The Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation announced that it will be awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Palm Springs Historic Site Preservation Board (HSPB) at the upcoming annual Preservation Matters symposium on April 30. The prestigious award will be presented by Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner and Mayor Pro-Tem Jeffrey Bernstein in recognition of the Plaza Theatre Foundation’s ongoing efforts to raise funds and restore the iconic Plaza Theatre. Attendance at the event is free but reservations are required. Find out more information at

HSPB recently unanimously approved the full restoration and renovation plans that detailed how the historic 1936 theatre will be restored and renovated to prepare it for a new life as a vibrant cultural center in Downtown Palm Springs. The City of Palm Springs is now actively seeking bids from contractors to work on the renovation project, projected to start in early summer, 2023. When the restoration is completed, the Plaza Theatre will serve the community by hosting many kinds of events and productions and will be an exciting venue in downtown Palm Springs for live performances, film premieres, community and educational events, films, and much more. 

The Certificate of Recognition award recognizes an individual or group that has contributed to preservation efforts through an exemplary restoration or adaptive re-use project or demonstrated a high level of stewardship of a historic resource. The award has been presented annually since 2015 and previous recipients include Bank of America, The Royal Hawaiian Estates Homeowners Association, Hall J. Hall Construction and Cioffi Architects (adaptive reuse of the J.W. Robinson’s Department Store), Kelly & Lars Viklund, May Sung, and D.W. Johnston Construction (Reconstruction of La Serena Villas), Hugh Kaptur, Corey Alder / Nexus Development, and Susan Secoy-Jensen (restoration of Tahquitz Plaza), Bill Stewart and Joe Gyori (restoration of The Carl Haymond Residence), Richard and Debra Hovel (restoration of The Desert Star Apartments), Sidney Williams (adaptive reuse of the former Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan Building for the Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture & Design Center, Edwards-Harris Pavilion), Steven Keylon, and Ken Lyon.

The Plaza Theatre Foundation Board is in the process of raising funds for this restoration project. It is currently holding free Open House events at the theatre to display the plans and renderings. The informal Open House events will take place every Tuesday from 7 – 8 pm through June 6 at the Theatre, located at 128 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. 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. It is projected that the restoration work will take approximately one year to complete, allowing the Plaza Theatre to open in the summer of 2024.

“We are humbled and honored that the venerated Historic Site Preservation Board has chosen to award the theatre’s hard-working board with this prestigious honor,” said Foundation President J.R. Roberts. “We are grateful that the HSPB recognizes this vital restoration project. As we prepare to start the restoration, engagement and support by the community is even more crucial as we enter the homestretch of our fundraising outreach. We hope that this award inspires the community to learn more about our exciting project.”

“We are thrilled to value the efforts of the Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation board with this year’s Certificate of Recognition,” said Katherine Hough, Historic Site Preservation Board Chair. “Each year our board evaluates the restoration projects that protect the rich cultural and architectural significance of the City of Palm Springs. We were impressed by the dedication of the Plaza Theatre Foundation Board’s preservation and restoration efforts and are so pleased to recognize the significance of their work.”

The Plaza Theater Foundation has raised $14.1M towards their goal of $16M. They have launched “The Next Act” fundraising campaign to raise the remaining funds by this summer. 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. For more information visit The Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

 About the 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 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.