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Historic places: Culver Hotel

November 21, 2011

The venerable Culver Hotel was heralded as that city's "skyscraper" when it opened Sept. 4, 1924. It was originally called the Hotel Hunt and was a landmark in the city that was the home of MGM. The six-floor, wedge-shaped hotel was where the Munchkins stayed while they were filming the 1939 film classic "The Wizard of Oz." Their shenanigans became part of Hollywood lore and in fact, a 1981 film comedy, "Under the Rainbow," re-created the Munchkins' escapades at the hotel. Hal Roach also used the exterior of the hotel for many of the comedy shorts starring Laurel and Hardy, including their 1928 vehicle "Leave 'Em Laughing." Legendary stars such as Clark Gable, Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford had part-time residences there.

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