PALM SPRINGS — The famed historic Plaza Theatre in downtown Palm Springs, which once housed The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, has fallen into a state of disrepair and is in need of a significant renovation.

To held guide the future of classic structure, the city of Palm Springs will hold special Community Forum on Saturday, Jan. 26, providing residents and interested parties with an opportunity to get inside and experience a rare view of this iconic gem.

The Community Forum will be held at 10:30 a.m. and will be hosted by the City Council Plaza Theatre Restoration Subcommittee, comprised of Mayor Robert Moon and Councilmember J.R. Roberts.

The Plaza Theatre, located at 128 South Palm Canyon Drive, was once the site of the star-studded, 1936 world-premiere of the Greta Garbo film, “Camille.”

The goal of the forum is to solicit input from the community about the proposed theatre restoration and suggestions about how to finance and fundraise for this project.

The Theatre was built in 1936 and designed by local architect Harry Williams, just prior to the world-premiere of “Camille.” Williams is also known as the father of renowned Palm Springs architect E. Stewart Williams.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to bring innovative ideas about how the city can once again make the historic Plaza Theatre a vibrant part of downtown Palm Springs.

From 1990 through 2014 the theatre housed The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies which was featured on ABC‘s 20/20The Today Show, the New York TimesNPR and other media since its founding.

It was December 12, 1936 that the historic Plaza Theatre opened with the Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor premiere Camille. The theatre’s owner at the time, Earle C. Strebe, sold the very first ticket to Annette Freeman.
The Plaza Theatre became one of Palm Springs’ most high-profile showpieces. The Theatre became a venue for a number of world premieres, including the musicals My Fair Lady and Music Man. The Plaza was a popular theater during the 1940s for famous stars to do their broadcasting. Jack Benny, Bob Hope, and Amos ‘n’ Andy all did radio shows from the Plaza, bringing national attention to Palm Springs.

Free popcorn and refreshments will be available in the lobby.

Image Sources

  • Plaza Theatre: City of Palm Springs