The historic Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs received a $2 million pledge toward its ongoing efforts to fundraise for much-needed renovations but is still in need of further donations.

The $2 million contribution came from an anonymous donor and satisfies the matching challenge that was part of a previous $5 million donation received from acclaimed television producer David Lee, according to Bob Bogard, a spokesman for the Plaza Theatre Foundation spokesman.

However, the anonymous donor’s contribution was accompanied by a new matching challenge: a request to the city of Palm Springs to pledge $2 million toward the renovation fund.

“We are absolutely thrilled that this new donor has joined David Lee, our Plaza Theatre Foundation Founders and all the other people who have donated to this important preservation project,” said Foundation Chairman J.R. Roberts in a news release. “This donation challenges the city of Palm Springs to match this pledge and help us get closer to our fundraising goal.”

The city owns the iconic theatre, which opened in 1936 in the heart of downtown Palm Springs and has fallen into disrepair. Approximately $10 million to $12 million are needed to restore and bring it up to current code, including essential infrastructure repairs, installation of new theatrical equipment and structural improvements to ensure that the building meets fire prevention and American Disabilities Act mandates, said Bogard.

Over the years, the theatre has been the venue for memorable performances by entertainment giants such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny and Bob Hope. It also hosted a number of motion picture world premieres, including “My Fair Lady” and “The Music Man.”

To make a donation to support the theatre’s preservation and restoration, contact Roberts at 760-218-6330 or go to

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