HEART OF SCREENLAND TALENT
Homegrown performers dazzle Screenland 5K guests along the course, performing tunes from several of the 100 points of iconic motion picture lore. Musicians and other performers will reenact scenes and engage guests near artwork that interprets a century of iconic Culver City movies and television shows. Local professional and community artists have designed, drawn, and painted art that will be placed on the route near where the shows were filmed. These works will complement interpretive cinematic art by Culver City High School students.
"This will be a unique challenge for performers and artists, because walkers and runners will enjoy their work for only for a few seconds, as they proceed along the race course," said Lori Escalera, Screenland 5K Creative Director.
Screenland 5K guests may prefer to fox-trot, rumba, or waltz to the finish line and onto the red carpet to accept their finisher’s medals after tapping to movie and TV melodies played by local bands, musicians, and DJs along their journey through motion picture magic.
Algorithm & Blues will perform a rousing “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” and "What a Wonderful World," performed in several Culver City movies.
“We have songs from other movies filmed along the racecourse, but everyone will be passing us before we get a chance,” said Windsor Fountains resident Leemon McHenry with a smile. He accompanies his condo neighbor, Cerves McNeill.
The Fallen Arches band will play “running and walking songs to make those miles…or kilometers…fly by,” said lead guitarist and baritone Frank Giffen.
Their repertoire will include “Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty, “Run Through Jungle” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Walk Don’t Run” by The Ventures, and other popular songs on the go. The band must make room when it performs “Walk Right in and Sit Right Down” by the Tree Tops.
“I’m always happy to represent the city where I've lived for 40 years,” said Giffen, whose band will perform near the location of one of their favorite Culver City films, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “The Matrix,” or “Viva Las Vegas.”
The senior ukulele players of Cali Rose and the CC Strummers will return to the western end of the course turnaround, guaranteed to stop walkers and runners in their tracks as they sing and strum their favorite movie tunes while dressed in screen star outfits.
The pulsating El Marino Rainbow Taiko drummers will awaken all drowsy guests on Oscar Sunday, the first day of daylight savings time. Team coordinators are Ritsuko Fong and Miki Fischer. The student performance of syncopated sounds will highlight several Asian-themed films shot in Culver City and commemorate the city’s sister city relationship with Kaizuka, Japan. Both communities exchange runners in February and March to participate in marathon events in each country.
Culver City musician Martin Bennett of “Sonny B and US 99” plays often at venues across the southland and looks forward to staying home for the Screenland 5K to perform popular movie and TV songs from Culver City shows.
"Many locals don’t have the opportunity to see us play other venues, so it’s great to connect and entertain at the Screenland 5K. We have a lot of fun performing for the city and our friends,” said Bennett, who plays paddle tennis at the local courts.
“The entertainment industry began here, not in Hollywood. It’s a nice opportunity for Culver City to showcase its talent,” said Bennett, who will perform songs from La Bamba, Wizard of Oz, Pulp Fiction, and Great Balls of Fire.
Singer, piano player, songwriter, playwright, and “lady in red” Ronnie Jayne will reimagine Jean Harlow, the “RED HEADED” woman, at spot 20 near the corner of Madison Ave. and Culver Bl. The former Fiesta La Ballona Chairperson has a large repertoire of movie tunes.
Tennis player Mike Monagan will team with Centaur alumnus Kenji Haroutunian and other Culver City all-stars to re-enact the Buddy Holly Story near where the movie was produced.
“We’ll get all slicked up and put on a show for our friends who pass by. We love the many movie themes depicted in this event,” said Monagan.
Culver City Centennial year sponsor, Turning Point School, led by administrator Will Segar, will showcase its award-winning band and cheerleaders performing to movie and TV show favorites.
International marathon runner Dylan Bourne, a Centaur cross country team alumnus, will sing during Olympic Saturday at Ivy Station, Mar. 9, 1:00-2:00 p.m., then run in the Olympic Torch Relay alongside local heroes.
DJ Mel will keep the party hopping with Barbie Macarena at the main stage on Mar. 10, race morning.
MEMORABLE, MAGICAL MORNING
Make your next Screenland 5K experience on Academy Awards Sunday in the Heart of Screenland unforgettable, whether you run for fun or race to see “who's the fastest of them all!” There are events for everyone, so follow the yellow brick road, retracing the steps of fabled stars & directors in 100 iconic scenes filmed across your journey along legendary studios in celebration of the centennials of MGM & Culver Hotel. Bring along your friends and family and come make movie magic! With epic shirts and medals, fabulous activities and screen characters to cheer you on, this is a weekend you'll remember happily ever after!
