Our Region

These films were shot fully, or in part, around the wider Palm Springs area. The captions in [brackets], whenever possible, include labels from the original item in “quotation marks.” We add estimated dates and other details. For best viewing experience, choose the 720p or higher setting on the player.

#353. [Palm Springs Weekend trailer, 1963.] 16mm. (Restored) color. Sound. Our personal copy.
#161. [“Palm Springs Parade,Ted’s Flying,” May 1958.] 8mm. Color. Footage of the Desert Circus parade, followed by a meeting of motorized model plane enthusiasts. (Devin was in the parade circa 1977-1979.)
#156. [“Gary’s House and Dinner at Home,” 1950s.] 8mm. Color. A Palm Springs House Party. Note the Palm Springs High School letterman jackets and sweaters, Stockers Palm Springs Jacket, and high school party atmosphere at Gary’s House.
#154. [“End of Parade,” 1955.] 8mm. Color. Images of the Desert Circus parade.
#76. [Indian Wells, Desi Arnaz’s Western Hills, post-1957.] 8mm. Color. Desi Arnaz’s Western Hills Hotel in Indian Wells, CA, was completed in 1957. It is now called Indian Wells Resort Hotel. There is also a nice shot of the Santa Rosa Mountains from an intersection presumably in Indian Wells, and a huge saguaro cactus.
#172. [“Palm Springs area, Snow Play,” ca. 1950s.] 8mm. Color. Having a little drinking party perhaps in Whitewater? Further description forthcoming.
#145. [“1965 — Ruby & Orville’s, Vacation from Vancouver to Palm Springs When We Took Blanchards Along, and Henry Took Pictures.”] 8mm. Color. Family travels by car from Vancouver to Palm Springs where they attend a service at Community Church of Palm Springs, a colorful unidentified hotel, an art auction or judged show in a park (downtown?), Andreas Canyon, and a groovy midcentury building under construction (we’d love help identifying it) and at a PS home with the name “Waggoner,” before they move on to what looks like Modesto.
#35. [“Claudia,” Palm Springs, ca. 1947, 1953, 1960.] These little films featuring “Claudia” seem to have been shot here, but the footage contains mainly domestic scenes, and a day at what looks like the Salton Sea. 8mm. Color and b/w.
DO#1. [Silver Spring Maryland Family — California Trip, 1949.] 8mm. Color. To watch more of Devin Orgeron’s collection of home movies, see.
#259. [“Karen’s Graduation, End-Ray Going Back to LA…Chris, Vince Robinsons’ (?) Confirmation, Odds & Ends, Palm Springs,” late 1960s.] 8mm. Color. Close up of attendees of high school graduation in stands, events stage (which high school? grads wear blue and white), graduation ceremony, people at a BBQ in a driveway, sledding in California mountain snow, Fort MacArthur banner for an event, San Pedro parade (holiday?), family posing in Sunday bests on sidewalk, same cutting a cake and celebrating (celebrating confirmation?), and then a long POV shot from a car driving through Palm Springs capturing signage including the El Mirador marquee listing Eddy Howard as the entertainer, Don the Beach Comber, Villa Hermosa, The Hicks Center, banners hanging across Palm Canyon promoting Desert Circus, Desert Garden Date Shop, the Chi Chi club (Joe. E. Lewis on marquee), The Desert Inn, J. W. Robinson department store, Sahara Park, and Ocotillo Lodge, and then they stay at a local a camper/RV park. Footage continues to the Indio Date Festival.
#169. [Horseback Riding, Ramona Pageant, Sequoia, San Francisco, ca.1940s.] 8mm. Color. At about minute 6 this group of revelers on a great California vacation attend the Ramona Pageant in Hemet, and film some participants.
