Desert Modern as Video Stars

New film takes fans of modern architecture to Palm Springs’ loveliest Alexander homes
Desert Moderns

They’re easy to spot in Palm Springs, double-deck tour buses that provide otherwise hidden views of mid-century modern homes. A new film, ‘Mid-Century Moderns,’ does the same—only better.

“We’re showing you stuff you can’t see even from the top of the bus,” says writer and co-producer Bert Simonis.

The 45-minute study, which focuses on Alexander homes, is subtitled ‘The Homes That Define Palm Springs.’ Its first public showing will be 3 p.m. Monday, February 18, at the Hilton Palm Springs, during Palm Springs Modernism Week. It is also for sale now on the producer’s website.

Simonis and co-producer and director John C. Brown focus on how the post-and-beam homes immediately grabbed the public’s attention in the 1950s, then fell into a ‘state of decrepitude’ before being reborn starting in the 1990s.

There’s some history and lively vintage footage, but most of the film takes us into living rooms and kitchens, where we hear from owners about restorations, decorations, and their love for their homes.

Simonis calls the film “docu-tainment.”

“We tried to make what I call a video snow globe,” he says, adding, “This is the little souvenir you take home from Palm Springs.”

Find more on ‘Mid-Century Moderns’ here.