Help Preserve History of Palm Springs Plaza Theatre

PALM SPRINGS — As word spread about a new museum component being added to Palm Springs Plaza Theatre, people began offering artifacts to be included.

The museum will display items that honor and celebrate the theatre’s rich history and impact on the city as well documenting early Palm Springs.

Wanted: Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Memorabilia

Palm Springs Follies Farewell

“As you can imagine there are lots of Follies artifacts people are offering for the museum, but we are really hoping to get things like programs, ticket stubs and photos form the early days of the theatre, Bob Bogard, Director of Public Relations for O’Bayley Communications, told Uken Report.

Surely, there will be memorabilia from the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.

For more than 22 years, 1991-2014, the variety show that showcased veteran performers who were all at least 55 years of age, attracted the masses many of whom arrived in tour busses.

The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies served as a magnet for downtown Palm Springs and most often played to sold-out crowds.

In 2005, Beverly Allen, at 87, was listed as “The World’s Oldest Still-Performing Showgirl,” according to the Guinness Book of Records. 

The show grabbed national headlines.

The Washington Post said, “The regular standing ovations suggest that this is the right stuff in the right place at the right time.” The Today Show reported, “Great legs, great stamina, great sense of humor! Dazzling.” Doing them one better was ABC’s Day One with Diane Sawyer and Forrest Sawyer, which gushed, “The sexiest, most stunning showgirls in the business.”

Ah, the memories.

Beyond the Follies, The Palm Springs 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.

Do you have any pieces of memorabilia from the Palm Springs Plaza Theatre you’d like to have considered for the museum?

If you have an item, please contact the curator Steven Keylon at srk1941@gmail.com.

Image Sources

  • Follies Bid Goodbye: Courtesy Palm Springs Life/Desert Publications Inc. an Follies Publicity photo
  • Palm Springs Plaza Theatre: O'Bayley Communications