Screenland 5K Showcases Centennial Celebrants
January 25, 2024
Inaugurated to celebrate the Culver City Centennial in 2017, the Screenland 5K returns as the Race of the Century in recognition of significant 100th birthdays.
MGM and Leo the Lion started making movies 100 years ago in the Heart of Screenland. Late Culver City Parks and Recreation Director, Syd Kronenthal, built the iconic Veterans Auditorium tower for prospective investors to see movies being made at the MGM backlots, now Sony Pictures. Amazon Pictures now owns MGM, reuniting the MGM name with the Culver Studios lot once owned by the centennial celebrant.
Jack Mintz, late grandfather of Screenland 5K runner Jessica Mintz, was a screenwriter on MGM's Wizard of Oz.
"He would have been thrilled that Culver City was putting on this imaginative tribute to the industry he loved," said Mintz.
Culver City developed its municipal water system in 1924, and the Sony Pictures water tower remains a legacy of MGM. Across from the former MGM lot, the city's first speedway race was conducted 100 years ago at what is now the Carlson Park neighborhood in front of 60,000 fans.
Culver Hotel, which housed City Hall, a theater, and the offices of the city's founding father, Harry H. Culver, celebrates its 100th birthday.
The Meralta Theatre in downtown Culver City opened in 1924 with an appearance by Will Rogers and an Our Gang comedy, where the child actors leaped through their on-screen likenesses in the middle of the movie to the delight of the star-studded audience. Meralta Plaza now occupies the site.
The Screenland 5K also celebrates the 100th birthdays of Culver City's Jobs Daughters and Don Mann.
Former Jobs Daughter president Sandy Checel, a marathon walker medalist and state Teacher of the Year, will participate with local heroes in the Olympic Torch Relay on March 9 at Ivy Station.
Don Mann, who recently moved to Studio Royale, epitomizes health and fitness in his weekly walks around Culver City with prominent local figures. The July centenarian uses a walker nowadays.
Dozens of stars in Culver City films would have turned 100 this year, including Marlon Brando, Lauren Bacall, Don Knotts, Dennis Weaver, and Billy Barty.
Guests will follow the yellow brick road into 100 years of motion picture magic on Oscar Sunday, March 10, starting at Ivy Station, which is located near several former studios that produced films seen worldwide since the 1920s. Walkers and runners will retrace the steps of fabled stars & directors in 100 iconic points of film lore on the course.
Enter code CENTENNIAL for 15% off until Jan. 25 at http://www.screenland5K.com.