Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings

by Gary M. Kramer

This article shared 5756 times since Wed Apr 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Need a touch of Hollywood elegance for your wedding? For couples willing to travel to fabulous Palm Springs, Villa Loretta, a property actress Loretta Young owned from 1993 until her death in Los Angeles in 2000, is a classy retreat for a destination wedding or a honeymoon getaway.

Villa Loretta, a 37,000-square-foot gated estate, is now available for parties and stays. The stylish property, which sits on a quarter-acre, features a chef's galley kitchen, a Travertine floor living room with a domed 14-foot ceiling, a cozy fireplace, and grand piano. The back yard has a saltwater pool, a Jacuzzi, and a stunning view of the mountains.

Windy City Times spoke with owner/proprietor Chris Bannett about Villa Loretta via Skype, and got a virtual tour of the property. Bannett, an Illinois native ( and California transplant ) also co-created "Everybody Has the Right" a pro-Marriage Equality anthem, that is also suitable for same-sex weddings.

Windy City Times: How did you find Villa Loretta?

Chris Bennett: I discovered this place in Palm Springs in December 2013. During the season [November-April], about 500,000 people live here, and over the last twenty years, the gay population has grown. Finding Villa Loretta was one of those serendipitous moments. My divorce was final. I sold my property and I started looking for a place in Los Angeles. My angels said go to Palm Springs. I saw this house—I had to see it anyway—and I walked in and it felt like "home."

It has never been open to the public before, so as an entertainer, I'm going to use it for concerts, or rentals. This is a glamorous Hollywood movie star home, not country club. It has complete privacy and it's paradise here.

WCT: You are a singer/performer. What prompted you to create a gay-marriage anthem?

Chris Bennett: I've been in the entertainment business forever. When the first George Bush tried to pass a constitutional amendment [against marriage equality], my friend Michael Thurber, who was an advocate for marriage equality, talked about doing a song. I happened to be in the room, and my songwriting partner and I came up with "Everybody Has a Right."

We like to write anthems for causes. I was interested in gay marriage—because I performed for gay audience and have many gay best friends. Marriage is a civil right—if you can't visit your partner in the hospital that's not right. It's ignorance and fear that people don't get that. Everyone has the right, as the song goes. The new generation wonders, "What's the big deal?" So I'm happy marriage equality going to eventually happen nationwide.

WCT: What plans do you have for couples that want to get married at Villa Loretta?

Chris Bennett: Palm Springs is a great gay wedding destination. If you are in cold, snowy, Chicago—a wedding in Palm Springs sounds good, doesn't it? [Laughs] I'm connected through my friends here to help couples navigate arrangements for florists and music, etc. to help folks find what they need. And I'll work with them up with a budget. Villa Loretta can accommodate sit down dinners for 100 or mingle parties for 250.

WCT: As a musician, you must prefer a band over a DJ. What are your thoughts on wedding music?

Chris Bennett: I'm old-school. There is nothing like live music; it's my personal preference. Some folks don't want a big band or a jazz combo or a string orchestra. There are some good, talented musicians out here. But a great DJ can do that too. The house is equipped throughout with a Bang and Olufsen system.

WCT: Villa Loretta also sounds like a good honeymoon destination, even if couples decide to tie the knot elsewhere.

Chris Bennett: It's an exotic house. You can rent it and cook, or get concierge services—a chef, masseuse, yoga teacher—whatever you want. There are palm trees, sun, a warm saltwater pool, and a Jacuzzi. When the master bath was remodeled, they put in a waterfall and outdoor shower. It can be clothing optional!

WCT: What gossip can you provide about Loretta Young?

Chris Bennett: She had a few happy years here. Her early scandal was having Clark Gable's child, Judy Lewis [Gable]. She never made that public, and went to great lengths to hide it, but she confessed this to her [daughter]. Loretta went through Catholic guilt over that. She once said, "Exercise for her was not swimming in the pool, but walking across her living room." The previous owners left me all the old photos, so there are still images of her hanging in the media room. I should have a Loretta party, and have ladies dress up in flowing gowns and the men come as Clark Gable!

