Plaza Theatre

128 South Palm Canyon Drive,
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Plaza Theatre

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The Plaza Theatre opened in December 1936 with Greta Garbo in “Camille”.

Through the years it has played host to Bob Hope’s and Jack Benny’s radio show. Other performers, including Frank Sinatra, have given live performances here.

Since 1991, it has been home to “The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies”, a vaudeville-style showcase of music and dance from the 1930’s to 1960’s, featuring famous guest stars. Regular talent, including locals, are billed as "Our lengendary line of long-legged lovelies…all 54-84 years young!"

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2007 at 7:25 pm

The Plaza was part of the Earle C. Strebe chain in the early seventies, along with the Palm Springs Theater and the Ramon Drive-In in Palm Springs. Strebe also ran theaters in Big Bear Lake, Crestline and Lake Arrowhead at that time.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 2, 2008 at 12:01 pm

In November, 1953, the Plaza Theatre participated in one of the first trials of pay-as-you-see TV in the United States. Seventy-five homes in the Palm Springs area were connected to a coaxial cable system operated by the Telemter subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. A TV set in each home had a cashbox attached in which viewers deposited coins to “unscramble” a new movie playing simultaneously at the Plaza Theatre. The experiment started with Paramount’s “Forever Female.” I don’t know how long the trial lasted, or its outcome, but I doubt that it proved successful. In those days, of course, home TV was only in B&W, so color movies would turn up in monochrome on the Telemeter system.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 2, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Sorry! I made a typing error in the first mention of the Paramount subsidiary. It was Telemeter (not Telemter).

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 31, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I wasn’t in charge of California Theaters. That was someone else’s task.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 13, 2009 at 11:01 am

This plaque gives the opening of the Plaza as December of 1936.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm

In late 1977, Metropolitan Theatres twinned the Village and Plaza Theatres in Palm Springs. The January 2, 1978, issue of Boxoffie ran a brief article with a drawing of one of the the Plaza’s twin auditoriums, prepared by the Filbert Company, the theater supply outfit that handled the alterations.

The partition dividing the old auditorium featured decorations matching those on the original side walls so that the theater’s Spanish atmospheric style could be retained. Unlike many twinnings, the Plaza’s also included reconfigured seating to maintain good sight lines. The Plaza and Village Theatres both reopened shortly before Christmas, 1977.

LuisV on March 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Going to see the Follies Show tonight! The show is closing in May. I will try to find out what is in store for this landmark theatre and report back.

OCRon on March 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I saw the show last year. Sorry to see it go. Riff Markowitz is a fantastic emcee as well as producer. He kept the show fresh and current. The local cast was as good as any Broadway production.

Jackie Autry was in the audience the night I was there.

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