#181. [“Lena Horne Party, Chi Chi Palm Springs, Stars,” Hearst Newsreel B-roll, February 2, 1958.] 16mm. B/W. Footage of a party at Chi Chi Club in Palm Springs which includes footage of Lena plus her husband Lennie Hayton, Johnny Mathis, Army Archer, Judith Exner, Joan Collins, Danny Thomas, David Janssen, Joe Dimaggio, Linda Darnell, Darnell’s husband Merle “Robbie”, and others. From the Edwin W. Pauley collection, but produced by Hearst International News.
#224. [“Mt. Shasta, Salton Sea, Spanish Trail Motel, Nopales, Mexico. February 1970.”] 8mm. Color. Includes great footage of Salton Sea and Nopales street scenes, a roadrunner and other yet-to-be-identified locations.
#179. [“New Mexico to Palm Springs, 1962.”] 8mm. Color. Travelers on a bus trip to New Mexico (perhaps Gallup?) during the holidays, visiting people, hotel stays, Knott’s Berry Farm and interaction with performer, then possibly through Banning Pass to Palm Springs including terrific footage of Palm Canyon Drive, festooned with Christmas decorations, the Plaza, Spa Hotel and places like Palm Springs Camera, Desmond’s, City National Bank, Prego, Canyon Country Club. 8mm, color.
#246. [“1963, Carol Leaving L.A. on Train, Traveling East Through Rockies and Denver in 1963 Ford XL, Oklahoma State Capitol, Oil Wells, Governor’s Mansion, Carlsbad, N.M., Carlsbad Caverns, San Diego Zoo, Indio Date Festival.“] 8mm. Color. After seeing “Carol” off on the Santa Fe Railroad in Los Angeles the (R.H. Widmer?) family’s road trip around the West including Arapaho National Forest, the Continental Divide, Denver buildings, Oklahoma City, Carlsbad, NM and Caverns San Diego Zoo, ending at the Indio Date Festival (including the festival princesses, elephant, helicopter, rides and more).
#258. [“1967 – October and December — Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Cha Cha, Sun City, Arizona. Snow, Birds, Cats — Dubby, Hawk, Bunny, Birds, 1968 Rose Parade, (Construction Machines).”] 8mm. Color. As mentioned on the label, footage includes Yucca Valley (with Desert Christ Park), and Joshua Tree. The film also includes images of various wild (especially birds and also a bunny) and domestic animals, Sun City during the “snow storm of the century” that hit Arizona on December 13, 1967, the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 1968 (including a neat Kodak float), and construction of additions to Sun City.
#178. [“Palm Springs.”] 8mm. Color. An amateur 8mm film commercially distributed by Finley Holiday Films in the 1950s. Further description forthcoming.
#279. [“Palm Springs – 1951, Stevie, Buzz, Susie Swimming, Shadow Mountain – Clocks, Easter Breakfast.”] 16mm. Color. From Edwin W. Pauley’s home movie collection (see also #181 on this page). Stevie, Buzz, and Susie Pauley; on March 25, 1951 children and an Easter egg hunt at The Desert Inn (where the Pauleys were staying that weekend according to The Desert Sun, March 30, 1951) plus Easter breakfast at Shadow Mountain Resort in Palm Desert and poolside fun back at The Desert Inn including slow-motion footage of the kids diving.
#311. [Kids in Halloween Costumes, Mojave Desert and Scotty’s Castle, late 1960s.] 8mm. Color. Footage includes kids in Halloween costumes goofing around for the camera, and a drive through Mojave Desert to Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley.
#319. [“Desert, Kids, Pups,” May 1967.] 8mm. Color. Woman and girls in matching outfits pose seated on the ground with what looks like a Corgi and her puppies on the side of the road with desert behind them. A cameraman stands by taking still photographs, and then POV from the car of the road around Palm Springs and/or high desert, a desert house, girls posing next to a welcome sign, and posing the baby in a field of flowers.
