City of Santa MonicaCity of Santa Monica
Text Size:  

Cultural Programs, Events & Tours 



Marion Davies Guest House

The site upon which the Beach House now sits was originally developed during the 1920s by William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies. The Davies estate, designed by architect Julia Morgan, featured a mansion of 100-plus rooms, three guest houses and an ornate marble swimming pool. Learn more about the Beach House history on a tour of the last remaining Guest House with a Santa Monica Conservancy docent.

Summer Tours: 

  • Open Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun, 11am-2pm
  • Tours begin at 11am, 12pm & 1pm and are limited to 15 guests.  
  • Open Tuesday evenings, prior to Beach=Culture events, 5-6:30pm
  • Closed Thursday
  • Tours are free and last approximately 30 minutes.
  • No reservations are required.   

Group Tours:
Organized group tours may be available on select Thursdays during the summer season and accommodate 30-45 people.  Please email for a Guest House group tour application.





Beach=Culture is an ongoing series of free concerts, talks, readings, and exhibits. Reservations are required. Beach=Culture Details & Reservations >     


Style Stories with Kimberly Truhler - Audrey Hepburn 
Tuesday, July 21, 6:30-8:00pm  

Audrey HepburnFilm historian Kimberly Truhler delivers a fascinating glimpse into the history of film fashion, focusing on stars and their sartorial iconography.This is the last of a four-part series that compares two films from different times in the careers of legendary actresses — past stars included Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson, and Joan Crawford. Truhler selects films for each star that feature the work of a different costume designer. Some demonstrate a continuity of style while others show dramatic changes; each offer insights into the lives of these stars and their evolution as actresses as well as their continuing influence as style icons.
RSVP >   

Dance Hall: Jessica Fichot Shanghai Jazz  
Tuesday, July 28, 6:00-8:30pm  

Jessica FichotJessica Fichot and friends play danceable selections from her new album Dear Shanghai as well as some older favorites, with short ballroom dance lessons - in fox trot, tango, one-step and more by James Zimmer and Cynthia Harper. Wear your dancing shoes - 20s-40s clothing optional! 
Los Angeles-based chanteuse/songwriter Jessica Fichot is a lot like her hometown of Paris: French at heart, but with a soul that's truly international. Drawing from her multi-ethnic French / Chinese / American upbringing, her music fuses styles and languages, taking the listener on a twisting journey out of the French chanson tradition, into the lands of gypsy jazz, Chinese 1940's swing, international folk, and into the wilderness of her imagination.



Red Hen Press Reading: Ron Koertge, Anna Journey, Gregory Donovan, David St. John , moderated by Kate Gale
Tuesday, August 4, 6:30-8:00pm  

Red Hen PressRon Koertge was published widely in the ’60s and ’70s in such seminal magazines as Kayak and Poetry Now. The darling of independent presses, Sumac Press issued The Father Poems in 1973, and that book was followed by many more, including poetry, prose, novels-in-verse, and fiction for teenagers. His most recent book, Sex World, was released in Fall 2014 from Red Hen Press.

Anna Journey is the author of the poetry collections Vulgar Remedies (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), which was selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Gregory Donovan is the author of Torn from the Sun (Red Hen Press, Spring 2015) and of Calling His Children Home (University of Missouri Press, 1993), which won the Devins Award for Poetry. His poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, diode, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, TriQuarterly, and many other journals, as well as in a number of anthologies.

David St. John has been honored, over the course of his career, with many prizes, including both the Rome Fellowship and the Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters; the O. B. Hardison Prize (a career award for teaching and poetic achievement) from the Folger Shakespeare Library; and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the author of eleven collections of poetry, most recently, The Auroras, and The Window, as well as a volume of essays, interviews and reviews entitled Where the Angels Come Toward Us. St. John has written two libretti: an opera The Face by Donald Crockett, based on his book, and the choral symphony The Shore by Frank Ticheli. St. John is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at USC.

Kate Gale is Managing Editor of Red Hen Press and Editor of the Los Angeles Review. She is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Echo Light (Red Mountain Press, 2014) and The Goldilocks Zone (The University of New Mexico Press, 2014), and six librettos including Rio de Sangre, a libretto for an opera with composer Don Davis, which had its world premiere in October 2010 at the Florentine Opera, Milwaukee.