Winter 2012 ARC Update

by Winston Gieseke, Vice President, Museum/ARC

IT’S BEEN A WONDERFUL YEAR AT THE ARC

From screening classic films made in Culver City to showing off pieces from our collection of priceless Fiesta costumes and fabulous wardrobe gems from the MGM vaults, it’s been a memorable year at the Archives & Resource Center (ARC).

SONY’S DONATION MAKES OUR FILM SERIES POSSIBLE

Thanks to the generous donation of a 40” flat screen Sony Bravia Television and a Blu-ray player from Sony Pictures Entertainment, our movie screenings (which start at 1:15 on the first and third Saturdays of each month) kicked off in April with the Judy Garland classic Easter Parade.

Other cinematic gems we watched this year included Orson Welles’s masterpiece Citizen Kane, the original King Kong with Fay Wray, and my personal favorite: High Society with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. Thanks to those who came by and enjoyed these presentations with us.

LOTS OF VISITORS!

It’s also been a year of memorable visitors. From the local “Red Hats,” who integrated us into their picnic event at Vets Park in June, and the “Foodie Group” folks, who enjoyed a walking tour of historic downtown Culver City, to L.A. Marathon participants from our sister cities of Kaizuka and Uruapan, and all the celebrants who stopped in during the 60th annual Fiesta La Ballona celebration.

A slew of diverse organizations were fabulously hosted by Julie Lugo Cerra, Stu Freeman, Cathy Zermeno, and others. Thanks to you for sharing your valuable time and knowledge.

And finally, thanks to all of you who have shared treasured pieces of Culver City history through your generous donations. If you have other items of historical significance that you’d like to donate to the Society, please bring them to the ARC during open hours, the first and third Saturday of every month from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Look forward to seeing you there in the New Year!

Original MGM Traffic Signal Finds new Home at ARC

by Winston Gieseke, Vice President, Museum/ARC

MGM's original Washington Blvd. entrance - Culver City Historical SocietyOriginal MGM Traffic Signal Finds new Home at ARC

One of the most exciting things about being Museum chair is seeing new and exciting artifacts from Culver City’s history. One item you won’t want to miss is an authentic MGM traffic signal, generously donated by former Culver City Mayor Richard R. Brundo and his wife Alida.

This signal, with its red and green flashing lights, once sat outside the studio’s original main entrance at Washington Boulevard near Motor Avenue (seen to the right of the far right column in the above-left photo).

Richard R. Brundo - Culver City Historical SocietyEnormous thanks go to Julie Lugo Cerra for using her connections to get the large and imposing signal safely installed in the museum.

The L.A. Marathon & Runners from our Sister Cities

We continue to have the privilege to host a number of groups, like the recent visit from the Andrus Center at USC.

A few days after the L.A. Marathon, Veronica Reyes, from our Sister City Committee, brought by one of the marathon runners and a translator.

Runners from our sister cities of Kaizuka and Uruapan participated in the LA Marathon. They were greeted at the ARC by Stu Freeman, Cathy Zermeno, Karen Coyle, and Julie Lugo Cerra, who showed them around the Archives, and then walked them out to the front of the Veterans Memorial Building to see the marker for the historic Western Hemisphere Marathon which runs across Overland Avenue mgm_signal (Large)where the Marathon started and ended for several decades!

Don’t forget, the museum is made possible in part by donations. If you have anything of historical significance that you’d like to donate to the Society, please bring them to the ARC during open hours.

And please be sure and bring yourself.

Come see the MGM signal, watch a free classic movie shot in Culver City (see schedule in the sidebar on the right), and see everything else that’s on display.

We’re open the first and third Sunday of every month from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Items in the ARC

An ARC Update
by Winston Gieseke, Vice President, Museum/ARC

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are working hard to keep your New Years resolutions!

Cecil B. DeMille: Special CC Police Officer - Culver City Historical SocietyCecil B. DeMille: Special CC Police Officer!

I hope one of your goals for the new year was to seep yourself in Culver City history, and I invite you to stop by the museum and see our newest items on display. In addition to the exciting wardrobe pieces set up by our costume chair, Louise Coffey-Webb (see page 6 for details), we have an original badge presented to legendary movie director Cecil B. DeMille in 1927 when he was appointed a Special Police Officer of Culver City. The badge was donated to the museum by Culver City’s former
police chief, Ted Cooke.

