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Filming locations in Palm Springs

Classic car parked in front of upscale home with sculptures

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!

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