Filming locations in Palm Springs - Visit Palm Springs tag-img

Filming locations in Palm Springs

It’s official: by now, you have watched every TV show and movie ever filmed. Congrats! Streaming services were your connection to the outside world during the shutdown, but now it’s time to plug into Palm Springs, IRL (in real life).

Our hometown is the ultimate stage, so get ready to play your part. Walk, hike, and dance in the footsteps of legends as you act out your silver screen fantasies in the golden light of  Palm Springs.

Stream a little dream

So, what have you watched lately? It’s a question we ask each other over Zoom calls and text messages, but now you can peer beyond the device and Behind the Candelabra to drink in Palm Springs’ dazzling beauty. HBO’s Liberace biopic captured the grandeur of a flamboyant icon in his natural habitat: 696 North Via Monte Vista. Michael Douglas and Matt Damon cavorted here, so now it’s your turn!

Let’s follow Damon less than half a mile away to another filming location in Palm Springs where the hunky heisters of Ocean’s Eleven stole moviegoers’ hearts at 999 North Patencio Road. The original Rat Pack was synonymous with Palm Springs cool, so George Clooney, Brad Pitt and the gang couldn’t help but mine cinematic gems from our midcentury modern landscape.

ocean 11 movie

If you binged Tom Cruise movies during your alone time, we don’t blame you! Chances are, you saw us waving back. The iconic windmills of Palm Springs are real scene-stealers, and they were featured heavily in two Cruise films: Mission Impossible III and Best Picture winner Rain Man. Guess Tom is a real fan of those ‘mills!

Classic Beauty, Enduring Intrigue

The rugged appeal of Palm Springs has lured production and filming crews to the desert for over a century. When Frank Capra yearned to depict paradise here on earth, he landed on Tahquitz Canyon as the ideal filming location. The waterfalls evoked a heavenly escape from our terrestrial trappings to breathe life into his otherworldly 1937 Oscar winner Lost Horizon. Shangri-La does exist, and it shimmers across every alluring vista of Palm Springs.

lost horizon

Speaking of our fair city, it has lent its name to several classic titles from Hollywood’s golden age. Palm Springs (also known as Palm Springs Affair) excavated the high stakes underbelly of the casinos that sprang up in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash. The gambling halls depicted in the film no longer exist, but the thrilling sense of possibility still lingers in the desert air. You can bet on a breakout performance by a young David Niven amidst the decadent dealings of this forgotten movie gem.

Are you double-O bummed about the postponement of the new James Bond film? Did you drown your sorrows in a marathon of martini-soaked spy classics? If your streaming indulgences included Diamonds Are Forever, then you already virtually visited the Elrod House. This circular abode, perched on the southern lip of town (2175 Southridge Drive, to be precise), was designed by visionary architect John Lautner. Sean Connery thrashed elegantly in the swimming pool fight scene and elevated this movie mansion to the pantheon of Bond locales.

elrod house

Royal Rentals

Palm Springs earned its nickname as “Hollywood’s Playground” – the stars settled down to earth right here in our discreet wonderland. They could be their fabulous selves without the prying eyes of the world judging their every majestic move. And so can you.

Our vacation rentals offer guests the opportunity to live like cinematic royalty at reasonable rates. Frank Sinatra commissioned the construction of his Twin Palms estate even before he won an Oscar for From Here to Eternity. If you marveled at his performances over these past restrictive months, now it’s time to break free and see yourself in the same mirror that once reflected Frank’s baby blues.

Perhaps you recently brushed up on your noir knowledge with a viewing of Sunset Boulevard. Demand your own close-up by sashaying in the haunted heels of Gloria Swanson. Her Palm Springs getaway is beckoning you with an outstretched arm that reaches from behind the celluloid, grabs you, and directs your gaze to Amin Casa.

amin casa

Put some variety in your life by staying at the Sonny & Cher House. You’ve streamed their song-and-dance shenanigans on the small screen, now live large in the estate that also housed Joseph Cotton, Natalie Wood, and Kirk Douglas. Speaking of Spartacus, you can reenact the sword-and-sandals classic with your flip-flops and a pool noodle at the Kirk Douglas House.

Building a Legacy

The star-studded history of Palm Springs may be too daunting to navigate at first glance. That is why the experts at our Historical Society offer walking tours to step you through the decades and help you emerge into past perfection and visit some of the Palm Springs filming locations.

To go behind the velvet rope, explore the A-list architecture that housed Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Elvis Presley, just to name a few. Palm Springs Celebrity Tours, PS Architecture Tours, Palm Springs Mod Squad and The Modern Tour vie for the spotlight and humanize the celebrities that populate your Hollywood dreams.

mod squad

You have watched the stars and loved them from afar; now join them. Palm Springs has provided the lights and action, so bring a camera and film your very own life story. We can’t wait to see you!

