$1 Million Gift from OVG to Kickstart Renovation of Historic Theatre While Encouraging Others to be a Part of the ‘Next Act’ of the Plaza Theatre
PALM SPRINGS, CA (March 3, 2023) – The Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation announced that Oak View Group (OVG), the owners and operators of Acrisure Arena, Southern California’s newest 11,000-capacity world-class venue in Greater Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the AHL’s 32nd franchise and the affiliate of the Seattle Kraken, have become a new community partner with the theatre and promised a contribution of $1 million in a matching grant toward the final phase of the fundraising campaign to restore the historic theatre. This donation challenges others to match this gift, helping to raise the remaining funds needed to achieve the theatre’s fundraising goal so that the restoration may soon begin. OVG presented the check to the Plaza Theatre Foundation during a special presentation.
“The Foundation is extremely grateful to Oak View Group for making this generous donation offer in this most critical phase of our fundraising campaign,” said Foundation President J.R. Roberts. “Oak View Group is internationally admired for their management of significant sporting, convention, arts, and entertainment venues and we are delighted to have this strong community partner join our family. We are especially thrilled to be working with Palm Springs resident and Oak View Group senior vice president John Bolton on this exciting collaboration.”
As the first employee of Acrisure Arena, Bolton was instrumental in launching the modern music and sports venue from its early planning to groundbreaking in June 2021 and to the arena’s highly successful landmark opening in December. Further solidifying OVG’s belief and investment in the future potential of the Palm Springs area as a major entertainment destination, Bolton will continue this commitment with reviving the Plaza Theatre for new generations in the Coachella Valley.
“I’m honored to transition the energy we used to make Acrisure Arena into the world-class venue it is today and be involved with the Plaza Theatre Foundation and their efforts to restore one of the most iconic venues in the Coachella Valley,” said Bolton. “To have Acrisure Arena and the Coachella Valley Firebirds adopt the Plaza Theatre as a core community fundraising project is such a tremendous development and exciting for everyone that is involved.”
The Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation has launched a capital campaign to fully restore the Plaza Theatre, one of the most iconic venues in Palm Springs. The Foundation board formed in 2021 in conjunction with a $5 million challenge grant from David Lee to support the restoration effort. Along with other smaller donations, an anonymous donor then pledged $2 million. Recently, the foundation board secured an additional $2 million from the City of Palm Springs and $2.5 million from the State of California bringing the overall total to date to approximately $12 million..”
Due to anticipated cost increases, the original overall fundraising goal was revised to $16 million to have the needed funds to restore the building to its original splendor and update it to meet the access, technology, and equity needs of today and tomorrow. Any funds in excess of the actual construction costs will be reserved in an endowment fund to help ensure the theatre’s future needs are met.
“We are excited to have Bolton lead OVG’s involvement in this iconic project further ingratiating he and our company into Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley community,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Kraken and president of the Coachella Valley Firebirds. “After guiding the successful opening of Acrisure Arena, Bolton will focus on the Plaza Theatre and other business development opportunities as they arise to help grow OVG. Our gift is the cue for others to be a part of the ‘next act’ of the Plaza Theatre.”
“This generous matching gift presents the perfect opportunity for those who would still like to contribute to the fundraising campaign,” continued Roberts. “With all funds being matched up to $1 million, all new contributions will help us achieve our goal and will assist our fundraising efforts when we need it the most.”
When restored, the Plaza Theatre will be a place for the entire community to come together and utilize it as an affordable community venue showcasing diverse programming for all people, local youth organizations, promoting multicultural programming in film, music, live theater, education, comedy, and entertainment for all. It will also support and serve nonprofit organizations such as the Palm Springs International Film Festival, ONE-PS, Modernism Week, and many others. The valley needs venues like the Plaza Theatre that are accessible and affordable for everyone.
# # #