Built in 1936, the Plaza Theatre was constructed as part of the Plaza Shopping Center. At first a movie venue, the theatre later became the longtime home of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, a vaudeville-like show that ran for 23 seasons before closing in 2014. Throughout its existence, the Plaza Theatre has served as the center of the city’s cultural life.
On December 8, 2020, PSPF sent a letter to the Palm Springs city manager asking that the city return PSPF’s $50,000 grant money for the restoration of the Plaza Theatre. When the grant was awarded to the city on June 6, 2019, the sole condition of the grant read as follows: “Should the city’s fundraising efforts prove insufficient for the restoration of the Plaza Theatre, PSPF requests the return of this grant money.” PSPF’s request for the grant return was made necessary by an anemic fundraising effort that had raised only $480,000 of the estimated $12,000,000 needed for the restoration. PSPF’s December 8, 2020 letter concluded by saying, “We still view the theater as vitally important to the community and will revisit this matter should the city’s future efforts indicate a viable commitment to the theatre’s restoration.” To read the letter click here.
In a July 22, 2020 email from Palm Springs city manager David Ready, PSPF was assured that, “We [the city] do plan on continuing the [Plaza Theatre] restoration project, and fundraising.”
On July 13, 2020, PSPF sent a letter to Palm Springs city manager David Ready asking that the city officially, “confirm, in writing, that fundraising efforts continue with the goal of the Plaza Theatre’s restoration, especially in view of the city’s current financial hardships.” To read the PSPF letter click here.
On June 6, 2019, in a ceremony in front of the downtown Plaza Theatre, PSPF president Gary Johns presented a check for $50,000 to the city of Palm Springs to “kick off” the city’s fundraising efforts to restore the theater. To read the PSPF letter to the Palm Springs city manager that accompanied the grant check click here.
On May 6, 2019 the PSPF board of directors voted to grant $50,000 to the city of Palm Springs towards the restoration of Palm Springs’ historic Plaza Theatre.
The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation board of directors views the restoration of the Plaza Theatre as vitally important to the Palm Springs community as well as an opportunity to make a statement about the importance of historic preservation to the future of the city.
To view the Gensler firm’s presentation of the proposed restorations to the Plaza Theatre (prepared for the city of Palm Springs) click here.
IN THE MEDIA
July 21, 2021, Desert Sun (Plaza Theatre Restoration)
October 2019, Palm Springs Life (Plaza Theatre Restoration)
Fall 2019, Poolside Palm Springs (Plaza Theatre Restoration)
June 6, 2019, KESQ News Channel 3 (Plaza Theatre Restoration)
June 6, 2019, Desert Sun (Plaza Theatre Restoration)
June 4, 2019, KESQ News Channel 3 (Plaza Theatre Restoration)
June 4, 2019, City of Palm Springs News Release (Plaza Theatre Restoration)