A resident of the cottages, Martha Padve, was highly involved in a long-running case to list Crystal Cove on the National Register and to fight the State of California over tenancy matters.
The cottages at Crystal Cove were first built by the Irvine Company and owned by movie directors and producers. Many movies have been filmed here, including Treasure Island(1918) and Beaches (1988). Many of the cottages are currently available for public vacation rentals. The district also remains a popular location for the film industry. The main cottage featured in Beaches is currently being used as a homage to Crystal Cove’s Hollywood past where visitors can learn about the different movies filmed in Crystal Cove.
In 2015, Crystal Cove Alliance was featured, along with other organizations, in Laguna Beach Eco Heroes, a 30-minute documentary by The My Hero Project. The efforts of the Laguna Canyon Foundation, ECO Warrior, Laguna Bluebelt, Nancy Caruso, One World One Ocean, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Wyland, and Zero Trash Laguna were also highlighted in the documentary.