Can they go the distance? Will the Culver City Firefighters soar like Olympians or stumble like the slapstick Keystone Cops when they follow the yellow brick road on a five-seat bicycle in a wobbly start to the Screenland 5K. The farther they cycle, the more dollars for charity! In disrepair, the bike was overhauled in 1986, noted retired Culver City Building Maintenance Supervisor Steve Newton. "I was afraid to touch the bike much less ride it! It was unwieldy, just impossible to ride, and it still is," said Newton. CC Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Ron Kohlhepp predicts the bike might go 80 yards and after that "we never know what it will do." Firefighters in full rescue gear mayhrun the 3.1 mile course, including the Jesse Luna and Mike Nagy Memorial Mile, and pedal in the Celebrity Charity Trike Races. Firemen pictured on the shiny red bike (from left) are Cameron Soden, Matt McCormick, Doug Furano, Brett Nagel and Joe LaRiccia.
FOOD, FUN, FITNESS
Visit the Screenland 5K Health and Fitness Expo at Ivy Center, Sat., Mar. 9, 1:00-4:00 pm, and on Oscar Sunday morning featuring packet pickup, goodies, entertainment, awards & prizes, screen character photo ops, race warm-up, and complimentary bike, scooter and gear check. Limited subterranean parking at Ivy Station is free, or you can visit conveniently by metro, bus, or other forms of public transportation. Enjoy the Olympic Torch Relay and Celebrity Trike Race prelims, Sat. Mar. 9, 2:00-3:30 p.m., at the Expo.
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
Race dressed as your favorite personality or screen character to win prizes, adulation and a loaded movie contract. Police chief Jason Sims and Mayor Albert Vera (pictured) are ready to run! The first female of color to serve on the City Council, Glinda the Good Witch Yasmine-Imani McMorrin (pictured), will sprinkle pixie dust on Screenland 5K guests. Her daughter Yvonne will portray Dorothy of Culver City's Academy Award-winning Wizard of Oz. Awards will be presented in several individual and team categories.
PASS THE TORCH
Event Grand Marshal & four-time Mayor Paul Jacobs, Olympic gold medalist hurdler LaShinda Demus, and marathon walker medalist & California Teacher of the Year Sandy Checel will pass the torch among world champions, stars and Screenland 5K guests. The torch relay commemorates the Heart of Screenland's longstanding relationship with the modern Olympic Games, the city’s very own Western Hemisphere Marathon and memories of local heroes who exemplified the Olympic spirit. Culver City leaders and the Screenland 5K are fostering the Olympic spirit by creating activities in the year of the 2024 Paris Olympics through the 2028 LA Summer Games. Demus, who coaches the State Champion Culver City High School track team, is a two-time Olympian hurdler, national high school and NCAA champion, and the first US woman to win the Olympic 400m hurdles gold. Also participating will be senior Olympics gold medalist and multi-year national and world title long jumper John Kuechle, world champion rhythmic gymnasts, and former Southern California Olympians officer Tom Mills.
Torch relay starts Saturday, Mar. 9, 2:00 pm, at Ivy Station, during the Health and Fitness Expo. Final leg will precede the 5K, Sun. Mar. 10, at 9:10 am.
MUNCHKINS DASH TO EMERALD CITY
The youngest racers will embark on a magical run to the Emerald City in the Munchkin Dash presented by Walk 'n Rollers. Every future movie star (to age 12) goes home a medal winner after getting high fives by screen characters on the red carpet in the fun untimed event. The Munchkin Dash will be divided into age groups and run in staggered starts. Event begins Sun. Mar. 10 at 10:15 am
WHEELIN' & DEALIN'
If you think the Culver City firefighters attempt to maneuver an unwieldy five-seat contraption to start the Screenland 5K will be nerve-wracking, wait until you watch local celebrities steer tricycles on the yellow brick road for their favorite Screenland 5K nonprofits in the Celebrity Charity Trike Race.
Local superheroes Vice Mayor Yasmine Imani-McMorrin, the Culver City Council, Board of Education members, police officers and firefighters, Olympians and teachers will pedal for their favorite charities at 10:25 AM following the Munchkin Kids Dash on Oscar Sunday morning at Ivy Station. Police Chief Jason Sims and Mayor Albert Vera are dressed up to run in the 5K and pedal in the Charity Trike Race.
PLAY AROUND, THEN RUN AROUND
Prior to the race celebrate 100 years of motion picture magic by experiencing Culver City streets during Play Streets! Enjoy leisure, dining and the Points of Lore walking tour during this free attraction, 7:00-8:50 am., in a car-free environment. The activity supports Glinda the Good Witch Yasmine-Ismani McMorrin's efforts to “activate” public spaces and thoroughfares for all ages, races and ethnicities where cars typically dominate.
