Another Piece of Culver City History is GONE WITH THE WIND
Auction Will Help Preserve a Valuable Part of Culver City’s Movie History
July 4, 2019
Profiles in History announced the sale of the iconic grand entrance from Tara, The O'Hara Plantation in Gone With The Wind.
It fetched $120,000. In addition, a collection of facade elements from Tara, sold for $42,000.
On June 27th Joseph Maddalena’s Profiles in History auctioned the items at an online auction in Calabasas. He is the largest dealer of Hollywood memorabilia
Tara was constructed at Selznick International Studios' "Forty Acres" backlot lot in Culver City where it stood for twenty years. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Desilu Productions, then owner of the Selznick lot, had it dismantled, and had it moved to Northern Georgia where they planned to reconstruct it. Copyright protections by the Margaret Mitchell family prevented that. Mitchell was the author of the novel the film is based on.
Tara remained in a storage barn in Northern Georgia until 1979 when the late Mrs. Betty Talmadge, wife of U.S. Senator and Governor of Georgia, Herman Talmadge, restoring it In 1989, the Atlanta History Center mounted a major exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the film's release and Mrs. Talmadge had the original grand entrance of Tara restored and it became the centerpiece of the exhibit.
The second lot was a massive collection of "Tara" facade elements includes shutters and window frame elements from the front of the house as well as the left wing, including the prominent tall windows/shutters mounted to the right of the front door where Scarlett is first seen at Tara conversing with the Tarleton Twins. Also included is a pair of large interior solid shutters seen in the famous sequence when Scarlett pulls down the drapery to make her iconic dress with Mammy, along with much, much more.
Maddalena’s previous auctions include the "Cowardly Lion" costume from The Wizard of Oz for $805,000; Steve McQueen's "Michael Delaney" racing suit from Le Mans for $960,000; From the history-making Debbie Reynolds Auction in June 2011, Profiles in History sold the Marilyn Monroe "Subway" Dress from The Seven Year Itch for $5.52M and the Audrey Hepburn Ascot Dress from My Fair Lady for $4.44M. In February 2012, Profiles in History arranged the sale of a pair of Judy Garland screen-used Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The “Back 40” now houses and industrial center and according to the Culver City Historical Society it was owned at various times by Cecil B. DeMille, David O. Selznick, Howard Hughes, Desi Arnaz, and Lucille Ball. It had areas known as the African Jungle Set, Mayberry, the Arab Village, Stalag 13, and Tara, and buildings known as “Ship Deck,” “Submarine Enclosure,” “Adobe Indian Hut,” and “Meat House.”
The Historical Society has taken the lead in recent years to preserve and protect part of Culver City’s rich movie history.
Portions of this story came from http://www.broadwayworld.com and Joseph Maddalena’s Profiles in History.