Palm Springs History
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Back in the old studio-system days when actors were under long-term contracts with individual studios, they were often contractually forbidden to travel more than 100 miles from Hollywood without explicit studio permission. Palm Springs is exactly 99 miles from Hollywood. Thus Palm Springs became a very fashionable destination to which actors could “escape in secret,” without informing their studio bosses.
Desert Sun Resort is in the “Movie Colony” neighborhood. It is called this because many of the houses were built specifically for the Hollywood elite and was known as the “Playground to the Stars”. The local architects who were designing the new post-war housing in the mid and late 1950s were all about innovation, progress and the future and the Mid-Century Modern housing was the overwhelming cultural trend.
The flamboyant lifestyle with which the Movie Colony was synonymous was epitomized by the clothing-optional, luxury Normandy Hotel that actor Errol Flynn built in 1943. (It was later named Casa del Sol and burned down in 1990.) Flynn built it for himself and his friends as a retreat from the hectic ways of Hollywood. Hollywood’s extravagant crowd flocked to Flynn’s hotel and set the precedent for our Desert Sun Resort which currently occupies the same site.