The most iconic real-life Hollywood neighborhood to ever sprout up is located right here in Culver City. This street is named after film pioneer Thomas Ince. One hundred years later, this street is still the center of attention. Amazon is building a new state of the art studio complex on the footprint of this old filmmaking institution, rich with tradition, history, and flavor.
My first memory was seeing Batman and Robin, Batgirl, the Joker and Catwoman filming a scene together in front of the Plantation Building that was Desi Arnaz’s office.
Superheroes graced this neighborhood. Superman flexed his muscles prior to the “dynamic duos.” The Green Hornet became not just a hit show, but part of this neighborhood. Kato, the character played by Bruce Lee, lived right behind the studio on Van Buren. Many of the kids exchanged greetings with him going back and forth from school.
Ince Boulevard runs a very short distance to be packed so full of iconic film history. It’s paved now, but in its day dirt roads led you inside. King Kong in 1933 could be seen being made from the sidewalks outside the studio. In 1938, that set was burned down in Gone With The Wind.
Ince Boulevard was the hub of all the comings and goings on that night in film history. Neighbors old enough to have witnessed these memories share how every living creature that called the backlot home left in mass exodus during the Burning of Atlanta.
If you were at the main gate at the right time, anything could happen. Bob Crane was known to show many kids around Stage 13. Jim Nabors would hand out candy – cherry Life Savers!
The four-way stop on Lucerne and Ince could at any given time have Andy Griffith’s squad car, the Batmobile, the Green Hornet’s Machine, or Catwoman in her furry ride.
Just another day on Ince!