Support Our Mission

Future Use

Our Progress


Make History!


The Plaza Theatre has an impressive role in the history of Palm Springs. The theatre’s iconic identity was established on its opening to the public in 1936 with the world premiere of the Oscar-winning George Cukor film, Camille, with its legendary star, Greta Garbo, who allegedly slipped into the back of the theatre after the lights went down. In addition to being a movie theatre, it was also the venue for nationally-broadcast radio theatre programs by such luminaries as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, and Amos ‘n’ Andy.

Over the decades, the building has deteriorated, and the Plaza Theatre Foundation has been established to raise funds in order to support the City of Palm Springs’ effort to fully restore the historic theatre.

Creating a one-of-a-kind community facility

Our goal is to prepare this one-of-a-kind community facility for its “Next Act” by replacing or restoring most systems, installing new seats, sound, and lighting, adapting the structure to meet current ADA requirements, and providing the theatre with modern facilities needed to provide Palm Springs and the Valley with a venue accessible and affordable for everyone. Exciting new developments include:

The Palm Springs Plaza Theatre restoration project is now underway. Woodcliff Construction of Los Angeles has been hired to oversee the comprehensive renovation of the historic building. The restoration work will take approximately one year to complete, allowing the Plaza Theatre to open in 2025.

The City of Palm Springs has asked the Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation to expand its mission beyond the restoration itself and to then operate the theatre once it is reopened. The Foundation is continuing to raise funds to support this renovation and also provide startup costs once it is completed. The Foundation has already raised approximately $15M but must raise at least $10M more to cover the construction costs and contingencies plus startup expenses.

The Plaza Theatre will once again become a major economic driver for the City, generating millions in economic activity by bringing hundreds of visitors and locals per week to the downtown to see quality entertainment. The Foundation has partnered with Oak View Group to bring diverse high-quality programming.

When restored, the Plaza Theatre will be the only place available for the entire community to come together and utilize it as 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, the Jessie O. James Desert Highland Unity Center, LGBTQ+ organizations, Arts groups, modernism-related events, our senior population, and many others.

We need your help

Please join us as we embark on this exciting future for the Plaza Theatre. The rebirth of this cultural icon cannot happen without your support!

For more information contact President and former Palm Springs City Council Member J.R. Roberts at or 760-218-6330.


“I strongly believe in the preservation of historic American theatres. I’ve been impressed with the planning that has already gone into the admirable restoration project for the Plaza Theatre and saw an opportunity for me to assist in this impressive campaign. I hope that my donation will spark interest in others who feel as strongly as I do about preserving our city’s past and creating a quality entertainment space for future generations.”

– David C. Lee

“The City of Palm Springs needs to restore one of its most iconic buildings – the Plaza Theatre. It’s been the heartbeat of Downtown Palm Springs. This historic building has played an impressive role in the history of Palm Springs and has showcased performers like Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and so many more. The Plaza, which first opened in 1936, is in danger and vitally needs your financial support. Join me in this exciting campaign to bring the Plaza back! The restoration cannot happen without you. The arts make life better!”

– Lily Tomlin