#355. [U.S. Women Olympians at Desert Inn, Desert Driving, Helms Athletic Foundation, 20th Century-Fox Lot, December 1956 or January 1957.] 8mm. Color. Starts with a few seconds of Our Lady of Solitude Church, then great footage of three women (1956 and 1960 U.S. Olympian/hurdler Irene Robertson and Olympic hopeful Rose Caccamise and her mother Nellie) at Desert Inn, frolicking in the pool, riding bikes, etc., then at Helms Athletic Foundation in Culver City, CA, posing with Helms’ managing director and co-founder Bill Schroeder and Los Angeles Mirror sports writer Maxwell Stiles), and at 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation and studio lot, posing with Stiles again. See also #361 under “A Short Drive.”
#357. [“Kiwanis Club of Banning Extends Greetings to Lethbridge,” 1930.] 16mm. B/W. Silent. A booster film about a meeting between the Kiwanis Club of Banning and Canadian government official Lethbridge. Opens with inter-titles (included throughout) and greeting by club president John M. Westerfield, a map of the Banning area an a bi-plane taking off and cameraman shooting aerial footage of the town and local farm land, back to map showing how one arrives from the west and footage of Ford Model Ts or As driving through a tree-lined road, higher elevation of Mt. San Gorgornio and orchards, pointing to map and Mt. San Jacinto, on the map driving south and that landscape from an elevation (mountains, farms, desert/flowers, a man walking up sand dunes, a beautiful canyon (help us identify!), the view of Palm Springs from Palm Canyon?, club directors doing a skit, close up of young women (legs and faces) as they pass City Bank of Banning, former Lieutenant Governor John P. Phillips in a skit at The Little Store of John _______(?), men assembling for a U.S.-Canada a cultural exchange/celebration in what might be their clubhouse?, outside at a Memorial Day ceremonial flag raising, folks placing of wreaths, flowers and flags on graves in San Gorgornio Memorial Park cemetery, close up on Hubert N. Passells’ gravestone (died 1921), some soldiers or returned vets marching with American, British (and another) flags.
#328. [Latino/Latinx Father and Son Fishing, and Family Celebrates Easter, ca. 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Same family (and cute boy) as #310 on our “A Short Drive” page. Boy in a helmet fishes with his father, then the family unit arrives at a rural home adjacent to a date palm orchard, we believe to be Indio or Thermal, where kids hunt for Easter eggs and the whole group poses for a picture with rows of date palm trees behind.
#263. [“Cape Cod, Hemet — Ramona Pageant, Rancho Calif., 1970.”] Super 8mm. Color. POV from plane (Grand Canyon, patchwork of fields, etc.), a neighborhood in Massachusetts, POV from a car capturing roadside and I-95 signage (Berkshires, Boston, Hyannis, etc.), Plymouth sites, Provincetown and Cape Cod sites, Hyannis Club, Christopher Ryder House, Belmont Stakes race, New York City streets and sites, then finally POV from plane on way to California, the Ramona Pageant (Hemet) players and scenes from the play, and finishes with a wander around the Rancho California Inn in Temecula.
#260. [“Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), April 1977; (McDonald’s) in San Bernardino, Palm Springs, Rose Bowl — Flea Circus, Newport Beach, Rodeo Drive, San Diego, June 1978.”] Super 8mm. Color. April 1977: Airport and POV shot from plane on way to Dominican Republic, resort, pool, Santo Domingo cityscapes and sites with a local friend or guide, jai alai court, beautiful beaches. June 1978: POV from plane on way to Palm Springs area, the old Hadley’s Fruit Orchards, San Jacinto mountain, POV shot by car of Palm Springs including Bob Hope’s house, a stop at the Civic Center Park, O’Donnell Golf Club?, Eisenhower Medical Center, The Springs in Rancho Mirage. The road trip continues to Laguna Beach and Newport Beach locations, Dana Point beaches and jetty, Santa Monica beach and walking path, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the Flea Circus (swap meet) at the Rose Bowl, San Diego harbor, mission, lighthouse, etc.
#215. [“Ocotillo Wells, ’76, On Top of Mountain, Bare Backyard,” 1976.] Super 8mm. Color. Two women dune buggy enthusiasts on top of the mountain in Ocotillo Wells, a dirt track, dune buggies. See also #216 below for more!
