Malibu is a beach city in the Santa Monica Mountains region of Los Angeles County, California, situated about 30 miles (48 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles. It is known for its Mediterranean climate and its 21-mile (34 km) strip of the Malibu coast, incorporated in 1991 into the City of Malibu. The exclusive Malibu Colony has been historically home to Hollywood celebrities. People in the entertainment industry and other affluent residents live throughout the city, yet many residents are middle class. Most Malibu residents live from a half mile to within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1), which traverses the city, with some residents living up to a mile away from the beach up narrow canyons. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,645.
Nicknamed "the 'Bu" by surfers and locals, beaches along the Malibu coast include: Topanga Beach, Big Rock Beach, Las Flores Beach, La Costa Beach, Surfrider Beach, Dan Blocker Beach, Malibu Beach, Zuma Beach, Broad Beach, Point Dume Beach, and County Line. State parks and beaches on the Malibu coast include Malibu Creek State Park, Leo Carrillo State Beach and Park, Point Mugu State Park, and Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, with individual beaches: El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador. The many parks within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area lie along the ridges above the city along with local parks that include Malibu Bluffs Park (formerly Malibu Bluffs State Park), Trancas Canyon Park, Las Flores Creek Park, and Legacy Park.
Signs around the city proclaim "21 miles of scenic beauty", referring to the incorporated city limits. The city updated the signs in 2017 from the historical 27-mile (43 km) length of the Malibu coast spanning from Tuna Canyon on the southeast to Point Mugu in Ventura County on the northwest. For many residents of the unincorporated canyon areas, Malibu has the closest commercial centers and they are included in the Malibu ZIP Codes. The city is bounded by Topanga on the east, the Santa Monica Mountains (Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills) to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Solromar in Ventura County to the west.
Arts and culture
Getty Villa, an art museum that is part of the J. Paul Getty Museum, is located just outside the city limits in the adjacent Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is owned and operated by the J. Paul Getty Trust, which also oversees the Getty Center in West Los Angeles. The Museum at the Getty Villa houses Getty's collections of antiquities, sculptures, art pieces and cultural artifacts of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
Adamson House, the historic house and gardens of the 19th-century original owners of Malibu, the Rindge Family, is a state museum.
The Malibu Art Association, a non-profit organization to foster the arts in Malibu produces shows, demonstrations and workshops for its members, and offers art for public display throughout the community.
The Malibu Garden Club holds an annual garden tour of private, residential gardens.
Malibu High School offers musicals every spring and instrumental and vocal musical concerts every winter and spring.
Smothers Theatre of Pepperdine University's Theatrical Drama Department offers concerts, plays, musicals, opera, and dance.
Parks and recreation
California State Parkland in the hills behind Malibu provides extensive horseback-riding, hiking, running, and mountain-biking options, affording many different views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the curve of the Santa Monica Bay, Santa Catalina Island, and the San Fernando Valley. There are many points of access to the Backbone Trail System scattered throughout the local canyons, as well as a variety of smaller, local trail-heads.
Pacific Coast Highway is popular with road cycling enthusiasts for its vistas. The route also has a reputation for being quite dangerous for cyclists, a fact which inspired the creation of the Dolphin Run, an annual community event commemorating local victims of reckless driving. The Dolphin Run was held each Autumn from 1990 to 2004.
In late June 2008, the Malibu Pier reopened after $10 million in renovations.
There are several shopping centers in the Malibu Civic Center area including the Malibu Country Mart. The Malibu Civic Center is well known for being frequented by paparazzi and tourists looking to catch a glimpse of local celebrities.
Malibu Bluffs Community Park and Malibu Bluffs Recreation Area
The former Malibu Bluffs State Park ownership changed hands in 2006 after the California Department of Parks and Recreation transferred the park's 93 acres (38 ha) control to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, They established the Malibu Bluffs Recreation Area, an Open Space Preserve of 90 acres (36 ha) on the bluffs between the Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Road, directly opposite Pepperdine University and Malibu Canyon Road. The 100-foot (30 m) bluffs rise above Amarillo Beach and Puerco Beach across Malibu Road. Five public stairways (which adjoin private property) lead down to the shoreline from the base of the bluffs. The trails begin from the spacious lawns in Malibu Bluffs Community Park.
