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March 29, 2010

"Purple Sage Apartments" Located!

In our on-going search for information about filming locations for Robert Altman's 3 Women we've made a major advance. I was contacted by Mr. Gür who lives in Sweden and shared this remarkable information with me: "I was a guest at the Sunshine Inn, Palm Springs, during the shooting of Robert Altman's 3 Women in the fall of 1976." I wrote back to ask for more and here's what he told me:

Originally the Sunbeam Inn, 291 Camino Monte Vista, Palm Springs. Shooting took place during the fall of 1976. The Sunbeam's landlady was Mrs. Carmen Baptiste and the owner of at that time was her brother Mr. Richard Revnes Berlin, San Francisco. "Dodge City Bar" was located out in Rancho Mirage. I was a guest at the Sunbeam during the shooting of 3 Women.

Life's Journey Center
Google satellite view of 291 Camino Monte Vista in Palm Springs

As you can see, today it is Life's Journey Center, which is "a private state licensed and certified alcohol/drug detoxification and residential treatment facility for the recovering adult." If you follow that link you will find some good interior photos.

3 Women - Purple Sage Apartments (57)
In the movie.

Purple Sage Apartments (5599)
Notice that it's the same sign (with a different message now). The small second story windows are unchanged. All of the roof vents that are there today can be seen in the movie still.

Purple Sage Apartments (5600)
In the center is Shelley Duvall's apartment.

Purple Sage Apartments (5600A)
The railings remain almost unchanged today.

3 Women - Purple Sage Apartments (72A)
From the movie.

3 Women - Purple Sage Apartments (72)

3 Women - Purple Sage Apartments (47)

Purple Sage Apartments (5602)
Today's street front view.

Purple Sage Apartments (5604)

Purple Sage Apartments (5601)
The bottom of the pool is just plain blue.
The pool painting by Bodhi Wind is gone.

Go here to see all my screen captures and photos of the "Puprle Sage Apartments."

Now, of course, we can turn to trying to figure out where Dodge City was in Rancho Mirage. Anyone?

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Film/Movies,Photography | permalink | March 29, 2010 at 08:38 PM


Here's a PDF copy of the real estate listing found by Ianazwa.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Apr 26, 2020 10:39:22 AM


Posted by: Ianazwa at Apr 25, 2020 11:48:58 PM

11/13/18 Just went to see the place. Still there but looks abandoned. We should make it a boutique hotel and return it to the Purple Sage featuring designer interiors by Millie Lammoreaux!

Posted by: Todd at Nov 13, 2018 5:00:35 PM

Dear Ron, did you ever happen to find Bodhi Wind's swimming pool at Dodge City?

Posted by: Maria Gainza at Jul 8, 2017 8:17:23 AM

Thanks for the link. I had read that article before, and it did get me to go looking for Hidden Springs Ranch Club in Thousand Palms. There is a future development that's called Hidden Springs Ranch, and the shooting location may have been there, but there's nothing above ground there any more. No buildings, and the big tamarisk trees are not there either. So maybe someone just took the name and put it on the site I found, or at some time the buildings and trees were removed.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Dec 11, 2011 1:03:22 PM

Hi Ron,
Does this piece by Dori Lundy add anything to the routes of
"3 women" ?

Posted by: Ulf kjell Gür at Dec 11, 2011 12:50:37 AM

Nothing more on "Dodge City" except we're pretty sure it was in this area of Thousand Palms and has probably been destroyed by development. If you find out anything additional, do please let us know!

Posted by: Ron's Log at Jul 26, 2011 9:20:11 AM

I will be visiting this location on my next trip to California for sure! Any updates on finding the original location of 'Dodge City' and the large swimming pool with the Bodhi Wind murals?

Posted by: Doug Gardiner at Jul 25, 2011 11:44:46 PM

It looks as if it has been undisturbed. I like looking at these places, it's like you have taken a time machine back to the 80's. It was nice that they've managed to keep it in its original state. This buildings are not only part of cinematic history, but also of the community history as well.

Posted by: Chad Lewis at May 30, 2011 5:27:43 AM

Wow, this is great! Thanks for these awesome pics.

Posted by: Ryan Clark at Apr 24, 2011 3:09:44 AM

Wow, very cool! I wonder if any of the current apartments for rent in Boston have been utilized for movie shoots as well? My friends keep telling me that "The Town" has a lot of good shots of Boston, but I still haven't had a chance to check the movie out.

Posted by: apartments for rent boston at Jan 31, 2011 6:32:53 AM

Ron, I want to go...

Posted by: Jeff at Dec 19, 2010 7:48:32 AM

Please give me a specific location, and I'll get out there and take a look. A street address or GPS coordinates, please!


Posted by: Ron's Log at Dec 19, 2010 3:50:36 AM

RON -- i did a lot of personal research before finding your own '3 women' location search, which both affirmed and narrowed down my own previous study. anyway, my main point of beguile is the 'dodge city' set, and a few weekends ago i sought it out on ramon road using film stills to reference specific electrical towers (west) and mountain ranges (east). i almost miraculously ran into the actual, original, pre-'3 women' hidden springs ranch sign, complete with an out-of-date address. the most beguiling aspect is that prior to seeing the sign in the flesh, via google map, i noted an enormously exciting candidate for the remains of the dodge city/bodhi wind pool, which happens to be perfectly parallel to the antique HSR sign. currently, the pool and subsequently built up deck are viewable from ramon, but you'd have to seek out the current residents to do some real investigation. RON -- please do it. it needs to be uncovered.

Posted by: marshall at Dec 19, 2010 12:09:10 AM

You're welcome, hank. I hope you've found the other posts about shooting locations for "3 Women" here and here.

The city is about to take bids on the tearing down of the two story hotel in downtown DHS where Sissy Spacek roomed.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Apr 21, 2010 3:31:48 PM

THANK YOU! i started two years ago putting out queries about this, came up empty handed. and now YOU ARE MY HERO.

Posted by: hank at Apr 21, 2010 3:14:55 PM

Ron, I wish I was in PS. I am completely addicted to that corner of Coachella valley.
Perhaps they have a cure for that "desert-ache", at the Life's Journey Center. But who would want to take on that, anyway. Not me.
No, you're right Ron, I am in Sweden, but I look very much forward to my next trip to the land of milk and honey.

Posted by: Ulf Kjell Gür at Mar 30, 2010 2:42:37 AM

Oh, you're right here! I was going by your Ipernity profile where you say you live in Sweden.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Mar 30, 2010 2:10:16 AM

Very nice, Ron. I consider myself a native of Palm Springs. After my two month stay at the Sunbeam, I moved to 535 W Via Escuela.

Posted by: Ulf Kjell Gür at Mar 29, 2010 11:35:37 PM

... I wonder if the current owners know its history as a film location?

Posted by: Jeff at Mar 29, 2010 11:01:32 PM

Great find Ron and good pics of the "now" proving it WAS the "then."

Posted by: Jeff at Mar 29, 2010 11:00:16 PM

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