Sinatra at Sunnylands

Anyone who’s a fan of that singular sensation known under aliases such as Ol’ Blue Eyes, The Chairman of the Board, and The Voice—yes, I’m singing songbird Frank Sinatra’s praises—knows that the award-winning entertainer had strong ties to the Palm Springs Valley in general, and to Rancho Mirage in particular.

What many people may not know (or may simply have forgotten) is that Sinatra—who died at the age of 82 on May 14, 1998 in West Hollywood—would have turned 100 this December 12. In honor of this upcoming centennial, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands will host a series of free weekly outdoor showings of some of the Academy Award winner’s most celebrated films.

On Friday, September 25, Sunnylands will feature Ocean’s 11 (yes, the original), the 1960 classic about a gang of World War II vets who scheme to rob a quintet of Sin City casinos in one night. Dean Martin and Peter Lawford co-star.

On Friday, October 2, the spotlight will shine on High Society, the 1955 musical romcom in which Frank co-starred with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.

On Friday, October 9, the 1953 romance From Here to Eternity—the film for which Sinatra won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1954—will unspool.

As many of you dear readers realize, Frank was not only a close friend and neighbor of Walter and Leonore Annenberg but a frequent guest to their winter estate, Sunnylands. That’s where the man married his fourth wife, Barbara, in 1976.

This trio of movies—which is being presented in association with the Palm Springs International Film Festival—will be exhibited on the Great Lawn of the Sunnylands Center and Gardens. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:00 p.m. If you plan on attending, feel free to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and small picnics. But please leave alcohol and wine, cigarettes, large coolers, and pets at home. Oh, and carpooling is a good idea.

See you there…and that’s a wrap!

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