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Set Designs Take Center Stage in the Return of Sunnylands’ Films in the Gardens Movie Series

As the warmth of spring envelops the desert landscape, the enchanting allure of outdoor cinema returns to Sunnylands Center & Gardens with the revival of the beloved Films in the Gardens series. This May, movie aficionados are in for a treat as the screenings shine a spotlight on films distinguished by their captivating set designs. Drawing inspiration from the current exhibition, “Variations to a Theme: William Haines at Sunnylands,” the selection promises a visual feast of color, texture, and scale.

Set against the backdrop of Sunnylands’ lush gardens, each Friday evening in May will feature a cinematic gem renowned for its imaginative world-building:

May 3 at 7:30 pm—Barbie (2023): Transporting audiences into the vibrant realm of Barbie Land, this modern-day fable follows the adventures of Barbie and Ken as they navigate the challenges of the human world. With its kaleidoscopic visuals and whimsical charm, “Barbie” promises a delightful escape for viewers of all ages.

May 10 at 7:30 pm—La La Land (2016): Amidst the glittering skyline of Los Angeles, “La La Land” unfolds the romance between a jazz musician and an aspiring actress, capturing the city’s pulsating energy through its spellbinding set pieces. From sun-kissed boulevards to dimly lit jazz clubs, director Damien Chazelle’s ode to Tinseltown is a symphony of sight and sound.

May 17 at 7:30 pm—Chicago (2002): Set against the backdrop of the roaring twenties, “Chicago” plunges viewers into a world of glamour, intrigue, and betrayal. As two femme fatales vie for fame and fortune amidst the glitzy backdrop of the Windy City, the film’s opulent set designs serve as a fitting canvas for its larger-than-life characters and their Machiavellian machinations.

Gates to Sunnylands will open at 6 p.m., welcoming moviegoers to stake their claim on a prime spot beneath the stars. While reservations are not mandatory, organizers encourage attendees to carpool to minimize traffic congestion. Guests are advised to bring their own seating and refreshments, as food and beverages will not be provided on-site. Additionally, the event upholds a policy prohibiting large coolers, alcohol, smoking, and pets.

However, nature’s whims may occasionally intervene, and films may be canceled in the event of inclement weather. Patrons are advised to keep an eye on weather forecasts and Sunnylands’ official channels for any updates.

A collaborative effort between Sunnylands Center & Gardens and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Films in the Gardens promises an unforgettable cinematic experience amidst the serene beauty of Rancho Mirage. Located at 37977 Bob Hope Drive, Sunnylands Center & Gardens stands as a testament to the Annenberg Foundation Trust’s commitment to fostering dialogue and cultural exchange.

As the curtain rises on another season of outdoor cinema, let the enchanting vistas of Sunnylands transport you to worlds both familiar and fantastical, where the magic of the silver screen meets the splendor of the desert landscape.

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