Sure, New Year’s Eve is a pretty big deal. But come Jan. 3 in Palm Springs, cinema steals the spotlight.
Oscar hopefuls — including Glenn Close, Spike Lee, and Bradley Cooper — will swarm the convention center for the Film Awards Gala on opening night and set the city abuzz before you’ve even had a chance to break those resolutions.
Eleven days of screenings, panels, and cocktail parties follow (through Jan. 14). From primping for the paparazzi to decadent dining, we’ve got all the glam you’ll need to put together the ultimate Palm Springs International Film Festival experience.
Taste the Good Life
Swanky Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge hosts film fest after-parties — and an all-day happy hour — in the heart of the Uptown Design District. The restaurant opened in 2015 in a historic building that once housed the city’s first post office. White lacquered furniture and Louis XIV ghost chairs pair with fuschia accents and walls decked in celebrity portraits by photographer Michael Childers, resulting in a uniquely Palm Springs meets Hollywood aesthetic.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY EIGHT4NINE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge.
But this mod spot is more than a pretty face. Deliciously innovative dishes fill the menu, such as shoyu pork belly, charred octopus with chorizo and a fried egg, and classic fried chicken with pickled green tomatoes. Fuel up between films or people-watch with a cocktail, as the crowd here tends to be as attractive as the interior design.
Dress to Impress
Desert Hills Premium Outlets and Cabazon Outlets vend designer labels on a dime, and the outdoor mall is only 20 minutes from downtown Palm Springs. Gussy up in Gucci or rock Tom Ford for a fraction of the price. In Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District, The Frippery offers the crème de la crème of high-end vintage, and Soukie Modern at The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five houses colorful Moroccan-inspired clutches bound to make a desert-worthy statement.
When it comes to suits, Mares Menswear in Palm Desert and Art Lewin Bespoke in Palm Springs are your best bets. Mares stocks top-tier designers and provides custom fitting, personal shopping services, and delivery. As for Art Lewin Bespoke, it’s all in the name; come in with a concept and watch it materialize.
Catch the Flick
The films are plentiful, and they’re screening everywhere — from Annenberg Theater at Palm Springs Art Museum to Mary Pickford 14 in Cathedral City, there’s a venue in every pocket of Palm Springs and even beyond. Visit psfilmfest.org for a full list of venues, films, and ticketing information.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ANNENBERG THEATER
Screenings at the Annenberg Theater.
Get Some Rest
Throw a rock in Palm Springs (except, please don’t) and you’ll hit a gorgeous hotel. Parker Palm Springs, host of the annual Variety Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors to Watch brunch (Jan. 4), nails the star treatment. Home to Counter Reformation, one of the area’s chicest wine bars, and Palm Springs Yacht Club, among the most luxurious spas in town, this opulent hotel is a full-on triple threat.
Preen and Primp
Ready for your close-up? A quick stop at MAC Cosmetics in downtown Palm Springs (or Palm Desert) will leave you primed for the red carpet. Pick up some products, or let the professionals do their thing. If you want the works, try Blown El Paseo, Palm Desert’s newest blow-dry and makeup bar. Or dial the beauty magicians at Nancy Z Beauty; they’re on-call and bring the salon treatment to you.