CULVER CITY TOYOTA TAKES THE LEAD!
A Culver City Toyota pace car will lead the way in the Screenland 5K.
Before the official start, firefighters on a renovated five-seat Culver City Fire Dept. bicycle will attempt to pedal past a restored antique Culver City Police Dept. car in a charity race from Ivy Station to the downtown Culver City fire station. Screenland 5K guests lined up to watch the challenge may never know if it happened.
The owner of the vintage cop car doesn’t know how far or how long it will operate, and a firefighter said the 5-seater is having “serious problems” and might only travel a few feet before it conks out.
The friendly competition to raise funds for the local firefighter and police officer association in the "Jesse Luna and Mike Nagy Memorial Mile" was inspired by the fundraising efforts of retired fire officer Mike McCormick on behalf of his late colleagues. McCormick's son, Matt, is a Culver City fireman. Many police officers and firefighters will run the 3.1-mile course.
"We never know what the bike will do. It’s dangerous. It has a mind of its own," said CCFD Battalion Chief Rob Kohlhepp. “I’d love to witness the effort, but it’s a longshot,” said Fire Marshal David Rindels.
Retired Culver City Building Maintenance Supervisor Steve Newton, who owns and rebuilt the 1930's-era antique vehicle 15 years ago, said it’s a crapshoot. He converted his Model A into the vintage crime fighter by installing parts from his collection and from a friend's police car. "I keep it looking original by not cleaning or shining it," said Newton. Newton built a replica mail truck for his father, a retired Culver City mailman of four decades.
In better condition than the vintage car or 5-seat bicycle, Culver City's finest are ready to run to prepare for the grueling annual Baker to Vegas relay marathon this Spring.
The Culver City Police Dept. Baker to Vegas relay marathon 2023 gold medalists and other officers will lead the vintage police pace car. Pictured officers are (from left) Lt. Chris Caraballo, Asst Chief Troy Dunlap, Lt. Ryan Thompson, Officer Kywan Owens and Officer Kevin Ramirez.
Thanks to the wizardry of four Culver City film historians and a cast of Hollywood's greatest stars, Screenland 5K guests will follow the yellow brick road into 100 years of motion picture magic on Oscar Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Culver City, the Heart of Screenland, where “Hollywood” movies are made. You will retrace the steps of fabled stars & directors in 100 iconic scenes filmed across your journey along legendary studios in celebration of the centennials of MGM, Culver Hotel and the former Meralta Theater. Event Showrunner and Creative Director Lori Escalera, film historians Chris Bungo and Marc Wanamaker, and Culver City Historical Society Officers Hope Parrish and Maureen Fleming have made the streets of the Screenland 5K come alive with their love of cinema. Escalera meticulously cited the most significant performances among the more than 500 scenes that were filmed along the Screenland 5K course over the past century. The 100 Points of Motion Picture Lore brochure retraces where Aladdin flew on a magic carpet, Spanky and Our Gang committed memorable antics, and 98 more scenes where residents regularly heard, “Lights, Cameras, Action!”
Visual and performing artists will transform portions of Culver and Washington Blvds. on Oscar Sunday, Mar. 10, into motion picture magic commemorating a century of iconic local movies and TV shows.
“We hope you will be inspired and immersed in this grand artistic experience as we acknowledge significant cinematic contributions to our cultural diversity. Your morning of health and fitness will be filled with color, sound, sights, learning, fellowship, and fun,” said Lori Escalera, Screenland 5K Creative Director.
“Council PTA Honorary Service Award” actors, admired for hilarious local satire at the annual volunteer recognition banquets, will perform in the opening act before being transported to movie and TV scene locations along the course. Written and directed by Leslie Gardner, several performers will represent overlooked artists who contributed significantly to Culver City cinema over the past century.
Held on the cusp of National Women’s and Black History months, the Screenland 5K celebrates the first female of color to be elected to the City Council, Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, who plays Glinda the Good Witch of the North. Glinda will vex the Wicked Witch of the West and sprinkle pixie dust on the yellow brick road to ensure every guest, including Dorothy and Toto, has a majestic race start.
City Commissioner and Rotary and Exchange Club member Jane Leonard portrays the Land of Oz witch in a tribute to late actress, friend, and former Culver City Mayor Jozelle Smith, who played the coveted role in the inaugural Screenland 5K during the Culver City Centennial.
