The Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation announced that it will hold free Open House events at the theatre to display plans and renderings of the renovations to the historic building. The informal Open House events will take place every Tuesday from 7 – 8 pm March 21 through June 6 at the Theatre, located at 128 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. Foundation board members and other volunteers will greet attendees and answer questions about the project. The purpose of these free weekly events is to provide attendees with an opportunity to see firsthand the restoration plans for the iconic building as it enters its Next Act. Reservations are not necessary and the events are free and open to the public.
During the events, attendees will get a sneak peek at the exciting restoration plans created by Architectural Resources Group (ARG), the firm selected by the Foundation and the City of Palm Springs. Architectural Resources Group has completed a number of theater and other historic projects of similar scope including New Mission Theater in San Francisco and The Alameda Theater and has an Architectural Conservator on board who will be instrumental in the restoration of the Plaza Theatre.
“These open house events will provide an opportunity for anyone, especially those who have never had the chance to be inside the theatre before, to find out more about what it will take to bring this landmark back to its former glory,” said Foundation President J.R. Roberts. “As the theatre enters its final phase of fundraising, it is important for all community members to see what exciting plans we have in store. The valley needs venues like the Plaza Theatre that are accessible and affordable for everyone.”
When restored, the Plaza Theatre will be an affordable community venue showcasing diverse programming for all people, local youth organizations, promoting multicultural programming in film, music, live theater, education, comedy, and entertainment for all. It will also support and serve nonprofit organizations like the Palm Springs International Film Festival, ONE-PS, Modernism Week, and many others.
The Foundation board formed in response to a $5 million challenge grant from David Lee to support the restoration effort. Along with other smaller donations, an anonymous donor pledged $2 million. Recently, the foundation board secured an additional $2 million from the City of Palm Springs, $2.5 million from the State of California, and $1 million in matching funds from Oak View Group (OVG), the owners and operators of Acrisure Arena. Designer Trina Turk donated $200,000 to the OVG matching funds challenge. The fundraising goal for the project is $16 million needed to restore the building to its original splendor and update it to meet the access, technology, and equity needs of today and tomorrow.
Originally built in 1936, the building was used for film premieres and screenings, nationally broadcast radio theatre programs, and other performances. In its later years, the theater was home to the long-running “The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.” Over the decades, the building has deteriorated, so the City of Palm Springs initiated a capital campaign to restore the beloved structure to its former glory.
The comprehensive restoration and rehabilitation plan will provide essential infrastructure repairs, installation of new theatrical equipment, and structural improvements to ensure that the building meets today’s fire prevention and American Disabilities Act mandates. This historic theatre has played an impressive role in Palm Springs much like the Radio City Music Hall has in New York. When the restoration is complete, the Plaza Theatre will be poised to continue to provide the city and its visitors with top-notch entertainment for years to come.
There are many ways in which the public may play a significant role in the Plaza Theatre restoration, including becoming a Founder, securing a Naming Opportunity for seats or other areas of the building, or making a general donation. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information or to make a donation contact Foundation President J.R. Roberts at 415-297-9309 or visit SaveThePlazaTheatrePS.org.