Annenberg Theater

101 Museum Drive,
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Related Websites

Annenberg Theater (Official), Palm Springs Attractions (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: E. Stewart Williams

Functions: Movies (Film Festivals), Performing Arts

Phone Numbers:
Manager: 760.322.4800

Nearby Theaters

Annenberg Theater

The Palm Spring Art Museum, founded as the Palm Springs Desert Museum in 1938, moved to its present location in 1958. The new museum and the 430-seat Annenberg Theater, named after Walter and Leonore Annenberg, opened January 24, 1976. The $5.5 million museum and performing arts theater was designed by E. Stewart Williams in a style that has become known as Desert Modern.

Since 1990 the Annenberg Theater has been one the six showcases for the Palm Springs International Film Festival, produced by the Palm Springs International Film Society. The Festival notes mayor Sonny Bono led the planning team that welcomed 17,000 visitors the first year, with recent attendance being around 135,000.

A January 1992 festival highlight was an interview with 84-year-old James Stewart by Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times, followed by Stewart’s 1951 film “Harvey”. There were six other James Stewart classics at the festival that year and looking back the first Stewart film to screen at the Annenberg was “How The West Was Won” in 1985.

From 2013-18 the Annenberg hosted free Thursday night movies for three summer months. Some of the films were “Young Frankenstein! and "Do The Right Thing”, with other favorite films screened throughout the year.

For the second year in a row the Palm Springs International Film Festival, scheduled for 2022 on January 6 to 17, at the Palm Springs Convention Center was canceled due to Covid-19 and is promised to return in 2023. However the the Palm Springs International ShortFest will return to the Camelot Theatre in June 2022.

Every year in-person awards are given on the first night for recent work but this year’s ceremony, usually attended by 2,500, was also canceled with the event to be covered by Entertainment Tonight on January 14, 2022. Nicole Kidman was honored with a Career Achievement Award for the film “Being the Ricardos”. In March 2015 at the Annenberg Theater Lucie Arnaz screened her film “Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie”, followed by her reminiscences.

Not only for films, scheduled for later in January 2022 at the Annenberg Theater was Cindy William’s one-woman show “Me, Myself & Shirley”, which is part of her nationwide tour.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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