"Don't Worry Darling" Features This Famous House in Palm Springs

·6 min read
Photo credit: Slim Aarons - Getty Images
Photo credit: Slim Aarons - Getty Images


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Don’t Worry Darling is a required viewing for the star-studded cast (and the drama behind the making of the film) alone. But the film, directed by Olivia Wilde, is also a visual feast, offering a tour of some of the best midcentury architecture in Palm Springs and beyond. Not only does the psychological thriller showcase encapsulating exteriors, it even takes you onto the site of some locations that you can only glance at from a distance in reality. But make no mistake: There are plenty of places in the film that you can visit. To ensure you have the complete lowdown on every notable Don’t Worry Darling filming location (including details on how a few spots were chosen!), we spoke with the film's production designer Katie Byron. After reading up on all of the remarkable locations, you can start planning your trip.

The Kaufmann Desert House

Photo credit: Slim Aarons - Getty Images
Photo credit: Slim Aarons - Getty Images

Chances are you know the Kaufmann House. If not by name, you recognize it from famous photos including Slim Aarons’s iconic “Poolside Gossip” from 1970. The house—made of steel, glass, and Utah stone—was built in 1946 by architect Richard Neutra as a desert getaway for Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., a Pittsburgh department store owner and architecture connoisseur. In Don’t Worry Darling, the structure plays the home of the Victory Project’s leader Frank (Chris Pine) and his wife Shelly (Gemma Chan). “I never expected that we would get to shoot there,” Byron tells House Beautiful. “Though the infamous Slim Aarons photo hung in Olivia’s living room, Kaufmann House was originally in my head just as a reference for the material world build of Victory.”

Most of the interior sets were already designed by the time the team got word that they could shoot at the Kaufmann House. This was “a perfect situation given that in [the] film, Frank has designed all of these homes,” Bryon says. So it only makes sense the other homes in the community seem to be inspired by his.

Back in May of 2022, the Kaufmann House sold to “a European businessman who has a ‘deep and rich appreciation of Modernist architecture’” for a record $13.06 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. While you can’t peek inside of the home, the building’s exterior is a featured stop on practically every Palm Springs architectural tour.

Canyon View Estates

Photo credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Photo credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

While Frank’s home base is a grand mansion, the residents of Victory live in much more quaint but nevertheless picture-perfect abodes. The community of midsize condominiums is actually called Canyon View Estates, and it exists in Palm Springs’s south end. Developed by Roy Fey and built by architects Dan Palmer and William Krisel in the 1960s, the units sit in a park-like setting. Featuring geometric-patterned concrete blocks and floor-to-ceiling windows, the villa-style homes certainly embody idyllic suburban living. (FYI, if you’re super nosy and want to know what it’s like to actually live there, the community has a handful of juicy reviews on Yelp.)

Palm Springs Visitors Center

Originally built by Albert Frey as a gas station, the Palm Springs Visitors Center’s exterior was used in the film as the last stop in Victory. The historic landmark features a soaring triangular roof. Inside, visitors will find all of the information and assistance they need for where to stay, shop, dine, and explore throughout Palm Springs.

The Stuart

The ladies in Victory love to shop, and the boutique they do it in is actually the lobby of The Stuart at Sierra Madre Villa in Pasadena. The apartment complex’s 1950s-era atrium and common area fit so perfectly into the world of Don’t Worry Darling that it almost feels like they were specifically made for the film.

Cicada Restaurant and Lounge

The Cicada Club in downtown Los Angeles was the location for the Dollhouse, aka where Frank threw that big, formal party. The high ceilings and interior that's dimly lit by Art Deco geometric pendants and chandeliers will transport you to a Gatsby-era affair. The eatery offers Italian fare with a Californian twist, and you can buy tickets to dance parties, cabaret shows, and more.

The Palm Springs Art Museum

Photo credit: George Rose - Getty Images
Photo credit: George Rose - Getty Images

Speaking of the Dollhouse, the fictional location’s exterior is played by the Palm Springs Art Museum. In 1974, architect E. Stewart Williams was commissioned to design the main building of the museum. With an emphasis on the visual and performing arts, the museum is a must-see for visitors and locals alike.

La Quinta Resort & Club

Representing the Victory Clubhouse and the road into the center of town is La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California. The resort has everything from suites and villas that you can book to vacation rentals and even an on-site real estate team that specializes in resort properties and custom homes in La Quinta and Greater Palm Springs. Plus, it has all of the typical club luxuries including golf, a spa, gym, fitness center, and dining options.

The Hollywood Athletic Club

The Hollywood Athletic Club—which was as the location for the ballet studio—is currently available for exclusive events, film location bookings, and monthly office rentals. The club has been used in other features, shows, and music videos, including Million Dollar Baby, HBO’s Insecure, and Brittany Spears’s “Piece of Me” music video.

The Volcano House

Photo credit: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images - Getty Images

Situated on a summit of 150-foot cinder cone outside of the town of Newberry Springs, just beyond the Mojave Desert, this dome-shaped house was commissioned by draftsman Vard Wallace (who is also said to have patented the first skateboard) and built by architect Harold James Bissner Jr. in 1968, according to the Desert Sun. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home spans 2,206 square feet and boasts a 360-degree view of the mountains. The home was previously owned by television host Huell Howser, who eventually donated it to Chapman University in Orange, California. The home is reportedly back in private hands.

Photo credit: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images - Getty Images

Volcano House was originally proposed to Wilde and Byron by their legendary location manager Chris Baugh as an option for Frank’s house. The original idea for what the house is in the film was simply a tunnel into a mountain, “a dark two-lane road that would eventually lead to the lab where the men of Victory worked,” Byron says. “Volcano House was a sharp departure from the original idea, but a truly unique one. We decided to scout it and when we drove up the road and saw it appear on the horizon, we all knew it was the place.”

For the film, the art department lead by Erika Toth did some work on the house. “We built a staircase and decking inspired by 1950s googie/atomic design and mirrored all of the glass exterior,” Byrons says. The futuristic structure was certainly well-suited for the role it plays in the Don't Worry Darling universe.

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