Our Region

These films were shot fully, or in part, around the wider Palm Springs area. The captions in [brackets] include labels from the original item in “quotation marks.” We add estimated dates and other details.

#39. [“Mojave Desert, Wax Museum,” ca. 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color.
#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.
#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?
#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.
FS#1. [“Palm Springs” 1940.] 35mm. Faded color. Stereoscopic filmstrip originally produced by Tru-Vue for tourists. Digitized (sadly not stereoscopically) and music added by Melissa.
#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.

Coming Attractions

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

  • #179. [“New Mexico to Palm Springs, 1962.”] 8mm. Color. Includes terrific footage of Palm Canyon Drive festooned with Christmas decorations, a Frey house, Spa Hotel and more. 8mm, color.
  • #181. [“Lena Horne Party, Chi Chi Palm Springs, Stars,” ca.1960s.] 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, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joan Collins, Danny Thomas, David Janssen, Linda Darnell, and more. From the Edwin W. Pauley collection, but produced by Hearst International News.
Lena Horne
Lena Horne and Danny Thomas
Horne’s husband Lennie Hayton
Lena Horne and Johnny Mathis
  • #215. [“Ocotillo Wells, ’76, On Top of Mountain, Bare Backyard,” 1976.] Super 8mm. Color. Footage of Ocotillo Wells area and a dirt track, dune buggies in the distance.
  • #216. [“(?) Competition, Hills,” ca. 1976.] Super 8mm. Color. 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!
  • #224. [“Mt. Shasta, Salton Sea, Spanish Trail Motel, Nopales, Mexico. February 1970.”] 8mm. Color. Includes great footage of Salton Sea and Nopales street scenes.
  • #178. “Palm Springs.” 8mm. Color. An amateur 8mm film commercially distributed by Finley Holiday Films in the 1950s.
  • #245. “Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.” Super 8. (Faded) Color. An amateur 8mm 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.
  • #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, ending at the Indio Date Festival (including the festival princesses, elephant, Ferris wheel and more).
  • #258. [“1967 – October and December — Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Cha Cha, Sun City, Arizona. Snow, (Construction Machines), Birds, Cats — Dubby, Hawk, Bunny, Birds, 1968 Rose Parade.”] 8mm. Color. As mentioned on the label, footage includes Yucca Valley (with Desert Christ Park), Joshua Tree, and what looks to be perhaps Morongo Valley. The film also includes images of Sun City during the “snow storm of the century” that hit Arizona on December 13, 1967, and the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 1968 (including a neat Kodak float.)
  • #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 including stops in old Las Palmas, Chi Chi club (Jerry Lewis on the marquee), Desert Inn, Ocotillo Lodge, and a camper/RV park where people hang out and play with a puppy. Footage continues to the Indio Date Festival.
  • #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.
  • #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 see off Gold Beach, Oregon.
  • #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.
  • #265. [“Music Center, Yucca, Flowers, Golf,” ca. 1970.] 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 (it’s unclear at this point which one yet — Desert Classic?) In the footage we see Arnold Palmer, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra (and maybe Barbara), Glen Campbell, Cliff Robertson, and others.
  • #279. [“Palm Springs – 1951, Stevie, Buzz, Susie Swimming, Shadow Mountain – Clocks, Easter Breakfast.”] 16mm. Color. From Edwin W. Pauley’s home movie collection. Stevie, Buzz, and Susie Pauley; on March 25, 1951 children and an Easter egg hunt at The Desert Inn where the Pauley’s 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.
The Desert Inn
Pauley kids at Shadow Mountain
Shadow Mountain, diving board
  • #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, a desert house, posing the baby in a field of flowers, and the group posing next to a sign we need to confirm, “______ Cove.”
  • #328. [Latino 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. Kid 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.
  • #331. [“Bible Land Film with Sound,” ca. 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Sound. Footage of the former tourist site, Bible Land in Temecula, including artist Ted Conibear talking.

To see more home movies and other footage shot in Palm Springs see our “Palm Springs Area Films in Other Collections” page, or take a little drive and visit “A Short Drive.”