#216. [“____ Competition, Hills,” ca. 1976.] Super 8mm. Color. Sound. Dune buggies on the side of, and at bottom of, a giant sand dune (most likely Ocotillo Wells — see #215 above) plus a long POV shot of the race from inside a dune buggy (with commentary)!
#245. “Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.” Super 8. Color. An amateur 8mm souvenir/tourist film commercially distributed by Finley Holiday Films in the 1960s. Great shots of the older gondola and views of Palm Springs back when it was less built up.
#262. [“Palm Springs, Hearst (Castle), Gold Beach, Oregon,” late 1960s.] Super 8mm. Color. Documentation of the Palm Springs Mounted Police Rodeo including opening ceremony, bronco riding, cattle wrangling, barrel racing, etc. Includes a Zsa Zsa Gabor sighting! Other footage includes exteriors and pool at Heart Castle, and two Coast Guard boats conducting terrifying maneuvers in rough sea off Gold Beach, Oregon.
#265. [“Music Center, Yucca, Flowers, Golf,” mid-1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Woman hanging laundry, group of ladies dressed nicely walking around the Los Angeles Music Center plaza, and a poster for the play, The Great White Hope, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, green fields of pretty flowers, poppies, mountains, woman with 8mm camera in Yucca Valley and/or Joshua Tree – people posing next to Joshua trees, then we’re off to a golf tournament here in Palm Springs or close-by (Desert Classic?) In the footage we see Ray Bolger, John Denver (?), Bing Crosby (?), Jill St. John (?), Arnold Palmer, Dinah Shore, Frank and Barbara Sinatra, Glen Campbell, Cliff Robertson, and others.
#39. [“Mojave Desert, Wax Museum,” ca. 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Description forthcoming.
#352. [“Desert Artist Gil III (October 1964), Brawley Rodeo (November 1964).”] 8mm. Color. Unidentified (help us) painter in a desert landscape in our area and footage of the Brawley Cattle Call Rodeo and surroundings.
#362. [“Palm Canyon,” 1935.] 8mm. B/W. Group of hikers picnicking in Palm Canyon. Lovely views of the group from above, in the canyon’s picnic area, rain clouds (!), and the view from parking area of Palm Springs in the far distance. The rest of the film is of a little blond toddler in the snow, sledder and snowy landscape near and on Lake Tahoe (?), huge, amazing mansion or hotel lakeside (perhaps Lake Arrowhead?), and then toddler again probably in summer as she’s in a swimsuit.
#360. [“End of Camel Race, Kern River, Bobby Thrown in Water,” ca. late 1960s.] 8mm. Color. Further description forthcoming.
#375. [‘Xmas 1953 — Credit Club Xmas Party (Work), Xmas 1954, Crystal Lake Mountains — Snow 1955, Kussen (Johnson Dog), Beach, Memorial Day, Boys Choir (James), Ray’s Folks, Palm Springs, Calif.; December 1955-’56.”] 8mm. Color. On this long reel is a bit scratched up and dirty, but it includes holiday parties, roadtrips, and vacation footage of a group of young people hanging by a motel pool (help us identify!) in Palm Springs and exploring a bit. Cross-listed under “Melissa’s Obsession: Work Parties” and “Holidays, Special Events, Parties, & Weird Stuff.”

Coming Attractions

Below is a list of films we will be digitizing in the coming months.

  • #369. [“Indio Parade and Circus,” Jan. or Feb. 1958.] Footage of that year’s Date Festival Parade in Indio as well as a circus, camel races, etc. likely on the festival grounds.

To see more home movies and other footage shot in Palm Springs see our “Palm Springs Area Films in Other Collections” and “Palm Springs Area Films in Other Collections | Page 2” pages, and more media, slides, yearbooks, etc. on “Palm Springs Ephemera.” OR take a little drive and visit “A Short Drive.”