Developed in the 1930’s and 40’s the prestigious and luxurious Movie Colony neighborhood has been home to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars such as Dinah Shore, Cary Grant, Estee Lauder, Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis.
With the luxurious El Mirador as its centerpiece, the Movie Colony is a tranquil neighborhood. El Mirador Hotel opened its doors on New Year’s Eve, 1928, and quickly became a hot spot for Hollywood stars and the corporate elite. Built by Palm Springs pioneer Prescott Thresher Stevens and designed by Los Angeles architects Walker & Eisen, the hotel’s 20 acres included an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, stables, the desert’s first golf course, and a striking Spanish-Colonial Revival-style bell tower that is now a city landmark. It’s no surprise celebrities began flocking to the neighborhood to enjoy all that El Mirador had to offer during the early days of Palm Springs’ growth.
Located near Old Las Palmas, The Movie Colony is incredibly convenient to downtown Palm Springs. The neighborhood is comprised of only about 170 homes, most of which are concealed by walls and landscaping. The privacy and location, are just a few of the reasons that made the Movie Colony such an amazing area to live. Some of the most renowned Modernist architects designed homes for the neighborhood’s inhabitants - including E. Stewart Williams, William Cody, and Donald Wexler, just to name a few. It is home to both the iconic architecture of the Spanish Colonial Revival style and the Mid-Century Modernism style.
One of the many celebrity estates was dubbed The Desert Royal Palace - because so many Europeans with royal titles and Hollywood elite lived there. However, The Movie Colony’s biggest attraction is still Frank Sinatra’s first desert home, the Twin Palms. The Twin Palms was designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1947 for Sinatra and his first wife, Nancy Barbato the estate quickly became “party central” during the 50’s - a time that Palm Springs is both loved and known for.
The Movie Colony, or TMC, as many call it, is known for its rich history, hip, vintage-glam hotels and cozy restaurants as well as the neighborhoods popular green spaces. Including Ruth Hardy Park, with tennis courts, jogging trails, and picnic areas, and Wellness Park, which has an outdoor gym and meditation garden.
If you'd like to read more about the history of Palm Springs and its love affair with
Mid-Century Modern Design check out our article here!