Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Palm Desert, CA: McCallum Theatre

mccallum theatre
If you are looking for a little culture on your next trip to Palm Springs and the California desert resort cities, let me recommend a visit to the McCallum Theatre.

We've been visiting Palm Springs and its desert environment for many years. In fact, I believe the first time was in the mid-eighties when we bought our first vacation home here. Having said that, it wasn't until this year that we made a spectacular discovery when we attended the McCallum Theatre for the first time. It was only then that we realized what a world class theater it was and I began to look in to its programs and history.

Beginning in the early '70's a group of business men, cultural and education leaders began to discuss and plan for a world class venue the Coachella Valley. Their hope was to bring as much culture to the Desert as possible and in 1973 they formed a group known as the Friends of the Cultural Center.

At the time many celebrities from all kinds of performing genres had begun to move here and to have second homes in and around the greater Palm Springs area. Not the least of which was Fred Waring, known as the "Man who taught America to sing" and featured on The Fred Waring Show.

mccallum theatre
Finally, by 1988 the group, then known as "Friends of the Cultural Center" was ready to open what is now known as the McCallum Theatre. However, it wasn't a slam dunk. Fund raising began and became quite serious. Fred Waring performed for 13 sold-out performances on behalf of the project and started the wagon rolling. Contributions began to pour in.

Former President Gerald Ford joined the Board of Directors and convinced his close friend, Bob Hope, then also a resident of the desert, to help the project along and contribute money. The first million dollars came from a local property developer and once the Hopes and Fords were involved a second Million dollars rolled in. That same year the McCallum Foundation was formed and ground-breaking began in 1985.

In 1988 a group of near 100 local women formed a theater group called "The Muses". This included Dolores Hope, Betty Ford and Leonore Annenberg. This group has since grown to 325. The group, now known as "The Muses and Patroness Circle" devotes their time to the advancement of education and the arts.

The McCallum Theatre and its world class performances are a perfect evening and we intend to visit it each season that we visit Palm Springs and the California desert resort cities.

McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts
73000 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Box Office
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
Phone: (760) 340-ARTS (2787)
Toll-Free: (866) 889-ARTS (2787)
Fax: (760) 779-9445

For discounts and deals on hotels, restaurants, and attractions in Palm Springs, CA, visit http://www.palmspringsvacationdiscounts.com/.


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