Interested in Villa Loretta? Contact Chris Bannett at 310-869-3465 or visit for calendars and rates.

©2014 Gary M. Kramer

This article shared 5756 times since Wed Apr 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Women & Children First marks its 45th anniversary
By Tatiana Walk-Morris - It has been about 45 years since Ann Christophersen and Linda Bubon co-founded the Women & Children First bookstore in 1979. In its early days, the two were earning their English degrees at the University of ...

Gay News

Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison announces inaugural Cook County LGBTQ+ Youth Art Competition
--From a press release - Schaumburg, Ill. — April 9, 2024 — Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison recently announced the firs ever LGBTQ+ Youth Art Competition. The competition's theme is "Pride is Power!" and will set the ton for Pride celebrations ...

Gay News

WORLD Lesbian sniper, HIV research, marriage items, Chinese singer, Korean festival
A lesbian Ukrainian sniper and her machine-gun-toting girlfriend are taking the fight to Russia President Vladimir Putin, according to a Daily Beast article. Olga—a veterinarian-turned-soldier—said her comrades don't care about ...

Gay News

Late transgender activist Elise Malary receives street dedication in Andersonville
Elise Malary, the late transgender activist who died in March 2022, was a born-and-raised Andersonville local who co-founded the neighborhood-based Chicago Therapy Collective (CTC). Now her memory is a permanent ...

Gay News

Thailand parliament passes landmark marriage bill
On March 27, Thailand's parliament approved a marriage-equality bill by an overwhelmingly large margin—a landmark step that moves one of Asia's most liberal countries closer to legalizing same-sex unions, media ...

Gay News

After 30 Under 30: MAP Executive Director Naomi Goldberg
NOTE: In this series, Windy City Times will profile some of its past 30 Under 30 honorees. Windy City Times started its 30 Under 30 Awards in 2001, presenting them each year through 2019. This year, ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Va. marriage bill, AARP, online counseling, Idaho items, late activist
Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed bills protecting same-sex marriages at a state level, surprising some, WRIC reported. The bills—passed out of both chambers along mostly party lines—will require clerks ...

Gay News

Greek legislature approves marriage equality
Greece has become the 36th country, and the first Christian Orthodox-majority one, to legalize same-sex marriage. The BBC reported that same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after the 176-76 vote that ...

Gay News

Tenn. legislators back bill that lets officials refuse to perform same-sex weddings
Defying a national ruling that authorized marriage equality, Tennessee lawmakers approved a measure that would allow public officials to refuse to perform weddings of same-sex couples, The Hill reported. Tennessee's House Bill 878/Senate Bill 596 says ...

Gay News

Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees
Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees On Feb. 10, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its 2024 class. According to NPR, two-thirds of the artists on the list for "rock's highest ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Greece, UK politics, cruise death, HRC grants
The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece unanimously agreed at a recent meeting that it is "strongly opposed" to the Greek government's promised bill on same-sex marriage and adoption, Balkan Insight reported. The conservative New ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage news, fighting fentanyl, anti-LGBTQ+ crimes, Grindr
The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would affirm marriage equality in the state, The Washington Blade noted. House Bill 174, introduced by state Del. Rozia Henson (D-Prince William County), passed in the Democratic-controlled ...

Gay News

Windy City Times seeks nominations for 30 Under 30 Awards
Windy City Times news release - CHICAGO—After a four-year hiatus, Windy City Times has revived its 30 Under 30 Awards. Windy City Times is seeking to recognize 30 more outstanding LGBTQ+ individuals (and allies). Nominees should be 30 years or younger as ...

Gay News

OSCARS Gladstone, Domingo receive nominations
LGBTQ+ actors Lily Gladstone and Colman Domingo were among those receiving Oscar nominations when they were announced Jan. 23. Gladstone received a Best Actress nod for her role in the Martin Scorsese-directed Killers of the Flower ...

Gay News

WORLD Activist honored, marriages in Estonia, Madrid law, trans sports item
Video below - The National AIDS Commission (NAC) recently honored Caleb Orozco—a leading figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Belize—for his instrumental contributions to the national HIV response, BNN reported. According ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.