(For you history buffs, 1927 was the same year “First Street” became known as Overland Avenue. For more interesting facts from our city’s rich history, visit Culver City Historical Society.org and check out our work-in-progress timeline.)

Original Script from “Remains to be Seen” (1953) on Display

Original Script from “Remains to be Seen” - Culver City Historical SocietyAlso on display is an original shooting script (complete with handwritten notations) and book of wardrobe stills from MGM’s 1953 mystery farce Remains To Be Seen, which starred June Allyson, Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury and Dorothy Dandridge. These items are on loan to the museum and will be on display through the end of February, 2011.

Want to Get Involved?

Are you looking to meet and/or interact with other historically-minded locals? Can you spare an hour or two on a Saturday afternoon? Consider volunteering your time as a greeter during the museum’s open hours.

We are also looking for volunteers to come in and help us catalogue our valuable collection.

Fall 2010 ARC Update

by Winston Gieseke, Vice President, Museum/ARC

2010: Busy & Productive

It has been a busy and productive summer at the Archives & Resource Center (ARC), and an exciting one.

We had a terrific turnout at the museum during the Fiesta La Ballona, and I’d like to thank all of those who were able to stop by and check out our new displays as well as all of the volunteers who donated their time to help keep us open for these additional hours.

New Display Cases in time for the Fiesta La Ballona

If you weren’t able to make it to the Fiesta or to our annual picnic, or if you haven’t paid a visit to the museum in the last few months, you might not have seen our gorgeous new custom-built display cases.

Beautifully crafted by Culver City’s own Culver Ready For Finish Furniture, the cases allow us to showcase even more of Culver City’s rich history.

Currently on display are items from Congressman Julian Dixon’s office, a scarf that belonged to the legendary actress Greta Garbo, along with many historical books from the Society’s rich collection.

We Need Your Help

As a reminder, the museum is made possible in part by generous donations from people like you. If you have anything of historical significance that you’d like to donate to the Society, please bring them to the ARC during open hours.

Projects Completed for Summer Visitors to Enjoy

by Winston Gieseke, Vice President, Museum/ARC

From Nancy Draper, daughter of Rufus Harrington: This photo looks to be of a young Jackie Cooper learning how to “train” a large elephant. Bill & Madelyn Hann were kind enough to present it to the ARC on Nancy’s behalf. - Culver City Historical Society

Things are shaping up nicely this summer at the Archives & Resource Center (ARC).

Martha & Sol Sigall have recently completed an extensive project organizing the Society’s collection of MGM production photos. Extra special thanks go to Society member David Pelayo for providing an important piece of this puzzle in the form of a list of film titles that corresponded with the studio’s original production numbers.

(Above: From Nancy Draper, daughter of Rufus Harrington: This photo looks to be of a young Jackie Cooper learning how to “train” a large elephant. Bill & Madelyn Hann were kind enough to present it to the ARC on Nancy’s behalf.)

As part of this project’s second phase, Jeanne Conklin and Tami Eskridge have begun cataloguing these valuable sets into the ARC’s database.

Additions to the ARC’s Collection

In addition to his valuable contribution to the production photos project, David Pelayo has generously donated an enormous 1962 MGM banner created to promote the studio’s remake of Mutiny on the Bounty. Adding to the photo collection of Rufus Harrington, who was in the MGM art dept & also active in the American Legion, his daughter, Nancy Draper, presented additional photos to this wonderful resource (see photo above).

Below: Fred Machado, looking at a photo of the original “Speedway” which was replaced with Culver City’s “First Park,” renamed “Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park” in 1963 and marked as the Culver City Historical Society Historic Site #12.

Fred Machado with “Speedway" photo - Culver City Historical Society

Below: Selma and Stan Abrams, Stu Freeman and Society VP of Programs, Steve Fry, visiting the ARC after the April 21st general meeting.

Selma and Stan Abrams, Stu Freeman and Society VP of Programs, Steve Fry, visiting the ARC after the April 21st general meeting - Culver City Historical Society

As always, the ARC will be open to the public on the first and third Sundays of each month as well as by appointment. We look forward to seeing you there. If anyone is interested in volunteering, please drop us an e-mail.