More From Art & Architecture

View All Posts “Don’t Worry Darling” Filmed in Palm Springs Palm Springs filming locations. By Randy Garner Don’t Worry Darling is a new psychological thriller film that takes place in a 1950’s fictional California town called Victory. Official Trailer Why Palm Springs? The location plays a role in telling the story. While the neighborhood you see looks too picturesque to be real, in does, in fact, exist in real life. It’s not a tame and controlled conservative suburban life. Victory is a spectacular place full of opulence. It depicts something of a secret society in America, so it doesn’t represent traditional 1950s America or its values. As such, the production team descended upon Palm Springs, the longtime playground of the Hollywood elite, to create their desert utopia. A land of ever-present sunshine, blue skies and midcentury architecture galore, the area proved the quintessential backdrop for the storyline. The Storyline The Victory Corporation is building a city called Victory. It is meant to be a suburban utopia complete with sprawling greenbelts, a clubhouse, a sparkling pool and even an onsite boutique. Victory residents will want for nothing and have little reason to every leave. It is the one place to stay and be safe. The storyline follows Alice (portrayed by Florence Pugh) and Jack (played by Harry Styles), who are a married couple with a troublesome relationship. They just moved to Victory, a company town created by and paid for by Jack’s new employer, Frank (played by Chris Pine). While Jack and his colleagues go to work on the “Victory Project”, their wives are left to enjoy the beauty and luxury of their community. Here’s a look at some more specific Palm Springs filming locations in Don’t Worry Darling. The Kaufmann House The Kaufmann House was used was for the home of Victory Corporation founder, Frank, portrayed by Chris Pine. The home is fragile and extremely valuable, so much care had to be take to ensure nothing was damaged. This included bubble wrapping portions of the home and having docents in every room. Department store owner Edgar Kaufmann hired architect Richard Neutra to design a desert home for his family. A decade earlier, Frank Lloyd Wright had built Fallingwater for Mr. Kaufmann. But Kaufmann, having seen Taliesin West, thought that Wright didn’t understand desert design and chose Neutra instead. The home turned out so well, that when Wright saw it, he admitted to that is was beautiful (uncharacteristic of him). The building remains the most famous in Palm Springs in terms of international recognition. The flat roof, steel frame, and glass walls embody one prominent version of Modernism by using sharp, clean, lines and contrasting them to the rugged slopes of Mt. San Jacinto as a backdrop. When photographed by Julius Shulman, the Kaufmann House became an iconic image of modern architecture. The north wing is the guest’s quarters, separated from the rest of the house. The secluded west wing is the service wing. It would be purchased by Joseph and Nelda Linsk. She was the glamorous woman wearing yellow depicted in legendary photographer Slim Aaron’s iconic photograph highlighting the good life in Palm Springs, dubbed “Poolside Gossip.” In 1968, Eugene and Francis Klein, owners of the San Diego Chargers, purchased it. Then in 1973, Barry Manilow purchased the property and owned it until 1993. Beth and Brent Harris become the new owners and were eager to restore the property.They found a home once originally open and light-filled now dense and dark thanks to 2,200 square feet of additions that turned courtyards into interior spaces. The iconic upstairs room visible from the street, an open-air deck that really is one of the house's main features, had its views of mountains and palm trees blocked by air-conditioning compressors. Linsk addition, designed by William Cody, was compatible and relatively seamless, but removed the glass corridor to the master bedroom and drastically reduced the amount of light to the interior. Modernist furnishings selected by Neutra were replaced with those chosen by prominent Palm Springs interior designer Arthur Elrod. The Harris’s dismantled the crumbling fireplaces and numbering each stone for reassembly. To repair gashes in the walls of Utah sandstone, the firm convinced the original quarry in Utah to return to a long-closed portion of its site so the color and texture of the new stone would match that of the old. To find a source for mica, a crystalline sand which workers applied to the house's exterior to provide a subtle, starry-night glow, the architects had to work with the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Can I Visit? The Kaufmann House is privately owned and not available for tours or a rental. However, you can take a peek of the home by driving by 470 West Vista Chino. Canyon View Estates This is where Alice and Jack live in the film. Their residence was on a circular cul-de-sac with their neighbors’ houses facing inwards on the perimeter. For filming at this location, every driveway had to be cleared for blocks and blocks of non-period elements. This affected the daily routine for hundreds of people and property owners. Canyon View Estates was designed by Dan Palmer and William Krisel. These local architects also designed Ocotillo Lodge, Las Palmas Estates, Kings Point and Racquet Club Estates. The “House of Tomorrow” was designed by Krisel for Robert Alexander and his wife Helen. They made it their personal residence and lived in it until their premature death in a plane crash in 1965. The house later gained fame as the honeymoon home of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. The design of these quaint one-story duplex-style condominiums offered floor-to-ceiling windows, and characteristic Palm Springs geometric stonework. It included post-and-beam construction, open floor plans in which the living room, dining room and kitchen flow together. Built in six stages in the 1960s by developer Roy Fey, it has a utopian neighborhood feel, with a shared pool, spa and green space. It includes 180 units with attached carports. Can I Visit? Properties in Canyon View Estates are privately owned and few are available as a vacation rental. However, the neighborhood is not gated, so grab a cruiser bike and explore. Palm Springs City Hall The Palm Springs City Hall was shown briefly in the film. It is centrally located and just steps away from the Palm Springs International Airport, another beautiful midcentury modern style building. Palm Springs City Hall was one of Clark, Frey and Chambers’ most important public buildings, built between 1952 and 1957. Although a collaborative effort with the local architectural firm of Williams and Williams, the building’s initial phase was primarily the design work of John Porter Clark and Albert Frey. An unusual detail of the council chamber is its corner treatment consisting of projecting concrete blocks cut at a diagonal at every other paired row, which allows the blocks to cast light and shadow. Albert Frey was a leading early architect to Palm Springs and left a large design footprint on the city. His own residence, Frey House II, is also an architecturally significant building as was willed to the Palm Springs Art Museum upon his death. It is perched above Palm Springs with sweeping views and is available for tours through the museum. Can I Visit? Palm Springs City Hall is a popular spot on Palm Springs’ midcentury modern design tours, but visitors are also welcome to walk around and take photos. It is located at 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. Palm Springs Visitor Center Look for the Palm Springs Visitor Center, which was also shown briefly in the film. Like City Hall, it was also designed by architect Albert Frey. In 1965, it began as an Esso gas station situated in North Palm Springs. With a swooping and wing-shaped roof, it immediately captures the attention of visitors as they arrive in the city. In the 1990s, the building was converted into an art gallery, and subsequently taken over by the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.

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