The Malibu Bluffs Recreation Area surrounds the 6-acre (2.4 ha) Malibu Bluffs Community Park, whose 10-acre (4.0 ha) parcel the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy sold to the city. It consists of the Michael Landon Community Center, baseball diamonds, and soccer fields. Home of the Malibu Little League (MLL), once the largest youth team sports organization in Malibu. (That honor was wrested in the 1990s by Malibu AYSO, a youth soccer organization that shares park space (practice fields).) For over 20 years, the State Parks had tried to kick out Malibu Little League's baseball diamonds and tall baseball fences, with the intention of returning the land to its native wetlands and vegetation. A rider to a California state law was written specifically in the 1950s to allow baseball, with its attendant field accoutrements, to continue being played in the state park. Several generations of Malibuites worked to keep Malibu Bluffs Park for baseball and soccer.
Malibu Legacy Park Project
A vacant, 20-acre (8.1 ha) plot of land owned by billionaire Jerry Perenchio was sold to the City of Malibu in 2005 with strict deed restrictions prohibiting any further commercial use. Malibu Legacy Park is an ongoing restoration project undertaken by the city with broad community support. The state-of-the-art water treatment plant takes stormwater runoff that accumulates in the park to mitigate the stormwater pollution in Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon, and Surfrider Beach. The Malibu Legacy Park Project responds to critical issues: (1) bacteria reduction by stormwater treatment, (2) nutrient reduction in wastewater management, (3) restoration and development of riparian habitats, and (4) the development of an open space area for passive recreation and environmental education. In addition, the Project will be linked by a "linear park" to neighboring Surfrider Beach, Malibu Pier, Malibu Lagoon, and Malibu Bluffs Park.
Ball sports are prohibited in the park along with running/jogging and other sports. The park includes many educational features, an outdoor classroom, and other informative features which explain the different habitats.
The park is located east of Webb Way, and between Civic Center Way on the north and PCH to the south. It was the site of the annual Labor Day Weekend Kiwanis Club Chili Cook-Off from 1982 to 2009 (in 2010, the Chili Cook-Off and Carnival went on as usual, but moved to still-open land across Civic Center Way, on the Ioki property, at the corner of Civic Center Way and Stuart Ranch Road). Further back, it was agricultural land, planted in geraniums, other flowers and vegetables by the Takahashi family since 1924.
On October 9, 2010, Surfrider Beach was dedicated as the first World Surfing Reserve.
Across the street from the civic center of Malibu, Surfrider Beach is adjacent to the Malibu Colony and Malibu Pier. This surfing beach was featured in 1960s surf movies, like "Beach Party". The Surfrider point break stems from the Malibu Colony into Santa Monica Bay and carries the nickname "Third Point". Surfing at this spot is popular during the winter.
Businesses and organizations
The Malibu Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1949 to provide support to local Malibu business, and now has over 500 members.
HRL Laboratories, the research arm of the former Hughes Aircraft Company, was established in 1960 in Malibu. Among its research accomplishments was the first working laser. Despite the aerospace industry's downsizing in the 1990s, HRL is the largest employer in Malibu.
Jakks Pacific is based in Malibu.
Established in 1937 in south-central Los Angeles, Pepperdine University moved to its Malibu campus in 1972. However, when Malibu incorporated as a city the boundaries were drawn to exclude Pepperdine, at the college's insistence.
The Surfrider Foundation was formed in 1984 by a group of surfers gathered to protect 31 miles (50 km) of coastal waters from Marina Del Rey through Malibu to Ventura County, and represent the surfing community.
Heal the Bay, a non-profit organization for environmental advocacy, was formed in 1985 to protect Santa Monica Bay, which extends from Malibu's Point Dume along the entire coastline of Malibu past Santa Monica to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Following the opening of Passages Malibu in 2001, the city has become home to numerous residential drug-abuse treatment centers. As of 2013, there are 35 state-licensed drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities in Malibu, in addition to a multiplying number of unlicensed sober-living homes.
The Malibu Arts Festival is held annually on the last weekend in July by the Malibu Chamber of Commerce.
The Malibu International Film Festival is held every year showcasing new films and filmmakers from around the world.
The Malibu Chili Cookoff, held every Labor Day weekend, is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Malibu. Proceeds benefit children and youth organizations.
The Malibu Nautica Triathlon is held every September. In 2007, it raised $718,000 to benefit Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
The Polar Plunge (Los Angeles) is held each year in February at Zuma Beach to help raise funds for the Special Olympics in Southern California.
