plaza theatre restoration palm springs

Plaza Theater Restoration Efforts Receive Another Boost

An anonymous donor has pledged $2 million, and issues a challenge for the city of Palm Springs to match it.

Staff Report Arts & Entertainment, Current Digital, History

plaza theatre restoration palm springs

The Plaza Theatre restoration efforts recently received a $2 million boost from an anonymous donor following the $5 million donated by David Lee.

Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation president J.R. Roberts informed the Palm Springs City Council at its regular session April 7 that the historic theatre’s restoration project fundraising efforts received a new $2 million pledge of support.

This new donation satisfies the matching challenge that was part of the record $5 million donation recently received from acclaimed television producer David Lee. The donation includes a challenge of its own. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, issued a challenge to the City of Palm Springs to match this donation with a $2 million contribution. The city owns the historic theatre, which has fallen into disrepair and needs approximately $10-$12 million to restore it and bring it up to current code.

“We are absolutely thrilled that this new donor has joined David Lee, our Plaza Theatre Foundation Founders, and all the other people who have donated to this important preservation project,” said Roberts. “This donation challenges the City of Palm Springs to match this pledge and help us get closer to our fundraising goal.” 

The City of Palm Springs recently created a non-profit foundation that launched a campaign to raise capital to fully restore one of its most iconic buildings – the historic Plaza Theatre. 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 has 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.

For information on donations and the foundation, visit

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