Alan Ladd’s Spanish Inn Gets New Owners

Times Staff Writer

Alan Ladd’s Spanish Inn, a Palm Springs landmark since it was built in 1939, has been sold.

In its early years, the inn, at 640 N. Indian Ave., was a favorite R&R; spot for such stars as Tyrone Power, Lana Turner, Jimmy Durante, Esther Williams and opera diva Amelita Galli-Curci. Howard Hughes even stayed there.

More recently, the inn attracted many of the Ladd family’s film industry friends.

The inn was built by David and Beulah Margolius to reflect their favorite city, Barcelona. It became Alan Ladd’s Spanish Inn when Sue Ladd, the star’s widow, bought it in 1972 and named it for her late husband.


Sue Ladd had worked as an actress under the name of Sue Carol before establishing her own talent agency, where she discovered her husband while he was acting on radio.

Alan Ladd died at 50 in 1964. Sue Ladd died at 72 in 1982.

New owners of the 34-room hotel, now known simply as The Spanish Inn, plan to give the place a face lift, adding a gym, poolroom and sauna. The poolside restaurant will be renovated and expanded.

The owners are Patricia Weinberg, founder of a multi-media art workshop in Pacific Palisades known as Art Alley, and Horst Schultz, a former insurance broker who once owned a 60-room hotel in his native Germany and is now an owner of a car-rental service in Los Angeles.

Weinberg and Schultz bought the celebrity watering hole from the Ladd family for just under $2 million. Tanya Krall of the Eli Birer office in Palm Springs represented the sellers, and Caroline Freitas of Great Western Real Estate of Palm Desert represented the buyers.

Speaking of Palm Springs, there will be a hearing Wednesday to decide whether or not Liberace’s home there can be turned into a museum. More on that later . . .

Hustler Magazine’s Larry Flynt lived there. So did Tony Curtis. And Sonny and Cher.

Not all at the same time, of course. Curtis was the first celebrity to own it--a Bel-Air house that just sold again, this time to Uri Sheinbaum, head of Calmark Properties, a developer of single-family homes, senior-citizen housing and commercial buildings. Sheinbaum also owns American Adventures Campgrounds.


Sheinbaum just moved into the house and plans to do some remodeling, though we hear he paid $4.7 million. “It’s one of those grand old houses,” he said, “built about 55 years ago.”

Flynt also remodeled. “Sonny was a tennis player, but Flynt (paralyzed from a gunshot wound), couldn’t play, so he put in a beautiful koi pond in place of the tennis court,” Sheinbaum said. Scheinbaum plans to keep the pond.

Flynt also installed gold-plated bathroom fixtures to match his gold-plated wheelchair and a heart-shaped bathtub to please his wife, Althea. She was found dead last June in a bathtub of another house where the Flynts moved after selling the Bel-Air mansion in August, 1986. Official cause of death: “drowning due to acute multiple drug intoxication and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.” Coroner’s spokesman Bill Gold said, “The totality of it all was we ruled it as an accidental death.”

The elaborate bathroom fixtures in the Bel-Air house are no longer there, Sheinbaum said, but the steel door that led to Flynt’s bedroom and the bullet-proof windows remain.

Margie Oswald of Merrill Lynch represented the buyer, and Jeff Hyland of Alvarez, Hyland & Young represented the former owner.

Newport Beach builder William Lyon, who earlier this month arranged to buy all of Pacific Lighting Corp.’s land development subsidiaries for a whopping $325 million, is building quite a home for himself, his wife and their 13-year-old son.


In construction for 2 1/2 years already, the colonial-looking home will have 20,000 square feet under roof, and we’ve been told that Lyon spent $250,000 on a stereo system and $50,000 on gold-plated wallpaper. Not only that, but he is building a 10,000-square-foot barn for his antique-car collection and another, smaller barn for his horses.

He already built two lakes at the entry of his 138-acre property at Coto de Caza, a 5,000-acre development of Arvida-JMB and Chevron Land in southeast Orange County.

Lyon decided to build there, we hear, because he wanted some elbow room. He has been living on the congested waterfront of Newport Bay.

There are only about 250 homes at Coto de Caza, and though 300 are being built, just 4,000 are planned there over the next 15 years.