Notes From Your City Historian: Spring 2009

Notes from Your City Historian

by Julie Lugo Cerra

2009 CELEBRATES 70THANNIVERSARY OF 1939 FILM CLASSICS

This year brings great opportunities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the classic movies of 1939. Remember the sold-out “Celebration of the Movies” event the Society put together in 1989? We are currently exploring a number of options, and events are in the planning stages.

Michael Sragow’s biography, Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master, is now out in the bookstores. Michael will be in town in May, and we are planning to host a book-signing of this fine profile of the director of the Wizard of Oz at the ARC on Saturday, May 16th from 1-3pm – and perhaps add in a “family picnic” to the mix! (Note: The city is also planning a special “Made in Culver City” event on September 12th as their 1939 film tribute.)

LINDBERG PARK RESEARCH CONTINUES

Culver City’s ongoing history always offers a little intrigue…… As you know, we are working on the research to clearly define the naming of Lindberg Park. CCHS member Hope Parrish found substantiating information that names it as one of the first three parks in the first “Parks Master Plan” from the late 1920s.

Also, “legend has it” that a police practice shooting range existed at Lindberg, though as the daughter of a former CC Police Captain, I had never seen it personally. When the outside play yard behind the park’s “Stone house” was being cleaned up recently, workers hit concrete, and caverns below became visible. The Culver City Fire Department was summoned to take a look.

They went underground to explore, using a “four-gas monitor.” (see photo) According to Sr. Building Inspector Carlos Lugo, there is a U-shaped range, which appears to offer two shooting range options. Carlos was able to check it out, after CCFD determined the air was safe. The hole was then sealed and the work in the play yard completed. This was undoubtedly the first police range, with the second in the area of Culver City Park, and a third in the current police station basement. If anyone has first hand knowledge, or photos please let us know!

[Note: Since I first wrote this, Lindberg neighbor and CCHS newsletter Editor Judy Stangler tells me she’s “been down there with friends” when in grammar school! She adds that “I know several kids who went down with me, but, suffice it to say, we certainly weren’t supposed to! But I didn’t have any idea that it had been a police shooting range – we were told or understood that it had been a “shelter” during WWII.”]
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