The effort to restore the historic Plaza Theatre in Downtown Palm Springs has reached a milestone just as the city is committing to the next step.
The news: Backers of the restoration project say they have reached their $12 million fundraising goal, and now hope to raise an additional $4 million. On Thursday night, the city committed to hiring one of seven architectural firms that applied to guide the work.
- According to a staff report, Architectural Resources Group, which won the right to do the restoration design and construction administration, has completed a number of theater and other historic projects of similar scope.
- The design work, approved by the Palm Springs City Council during its regular meeting Thursday evening, is expected to take eight months and cost a little more than $1 million. It will be paid for out of the restoration fund.
Looking back: The theater, which opened in 1936, was the site of film premieres, national radio broadcasts, the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies until it closed in 2014.
- The building was in disrepair until Palm Springs began a restoration campaign in 2019. Fundraising was in its early stages when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, forcing activity to cease.
- Fundraising efforts reignited last year when television producer David Lee donated $5 million to the project, nearly half of what was needed.