Culver City History (cont'd)

Harry Culver, who was enamored with the movie industry, had found a viable economic base for his ideal of a balanced community. He brought busloads of people in for a free lunch to see the new city and show them what it had to offer. He employed a huge sales force, equipped the city with Kleig lights, and ran ads that read "All Roads Lead to Culver City."
By the time Culver City was incorporated in 1917, Culver had married actress Lillian Roberts and was immersed in the development and growth of his new city. He helped Ince acquire property for his second studio in 1919, again on Washington Boulevard. Both studios Ince built are still operating today. The same year, Hal Roach moved his company to Culver City, the Hal Roach Studios, often called the “Laugh Factory to the World.” At that time, there were also a number of small studios like Willat Studios located in the town.
By the 1920s, the little town began to spread out from its early 1.2 square miles around Main Street, the first commercial district. In 1924, Culver built his skyscraper six-story Hotel Hunt. It would become the home of the "Munchkins" when THE WIZARD OF OZ was filmed in the late 1930s.
During Prohibition in the 1920s and ’30s, the city became home to a proliferation of nightclubs where gambling was prevalent and liquor flowed freely. One of the most famous locations was Frank Sebastian’s Cotton Club, where local resident Louis Armstrong played his music along with other greats like Lionel Hampton.

The Colonnade at Ince Studios, c. 1915.

Police and fire departments, c. 1920's.