Zumba instructor Julie Schatz and her troupe will dance with walkers and runners to Culver City movie melodies.
Jeff Avrech and his ensemble will reenact a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1949 movie Tension near the Culver Theater, where it debuted.
Marina Martial Arts students will kick and shout in a scene from Bruce Lee’s Green Hornet series.
The Todd Elliot duet will swing and tango alongside guests, inspired by Les Hite and June Richmond’s Murder in Swingtime and Rudolph Valentino’s The Four Horsemen.
Elliot will return to the red carpet to mimic Culver City filmmaker Tom McLoughlin (Friday the 13th), who studied mime with the legendary Marcel Marceau.
A juggling stilt walker will parody characters in City Slickers and Wizard of Oz.
Star Wars Storm Troopers, Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs will battle to save the Heart of Screenland. Guests will see Culver City resident Karina Kharchenco’s “Stormtroopers" artwork along the course.
The Ghostbusters return to the Screenland 5K in time to perform scenes from Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters, Frozen Empire, on March 21.
To the delight of fans of the madcap and diabolical antics of Culver City’s The Marx Brothers, Bob Wayne will encore his role of the often slapstick Three Stooges. Wayne said he may double the craziness with images of the six original stooges.
Craig Schoenbaum will play a clogging James Kirk of the original Star Trek series, initially filmed across the street. Howard Behnken will also engage guests in William Shatner’s role.
Gianna Bommarito will arrive from the Midwest to perform as comedienne Lucille Ball, former owner of Desilu Studios. Gianna is the daughter of Mara and Jack Bommarito of the Culver City Historical and Sister City organizations.
Santa will dispense gifts and good cheer from an It’s a Wonderful Life scene.
Acrobats will rock and roll to a scene from Matrix filmed nearby.
Sprinkled along the course at or near the locations where the actual movie and TV stars performed will be London McBride as Les Hite, Anne Allaire as Anna May Wong, Rob Cox as Barney Fife, Kelly McNair as Lucy, Gardner as Ethel, Mike King as Fred, Summer McBride as June Richmond, Kim Griffin as Hattie McDaniel, Maya Chasen as Lieutenant Uhura, and Yun Wu as Lt. Sulu. Vice Mayor Dan O’Brien as Andy Griffith will run the race, attempting to capture a divisional gold medal. Leonard, as the Wicked Witch, will haunt runners on her menacing trike.
Ten musical performances of movie and TV-themed songs will keep Screenland 5K guests humming along their journey.
Some 60 works of art by local artists and 70 standees of motion picture fame will line the course. Artists include Screenland 5K’s creative director Lori Escalera, Roslyn Wilkins, Karina Kharchenko, and Serena Potter, Teresa Bernadette, Cynda Valle, Lori Antoinette, Marilyn Burns, Bradford Soloman and Nathaniel Chadwick
Participate with Culver City Pickleball ambassadors Dora Corral and Matt Denoff (pictured as Beetlejuice and Batman) at the Health and Fitness Expo in the world’s fastest growing sport.
WALK THE CENTENNIAL TRAIL
Your journey along the 100 Points of Motion Picture Magic will follow the 2017 Culver City Centennial Celebration Trail 100 points of lore:
Your Screenland 5K adventure includes:
- "Best live action" attractions & entertainment
- "Best original design" shirt, race bib & awards
- "Outstanding achievement" official time & finisher's medal
- "Best visual effects" screen star photo opps
- "Backstage pass" to 100 scenes of motion picture magic
- "Oscar party" with you new BFFs!
- "Best Technical Display" official timing
SCREENLAND 5K RACE WEEKEND
Olympic Saturday at Ivy Station
March 9, 2024
- 1:00 pm: Health & Fitness Expo: Packet pickup, activities, onsite registration (if avail.)
- 2:00 pm: Olympic Torch Relay
- 2:30 pm: Celebrity Charity Trike Race preliminary heats
- 4:00 pm: Expo ends
Remember to Spring Forward for daylight savings time!
Race Day Sunday at Ivy Station
March 10, 2024
- 5:00 am: Streets closed to vehicular traffic
- 7:00 am: Play Streets: Recreate on car-free streets until 8:50 am
- 7:30 am: Health & Fitness Expo: Packet pickup, activities, onsite registration (if avail.)
- 9:00 am: Costume Contest
- 9:15 am: Olympic Torch Relay final leg
- 9:20 am: Screenland 5K
- 10:15 am: Munchkin Dash & Trike Race finals
- 10:40 am: Awards Ceremony: Runners, teams, costumes
- 11:30 am: Expo ends. Streets reopen.