s, but it is best known for harboring those one-of-a-kind secrets known only to the locals.
On Sepulveda Boulevard, Sorrento Italian Market has been a Culver City institution since it was founded in 1963. A true old-world deli and market, Sorrento is the kind of place where you can find everything from a tasty, freshly made sandwich to that hard-to-find chianti imported directly from Italy.
On Washington Boulevard, you’ll find Copenhagen Pastry, billed as the first authentic Danish pastry shop in town. The spot offers fresh-baked delights such as coffee bread, apricot macaroons and Napoleon hats — a small dark chocolate-dipped cake with a cookie base and a filling of pure almond paste. Yum!
Helms Bakery District
Another Culver City gem is the Helms Bakery District on East Washington Boulevard, an historical Los Angeles destination with award-winning restaurants and a unique collection of design and home furnishings stores.
Peruse extraordinary furniture and fine rugs as H.D. Buttercup, where in-house designers offer a bespoke experience to help bring your home to life. Shop for unique modular bathroom systems and fixtures at The Splash Lab, where functionality meets cutting-edge design. Or enjoy a meal at one of the District’s many restaurants. Whether it’s craft beers and the world-famous “Office Burger” at Father’s Office, modern Southeast Asian cuisine outdoors at Lukshon or exquisite pasta creations from old-world family recipes at Pasta Sisters, you can’t go wrong. In fact, the Helms Bakery District is simply a perfect place to meet with friends, shop, dine and enjoy the best Culver City has to offer.
Just east of the Culver Hotel sits historic The Culver Studios, one of the entertainment industry’s most treasured independent film and television studios. Originally built in 1918 by silent movie pioneer Thomas Ince, The Culver Studios has been home to some of the most famous productions in Hollywood history, including Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane and E.T.
Hackman Capital Partners is embracing the studio’s star-studded legacy with an Innovation Plan to completely modernize the lot—more than doubling its size—for next-generation entertainment. All while preserving the site’s historic structures.
When fully developed, The Culver Studios will total 720,850 square feet—including the Mansion and bungalows, five brand new buildings, totaling 500,000 square feet, and two parking structures with 1930 spaces. All in all, the campus will offer 619,850 square feet of creative office and state-of-the-art production support space, 96,263 square feet of stages, and 4,736 square feet of stage support space.
Amazon Studios will occupy approximately 530,000 square feet at The Culver Studios, including the company’s existing space in the historic Mansion and bungalows.
Construction on the site is currently underway and is slated for final completion in Spring 2021. Click to learn more about the expansion and new development.
Sandwiched between the historic studio and the venerable hotel is Culver City’s newest landmark – The Culver Steps.
Offering curated retail, creative office space that is the home of Amazon Studios and a near-acre-sized public plaza, The Culver Steps is a mixed-use destination unlike any other in Los Angeles. Envisioned and brought to life by Hackman Capital Partners, it is a park-like oasis at the center of a walkable urban hub, with open green spaces, landscaped terraces and even a grassy knoll. Think of it as the city’s go-to gathering spot – not just for shopping and dining, but for outdoor movies, concerts, farmers’ markets and more.
Exploding with ethnic eateries and flush with one-of-a-kind dining establishments, Culver City features restaurants that offer everything from organic cuisine and Asian fusion to comfort food and unique twists on traditional meals.
In the heart of downtown is AKASHA, opened in 2008 by Akasha Richmond and Alan Schulman, and located in the renovated historic Hull Building. The menu features California and New American cuisine created with cultural influences taken from Chef Akasha’s many travels.
For a Chicago atmosphere, go no further than downtown Culver City’s Rush Street, a multi-level restaurant, bar and lounge serving lunch, brunch and dinner. With two bars, two lounges, two outdoor patio decks and fifteen wide screen TVs, Rush Street accommodates everything from a high-volume New American Cuisine dining, to a vibrant happy hour and sports scene, to its progressive music and DJ-driven second-floor Lounge experience, to full-venue private parties, events and film shoots.
Though Southern California is home to some of the finest Mexican food in the world, few quick service locations offer tastier eats than Benny’s Tacos and Rotisserie Chicken on Venice Boulevard. Benny’s offers more than just tacos and rotisserie chicken. In fact, Benny’s offers a full breakfast menu, delicious salads, quesadillas, shrimp and seafood cocktails, lobster wraps, handmade tortillas, even tons of vegetarian options. And don’t forget to ask for Benny himself!
No matter the option, travelers will be surprised that Culver City’s hotels also serve up some of the best food around in their own signature restaurants.
Of course, Culver City’s signature building, The Culver Hotel in the heart of Downtown, blends history, food and accommodations for an experience like no other. Established in 1924 by Culver City’s founder Harry H. Culver, this storied, six-floor inn has seen its fair share of famous guests. Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and Greta Garbo are said to have stayed at the hotel (a National Historic Landmark), and both Charlie Chaplin and John Wayne were owners at different points. In 2013, an extensive renovation of the property was completed. Book one of the 46 rooms or pop in for drinks on the elegant light-strung patio or second-floor speakeasy.
With a number of hotel options including Courtyard by Marriott (310.484.7000), DoubleTree by Hilton (310.649.1776), Travelodge (310.839.1111) and Four Points by Sheraton (310.641.7740), there’s an option for every budget.
No matter the option, travelers will be surprised that Culver City’s hotels also serve up some of the best food around in their own signature restaurants. Try Share at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Los Angeles Westside, where you’ll find the familiarity of homey comfort foods with an emphasis on ingredients that are seasonally inspired and locally sourced. Or visit Marin Steaks & Spirits at the Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles Westside, where guests are treated to almost every steak imaginable, along with chicken, salmon and even meatloaf. And at the Courtyard Los Angeles Westside, The Bistro offers guests a hearty breakfast buffet.