Plaza Theatre

128 S. Palm Canyon Drive,
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Plaza Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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!" It was closed in May 2014.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

trooperboots
trooperboots on January 2, 2005 at 1:37 am

This is an incredible 3 hour vaudeville style show. I understand it is one of the very few vaudeville shows still being performed in the United States and successfully so. The show includes the showgirls, but also song and dance numbers, a puppeteer, a juggler and infamous announcer and stage comedian “Riff Markowitz”, who created the show. The performers are all over 50, but the show is highly energetic, glamourus, lavish and completely professional. They screen movie clips and trailers from the 1930s for the half hour before the show begins to put the audience in the proper retro mood for the show.

trooperboots
trooperboots on January 25, 2005 at 6:11 am

I found out Jack Benny used to do radio broadcasts from the stage of the Plaza.

Patsy
Patsy on January 9, 2007 at 1:16 am

I have friends who are in Palm Springs now and hopefully they’ll go see a show there. Also would like to see a photo of this theatre that featured Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Frank Sinatra.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 16, 2007 at 12:25 am

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 11, 2014 at 12:01 am

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
LuisV on March 15, 2014 at 4:02 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.

LuisV
LuisV on September 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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.

LuisV
LuisV on December 24, 2015 at 2:25 am

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.

sundawg1976
sundawg1976 on July 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

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!

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