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Plaza Theatre restoration hits initial $12M fundraising goal

Fundraising for a multi-million dollar restoration of the Plaza Theatre has reached a major milestone – and a key official is expected to be added to the team tonight.

J.R. Roberts, the theater's foundation board president announced to News Channel 3 Thursday the historic 1936 landmark in downtown Palm Springs hit an initial goal of $12 million.

Much of the money was raised in less than a year, Roberts said. Private donations included $5 million from TV producer and Palm Springs resident David Lee and $2 million donated anonymously.

$2 million is funded by the city of Palm Springs, and the state's budget allocated $2.5 million.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UJqCUSpIVg

"We are really excited," Roberts said. "Just last October, financially, we had just $500,000 committed to the theater."

Now, a new goal has been set at $16 million, increasing to cover cost overruns and leave behind an endowment for the theater's future.

"We know those last $4 million will be the hardest to raise," Roberts said. "But we're hoping the community will come through for us."

Palm Springs city council was expected to vote Thursday on whether to approve Architecture Resources Group, the newly proposed architect Roberts said was vetted specifically for theater restoration.

"The firm...has vast experience in preservation, restoration, and has a very, very extensive and impressive resume," he said.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be streamed live.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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