Community members are hoping the show will go on at a much-loved entertainment venue in South Palm Springs. But first, they’re in need of some help.
An online fund-raiser has so far raised more than $90,000 of the $240,000 organizers say they need in order for The Purple Room to once again open its doors. The venue was forced to close more than a year ago due to COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining, financially devastating owner Michael Holmes.
“For many of us, live music is not only an important touchstone, it is a necessity,” wrote Sue Cameron, a veteran Hollywood reporter organizing the fund-raiser. “It is the center around which we meet, where we share our deep emotions of joy and sorrow, as well as loss and connection with each other in a profound way. … We are in danger of losing this great community asset.”
So far, more than 370 donors have stepped up to help. Without additional support, however, more than 30 staff and a dozen musicians are in danger of never performing again at the club located inside the Club Trinidad Hotel.
“The number of venues throughout the country has waned dramatically over the past year, with many classic clubs having closed forever,” Cameron wrote. “… Michael is a very independent person who believes hard work and dedication will reap its own rewards. Unfortunately, he is financially devastated and not sure how he can continue.”
Originally opened in 1960, The Purple Room has seen a regular rotation of famous and beloved entertainers grace its stage, including Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin in the 1960s. Holmes, who labored eight years to restore the venue to the elegance of that era, also takes the stage as Judy Garland during a 90-minute parody show one day a week.
“This is a place that bridges the Palm Springs of yesteryear with the Palm Springs of today, and tomorrow,” wrote one contributor. “It must be saved.”
Added another: “One of the few remaining ‘Old Palm Springs’ locations. Cliché as it may sound, you do feel like you are stepping back in time when you enter the doors. Let’s save this gem from the COVID dumpster fire.”
For more information and to donate, see the fundraiser here.
Support news for locals, by locals
The Palm Springs Post is a free community service, and we plan to keep it that way. We depend on readers like you to spread the word about our independent journalism efforts in the city and would truly appreciate you telling your friends, family, and neighbors about what we’re doing. And if you’re feeling generous …
Mystery rock: Residents in one neighborhood perplexed by the sudden appearance of a large rock in the middle of Victoria Park may not have to wait long for an answer to the mystery. While guesses on Facebook as to who placed the rock (alien visitors), how it got there (an asteroid fragment dropped from the sky), and why it appeared (a Death Valley “sailing stone” lost its way) ran wild, the real answer is much simpler: A neighbor in the know says a plaque will soon be installed on top of the rock and that it will be placed near a desert willow tree donated by Racquet Club Estates Neighborhood Organization in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22.
More CalFresh coming: The state is expected to issue a new round of emergency CalFresh benefits on Sunday at-risk households, including many in Palm Springs. Also known as the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program helps low-income and working-class households purchase nutritious food and provides free school meals for qualified children. To find out if you qualify, apply at the program’s website or call 877-410-8827.
Book club: Friends of the Palm Springs Library holds its monthly meeting via Zoom at 2 PM. To participate, please contact David Kelly by email — [email protected] — to get the Zoom meeting ID and password. This month the group will discuss “Ramona” by Helen Hunt Jackson.
Waste and shredding: City residents are invited to dispose of unwanted electronics and to shred any unwanted documents at City Hall, 3200 Tahquitz Canyon Way, from 8 AM-12 PM. Note that any information stored on hard drives or cell phones will be destroyed during the processing. Also, you are limited to three normal size file containers of shredding per vehicle. The size of the containers should be no larger than 9” X 13” X 17”
Bulky items accepted: Palm Springs Disposal Services is hosting a free bulky items collection event from 8 AM-2 PM in the north parking lot of City Hall, 3200 E Tahquitz Canyon Way. There is no limit to the amount of waste or bulky items you can bring to the site. Hazardous waste will not be accepted, nor will waste from commercial establishments. An event flyer in both English and Spanish can be found here.
Community clean-up: Residents of the Desert Highlands Gateway Estates community are invited to dump trash, electronics and green waste at large dumpsters at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center starting at 8 AM. At the nearby Eastgate and Gateway intersection there will also be smaller dumpsters for trash only. For additional information, you can call 760-831-5824.
Gun “buyback:” A no questions asked “gun buyback event” is planned from 10 AM until 4 PM at 200 S. Civic Drive. There is no limit to the number of firearms that can be turned in anonymously by individuals. Those surrendering weapons will be given a $50 gift card for inoperable firearms, $100 in gift cards for handguns, $200 for shotguns and rifles, and $250 in gift cards for assault weapons (as classified in the State of California).
Flea Market: A flea market and food fest is held both Saturday and Sunday at 675 Crossley Rd., from 8 AM-3 or 4 PM Saturday and 11 AM-4 PM Sunday. Information can be found here.
Modernism: Modernism Week, including many in-person experiences, takes place through Sunday. Tickets for in-person events can be found here, although many are sold out.
Art Show: Desert X art installations are on display throughout the Coachella Valley, including several within the Palm Springs city limits. The free event runs through May 16. A map of the installations can be found here. Some require reservations to view.
Vaccines: Anyone 16 and older now qualifies for a vaccine in Riverside County. If you qualify, you can get one at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 North Avenida Caballeros, from 8 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday. Appointments can be reserved online at www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. No luck at the convention center? Find a list of community providers such as pharmacies here.