In November 1961, Elvis Presley went on location for three weeks in Idyllwild, California to film Kid Galahad. Many filming locations are still recognizable from the movie including the Lodge where the bulk of the filming took place and the surrounding area.
Idyllwild is a mountain community located about 2 hours from Los Angeles up in the San Jacinto Mountains. The town is an hour drive down to the desert communities near Palm Springs. The Idyllwild Historical Society features a permanent exhibit about Elvis Presley filming Kid Galahad with rare photos.
When driving up the mountain on Highway 74 through Garner Valley, you’ll recognize the greenery of pine trees that Elvis rode through during the opening song of the movie, “King of the Whole Wide World”.
Once you get to town, you’ll see that the garage that Presley’s character saw when he got off the truck.
Elvis trained for the boxing scenes with former world welterweight champion Mushy Callahan. One of Presley’s co-stars in the film was actor Charles Bronson. This photo of Elvis on a motorcyle was taken during filming.
Many of the scenes in Kid Galahad were filmed inside, outside and around the Hidden Lodge on Glen Road in Idyllwild.
The Hidden Lodge was built in the 1940s and originally had 40 acres and a swimming pool. While the lodge remained, over the years the rest of the property was divided into single family homes, according to an article in Palm Springs Life magazine.
The Lodge has been renovated over the years. It sleeps 20 people, and in 2016, it was put up for sale for $749,000.
To the side of the Lodge, someone carved “Elvis Was Here” in the sidewalk. Could it have been Elvis??
Elvis and the cast filmed the musical segment for “This is Living” on the porch of the Hidden Lodge.
After a few weeks of filming, a snowstorm hit Idyllwild, causing filming to be moved back to Hollywood on November 21. Principal photography finished on December 20 and the film was released in August 1962.
After filming, Elvis and the Colonel thanked the town of Idyllwild by placing a thank you message in the local paper, the Idyllwild Town Crier. It’s on display at the Idyllwild Historical Society.
The Historical Society also provides a free self-guided tour that lists the Kid Galahad locations for tourists. Many Elvis fans venture up the mountain to discover this scenic spot of Elvis history.
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