Use as a filming location
Malibu has been used as a location or setting for many films, television programs, fashion shoots and music videos.
Surfrider Beach was home to Gidget, and surfing movies of the 1960s. Jill Munroe and her sister Kris Munroe's Charlie's Angels beach house was located in Malibu. The residence can also be seen in the first scene after the opening theme song of Beach Blanket Bingo. Important scenes in the Planet of the Apes series were filmed at Point Dume. The hero's trailer in The Rockford Files was parked by the Paradise Cove Pier. Love American Style and The Mod Squad are among many TV series and commercials filmed in Paradise Cove. A 1978 film starring Suzanne Somers was entitled Zuma Beach. In the 1990s and 2000s (decade), it was the setting for MTV Beach House, Malibu's Most Wanted, and Nickelodeon's Zoey 101. Point Dume is the location of Tony Stark's mansion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first appearing in Iron Man (2008).
Malibu is the setting for the television series Two and a Half Men. The television series So Little Time (2001) portrayed two Malibu teens (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) who attend the fictional school West Malibu High. Fictional teen star Hannah Montana / Miley Stewart (portrayed by Miley Cyrus) and her father Robbie Ray Stewart (portrayed by Billy Ray Cyrus) live in Malibu on the Disney Channel Original Series, Hannah Montana. In the Fox TV series The O.C., both the Cohen house and the Cooper homes were actually located in Malibu. Malibu Shores, a teen drama that aired on NBC, was set in Malibu. Some scenes from The Even Stevens Movie were filmed on Westward Beach in Point Dume. The small hit TV show Summerland was also filmed and set in Malibu.
In 2006, Bravo television aired Million Dollar Listing, a real-estate related show based on million-dollar listings in Malibu, as well as Hollywood, including real-life Malibu agents such as Chris Cortazzo, Scotty Brown, Madison Hildebrand, and Lydia Simon.
The MTV reality show Buzzin' starring Shwayze and Cisco Adler is mostly filmed in Malibu, at locations including Westward Beach, Malibu Courthouse, Pacific Coast Highway, Point Dume Trailer Park, Malibu Inn, and the outside of PC Greens.
There are also many music videos filmed on Malibu's beaches. In 1998, the alternative rock band Hole shot the video for the song "Malibu" at the Matador Beach. Mariah Carey's video for her 2009 single H.A.T.E.U. was filmed there. American singer Nick Lachey's video for his 2006 single "I Can't Hate You Anymore" from the What's Left Of Me album, was filmed at the place on June 27, 2006, before Lachey's divorce from the American singer-actress Jessica Simpson became final three days later after its release. Selena Gomez's "Love You Like a Love Song" video was partly filmed in Malibu. Music videos for "Survivor" by Destiny's Child, "If It's Lovin' That You Want" by Rihanna, "Sunshine" by Lil Flip, "Natural" by S Club 7, "Feel It Boy" by Beenie Man featuring Janet Jackson, "You're Still the One" by Shania Twain, and many others were filmed on Westward Beach. Linda Ronstadt who lived in the Colony is photographed in front of her home for her 1976 Grammy award-winning album Hasten Down the Wind. Girls Aloud filmed their video "Call the Shots" on the beach at Malibu. In 1999, Britney Spears shot the video for the song "Sometimes" directed by Nigel Dick on the pier at Paradise Cove. Also in late 1998, Madonna shot her video for "The Power of Good-Bye" near Silver Top mansion. The music video for "Somebody to You", from British pop-rock band The Vamps featuring Demi Lovato was filmed on Malibu Beach in May 2014. One Direction's video "What Makes You Beautiful " on July 11, 2011, and Watermelon Sugar filmed on January 30, 2020, by Harry Styles (One Direction's member).
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District serves Malibu with two elementary schools: John L. Webster Elementary School (grades K-5, located in central Malibu) and Malibu Elementary School (grades K-5, located in northwestern Malibu's Pt. Dume district).
Private schools include: Calmont, Our Lady of Malibu (Catholic), Colin McEwen High School, New Roads, and St. Aidan's School.
Malibu High School (MHS) provides secondary public education for both middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12). MHS is located in the northwestern region of Malibu.
Pepperdine University, a private college affiliated with the Church of Christ, which is located in central Malibu, north of the Malibu Colony at the intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road. Malibu is also served by Santa Monica College, a community college in the nearby city of Santa Monica to the south.
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