Fundraiser aims to save The Purple Room as entertainment restrictions linger

Olivia Sandusky

The once vibrant purple room currently sits empty, waiting for pandemic restrictions to lift, and for the chance to entertain the valley once again.

“We were initially told, I think, three weeks, and we thought this is terrible, we’ll just get through it. Now it’s 13 months without our doors open and it’s been devastating,” said Michael Holmes, owner of the Purple Room. 

Nestled inside of Hotel Trinidad, the intimate Palm Springs club opened in 1960.

Since the club opened, it’s played host to a variety of celebrities like the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

“It just had a magical feeling. I came to find out that this is where the Rat Pack act started and this is where everybody performed, there aren’t many of these spaces left,” said Holmes.

The entertainment venue is part of an industry that was hit extremely hard by COVID shutdowns.

Live events were expected to hit a record of 12 billion in 2020, but lost almost 10 billion, according to Pollstars latest survey.

As restrictions linger, one local resident is fundraising to help save the purple room.

“We have no night clubs like this. What bird land is to New York, that’s what the purple room is to Palm Springs. It’s absolutely crucial to keep it open,” said Sue Cameron.

Even past performers have shared their favorite memories of the venue, and emphasize the need to help out.

“You know there’s only a handful of really classy venues for people like me and concerts and nightclubs to play. And the purple room in Palm Springs California is one of the best,” said Lucie Arnaz, singer.

Holmes says he’s filed for federal assistance, but says that money disappeared quickly over the long shutdown.

 As the fundraiser now grows, he says he’s thankful for the community’s help.

“It’s overwhelming and it’s so touching. It’s out of my wheelhouse to do this,” said Holmes.

And with so many business and valley staples closing this year, Holmes hopes the purple room can make it through the pandemic and offer visitors a glamorous experience once again.

“I think that this is one of the many jewels in the crown of Palm Springs,” said Holmes. 

To learn more about the fundraiser, click here. 

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