Close to 80 people turned out Sunday afternoon at the Culver Hotel to celebrate the City’s 95th birthday and to honor former child star Margaret O’Brien at its Meet Me in Culver City (a nod to O’Brien’s star turn in the Judy Garland 1944 musical Meet Me in St. Louis) event.
The legendary Oscar-winning icon from MGM, served as Honorary Chair of the event and was honored with a commendation from the Culver City Council.
The event was hosted by the Culver City Historical Society and guests sipped on free drinks and tasty appetizers that included tempura green beans, cheeseburger sliders and tiny toasted cheese triangles dipped in shot glasses filled with spicy tomato soup.
Guests also bid on raffle items to benefit CCHS including an original copy of the book Meet Me in St. Louis.
During the reception a small, slight figure in a black skirt, red ruffled backless top, black stockings and matching sky-high platform shoes wandered into the lobby and slid into a corner sofa. The woman in question was Margaret O’Brien, who looked no taller than when she appeared in her childhood films.
O’Brien greeted friends and admirers, including Dianne and David Reid who had made the trek all the way from Orange County to see her.
The Reid’s were dressed in 1940s-era garb as an homage to O’Brien and Dianne confessed she was even sporting a Margaret O’Brien-style hat, made famous from her 1940s films.
The Reid’s met O’Brien 15 years ago after Dianne confessed to having a best friend called Margaret O’Brien and wanted to meet the “real” Margaret O'Brien.
By sheer coincidence a good friend of the Reid’s knew Margaret and managed to get the couple an audience with O’Brien at the Biltmore. “We’ve been friends ever since,” David told Patch, proudly sporting his straw hat and suspenders.
Denice Rentevia brought along a DVD copy of Meet Me in St. Louis, which O’Brien kindly signed for her. “I love old movies, Rentevia enthused. “I’ve had this DVD for a year and I just had to bring it and have [O’Brien] sign it,” she gushed.
Of her meeting with the legend, Rentevia said. “She was so lovely. She even wished my luck in my career – because I want to work in films – that was so generous of her.”
O'Brien spoke about her memories of Culver City while working on films and how today Culver City is a go-to destination. (see attached video).