Racquet Club of Palm Springs

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Racquet Club of Palm Springs
Location 2743 N. Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, California
Coordinates 33°51′18″N 116°32′46″W / 33.855°N 116.546°W / 33.855; -116.546
Owner Olivia Communities
Opened 1934
Renovated 1977, 1999
Construction cost $78,000 (1934 investment)
Architect Albert Frey
"Schiff House" and bungalows

The Racquet Club was a resort in Palm Springs, California, founded by actors Charles Farrell and Ralph Bellamy, which opened on December 15, 1934.[1][2][3] Originally developed with two tennis courts, it expanded to include a swimming pool, the "Bamboo Room" bar, bungalows, and more courts. It served as a gathering place and party venue for much of Hollywood's show business elite.[4] In the 1970s it suffered a decline[1] and after a massive fire on July 23, 2014, it was totally demolished.[5]

The Racquet Club in popular media[edit]

The Jack Benny Program (also broadcast as The Jack Benny Show), a 1932–1965 radio and TV series,[6] featured a radio episode titled "Murder at the Racquet Club" on March 9, 1941.[7][8]

The Star Studded Ride, a 1954 short film, featured stars Gussie Moran and Dave Gillam at the Racquet Club.[9]

Pin-up photographer Bruno Bernard is credited with first photographing Marilyn Monroe at the Racquet Club in 1947; and it was at the club pool where she met talent agent Johnny Hyde.[10]


  1. ^ a b Meeks, Eric G. (2012). The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes. Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 31. ISBN 978-1479328598. 
  2. ^ Niemann, Greg (2006). "Ch. 25 Racquet Club Becomes Hollywood Haven". Palm Springs Legends: creation of a desert oasis. San Diego, CA: Sunbelt Publications. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-932653-74-1. OCLC 61211290.  (here for Table of Contents)
  3. ^ Rippingale, Sally Presley (1984). The History of the Racquet Club of Palm Springs. Yucaipa, CA: US Business Specialties. p. 146. LCCN 85226534. OCLC 13526611. 
  4. ^ Famous members and visitors to the Racquet Club included: Arthur Ashe, Burt Bacharach, Kay Ballard, Jack Benny, Frank Bogert, Ray Bolger, Sonny Bono & Chastity Bono, Ernest Borgnine, Lloyd Bridges, George Burns, Hoagie Carmichael, Jackie Coogan, Mary Costa, Vic Damone, William Demarest, James Franciscus, Annette Funicello, Eva Gabor, Jolie Gabor, & Magda Gabor, Janet Gaynor, Edie Gorme, Bonita Granville, Shecky Green, Dolores & Bob Hope, Billie Jean King, Dorothy Kirsten, Steve Lawrence, Frederick Loewe, Dean Martin, Mary Martin, Barbara Marx, Zeppo Marx, George Montgomery, Joe Namath, Bob Newhart, George Peppard, Lily Pons, Prince Rainier of Monaco, Victoria Principle, Bobby Riggs, Jilly Rizzo, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, Robert Stack, John V. Tunney, Ann Landers & Abigail Van Buren, Ken Venturi, Lawrence Welk, Jack Wrather, and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.. See: Turner, Mary L. and Turner, Cal A. (photography) (2006). The Beautiful People of Palm Springs. Turner. ISBN 978-1-4116-3488-6 OCLC 704086361
  5. ^ Brown, Renee (July 2, 2016). "Racquet Club attracted Hollywood to Palm Springs". The Desert Sun. Palm Springs: Gannett. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  6. ^ OTR.Network Library (Beta) and Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs – Series: "The Jack Benny Show", "The Canada Dry Program", "The Lucky Strike Program"
  7. ^ "Palm Springs Home To Radio Veterans: Stars of 'Golden Era'". Pittsburg Post-Gazette. AP. December 18, 1974. Retrieved September 30, 2012. ...Benny played a sheriff who couldn't get into the exclusive Racquet Club to solve a murder. He wasn't a member. Benny's solution: 'Then throw the body over the fence'. 
  8. ^ Also aired April 18, 1948: OCLC 423623496
  9. ^ Star Studded Ride (1954). Universal Pictures. Summary (from Library of Congress data): "A group of desert riders from Palm Springs, Calif., ... see Gussie Moran and Dave Gillam play a set of tennis at Charles Farrell's Racket Club .... Credits: Producer, Thomas Mead; director, William C. Menzies; script, Allan Kitchel, Jr.; narrator, Tex Antoine; music, Jack Shaindlin; editor, Ed Bartsch." LCCN fi54-948
  10. ^ von Sorge, Helmut (30 April 1984). "Palm Springs – das Goldene Kaff". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 3 October 2012. 

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