Culver Hotel throws a Centennial ball

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The Culver Hotel hosted a centennial masquerade ball on Sept. 23. This was also a celebration for the Mallick family, who purchased the Culver Hotel 10 years ago. Mallick hosted the party, which was attended by about 500 people — many wore formal vintage attire and masks. There were special appearances by John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, three bands, dancers, and more.

I interviewed Maya Mallick, owner and creative director of the Culver Hotel.

 

Q:  What is your favorite film made in Culver City?

A:   “Culver City is the home to so many great films. My favorite one is undoubtedly the “Wizard of Oz,” not just because it is tied to the Culver Hotel’s history which I love dearly, but also because it is such an original, creative and magical movie. Having a heart, being brave and acknowledging our inner wisdom and ultimately, learning to cherish life the way it was given to us, are powerful messages that still ring true today. After all, “There is no place like home.””

 

Q:  How did you come up with the masquerade ball idea?

A:  We were very excited to be designated as the Centennial Closing Finale, as we are also celebrating our 10th year in Culver City. A grand black-tie ball was the perfect way to celebrate the history of our hotel and the centennial celebration of Culver City. I imagined an elegant evening honoring Harry Culver’s dream with beautiful costumed guests arriving on a red carpet, vintage cars, musicians and memorable activities. I wanted to create a magical evening and the idea of the masquerade ball was the perfect way for guests to feel the nostalgia and spirit of 100 years with all the glamour and mystery that came with it.

 

Q:   Did you involve the community in your event?

A:    My goal was for people to leave the party not only with great memories but especially an understanding and appreciation of how amazing our city was and is. To do this, we collaborated with many Culver City businesses and I am very thankful to those who joined in on the fun to create a textured and meaningful event. Our mini museum in Harry Culver’s Office highlighting the THEN and NOW of Culver City, featured everything from an authentic pair of Ruby Slippers and Dorothy costume provided by Western Costume Company to a model of Eric Owen Moss’ modern Serpentine masterpiece. Our vintage mini-theatre, Ruby Slipper Lounge and John Wayne playing poker with Charlie Chaplin, were one of the many hits. A very special thanks to Smashbox, Culver Studios, Sony, Movember, Helms Bakery, Francis Ford Coppola’s King Kong and Wizard of Oz wines, Arclight, Duke’s Spirits, Floral Art, Cybercopy and The New School of Cooking who all participated in making the event so special.

 

Q:   Favorite memories of the Culver Hotel in the last 10 years?

A:    I have so many great memories of the Culver Hotel. Our first Prohibition Ball, our Holiday staff parties, admiring beautiful brides walk down our staircase into the Grand Lobby, seeing couples swing dance to the tunes of our live bands and tasting our first cocktail when our bar and restaurant first opened. What really is my best feeling though looking back, is how far the Culver Hotel has come from where it was when we first bought it 10 years ago and how it is so alive and revived today, a place where the everyone in the community comes together and feels a little bit of history each time they walk in. It was a dream I had the first time I walked in and I think Harry Culver would be proud.

 

Next I interviewed Seth Horowitz, General Manager and V.P. of the Culver Hotel.

 

Q: What is your favorite film made in Culver City?

A: “The original ‘Ben-Hur,’ which was filmed here in 1959.”

 

Q: What does it feel like to be here for the Centennial?

A: “The beauty about the Centennial is that is was an entire year and there were many things that happened throughout the whole year, from the beginning until the finale. For us to have had the finale at the Culver Hotel and for us to put on the Masquerade Ball and to make it as spectacular an event as it turned out to be, was so befitting our position within the community. The Culver Hotel represents the revitalization of Culver City. Whatever is good for the Culver Hotel is good for Culver City and whatever is good for Culver City is good for the Culver Hotel. When we look at the entire Centennial and you have a Finale with such an incredible event that was so well participated by with other businesses in Culver City, it comes to a critical point in that “All Roads Lead to Culver City”.  That is what Harry Culver sold back in 1917 and it is as applicable now in 2017 as it was then in 1917. We are on the map, Culver City is a destination and the Culver Hotel is a destination. If there is anything that makes that statement unequivocally is the event that we had on Saturday night.”

 

Q: How long did it take to prepare the Centennial Ball?

A:  “We were informed about the need for a finale only within the last 4 months when the events original location was changed. The execution of this event included every single member of our staff. We have over 130 employees at the Culver Hotel. Our objective for throwing a magnificent event was to highlight Culver City in our greater community of LA County. We want people to really know what Culver City is. Culver City has changed so dramatically over the last 10 years and it is going to continue to change dramatically over the next 10 years.”

 

Next I interviewed Seth Horowitz, General Manager and V.P. of the Culver Hotel.

Q: What is your favorite film made in Culver City?

A: “The original ‘Ben-Hur’ which was filmed here in 1959”

 

Q: What does it feel like to be here for the Centennial?

A: “The beauty about the Centennial is that is was an entire year and there were many things that happened throughout the whole year, from the beginning until the finale. For us to have had the finale at the Culver Hotel and for us to put on the Masquerade Ball and to make it as spectacular an event as it turned out to be, was so befitting our position within the community.  The Culver Hotel represents the revitalization of Culver City.  Whatever is good for the Culver Hotel is good for Culver City and whatever is good for Culver City is good for the Culver Hotel.  When we look at the entire Centennial and you have a Finale with such an incredible event that was so well participated by with other businesses in Culver City, it comes to a critical point in that “All Roads Lead to Culver City”.    That is what Harry Culver sold back in 1917 and it is as applicable now in 2017 as it was then in 1917.   We are on the map, Culver City is a destination and the Culver Hotel is a destination.  If there is anything that makes that statement unequivocally is the event that we had on Saturday night.”

 

 

Q: How long did it take to prepare the Centennial Ball?

A:  “We were informed about the need for a finale only within the last 4 months when the events original location was changed.  The execution of this event included every single member of our staff.   We have over 130 employees at the Culver Hotel.  Our objective for throwing a magnificent event was to highlight Culver City in our greater community of LA County.  We want people to really know what Culver City is.  Culver City has changed so dramatically over the last 10 years and it is going to continue to change dramatically over the next 10 years.”

 

Q:  What is it like being the General Manager, especially during the Ball?

A: “I am extraordinarily proud.  The beauty about being a hotelier, especially for a small property that has character and that has caring owners who care about the employees, is that this a brilliant job to have.   It is so filled with daily experiences and filled with “nachas”, a yiddish word for gives you pleasure, ” I am so fortunate to have a job that gives me “nachas” and gives me pleasure.  I love what I do.  If anybody can ever find jobs where they love what they are doing, then they are truly blessed.   I am a blessed person to be working at the Culver Hotel for the Mallicks, with this team, in Culver City.”

 

Mailee Johnson, 11,  is a CCMS Panther and KidScoop Media Reporter