128 S. Palm Canyon Drive,
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Previously operated by: Metropolitan Theatres
Architects: Harry I. Schenck, Harry J. Williams
Firms: Schenck & Williams
Styles: Spanish Colonial
News About This Theater
- Jun 18, 2010 — "Jaws"... Happy 35th!
- May 14, 2010 — Please Post Today, May 14 --- "Jaws," Happy 35th
The Plaza Theatre opened in December 12, 1936 with the World Premiere of 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. On December 21, 1977 it was twinned.
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!" It was closed in May 2014.
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Recent comments (view all 14 comments)
Here is a photo.
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.
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.
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.
The status of this theater should be changed to CLOSED. The Palm Springs Follies, its longtime tenant, ended its run in May. As I understand it the theater is owned by the city and they plan to renovate it. Palm Springs is undergoing a renaissance and this theater could play a prominent role. I’ll report back as soon as I hear anything new. p.s. The theater is lovely! I enjoyed it very much.
It’s been 15 months since my last post and alas this theater is still CLOSED (though it shows as open on CT as of 12/23). The good thing is that the city owns the theater and it recognizes that this theater is a historic treasure. The bad thing is that it needs money for upgrades and the city doesn’t have it or won’t spend it. So far as I know it is not in danger of demolition.
Why, oh Why, can’t Palm Springs do anything but pander to tourists, casinos and unneeded hotels and stores? Come on – what has happened to all of you older residents and movie fans who can realize the need for preservation of film history? Yes, it will take some money to refurbish this beautiful old landmark theater (1936), but what better cause than to remember our beloved movie community who lived and played in Palm Springs? Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra and so many more who made those great old classics and were known to frequent this theater in it’s heyday? Please take a moment – send Mr. Robert Moon – our new Mayor – a quick note asking to PLEASE preserve this beautiful old landmark before someone decides to tear it down to put in another tee shirt shop, hotel or god knows what in it’s place. I do love the Camelot Theater, but nothing is classier than having a restored theater right downtown – not only for the 2 week film festival every year, but for those of us paying HIGH TAXES to live in Palm Springs? I wish some of our current stars (Lily Tomlin, Suzanne Sommers, Barry Manilow, etc.) could lead the fight for film preservation for the next generation. Look to the old Stanford Theater in Palo Alto for direction and class. What an amazing place! Why can’t we have a landmark? We have lots of modernism, but we really need some piece of history to endure in Palm Springs! Please forward this on to your friends and let’s make this happen before it’s too late!
First telemeter pay-tv broadcast:
Found on Newspapers.com
The 12th November 1949 edition of Boxoffice has an update on the theatre’s reopening at the time: “The Plaza Theatre has been reopened after major alterations. Included in the redecoration was the installation of a Cycloramic screen and new Voice of the Theatre speaker. The Village Theatre has been closed for similar remodeling”. Link here.
This reopened as a twin cinema on December 21st, 1977. Grand opening ads posted.