February 1967: The original 625 seat Camelot Theatre, located at the Palm Springs Shopping Center, was opened by the President of Metropolitan Theatres, Sherrill Corwin, at a cost of $750,000.00. The heralded state-of-the-art cinema, equipped to the standards of only three other theatres in the United States, debuted with a star-studded screening of “Dr. Zhivago.” The screening was a benefit for the United Fund.
May 1971: The new $500,000.00 Camelot II Theatre was built alongside the original Camelot Theatre at the Palm Springs Mall. The May 28, 1971 grand opening was a fundraiser for the Palm Springs Jaycees.
February 1975: Camelot Theatres I and II in the Palm Springs Mall, the city’s two downtown movie houses, Village and Plaza, and the Sunair Drive-in Theatre were aligned under one management team, following a merger of Metropolitan Theatres with Century Cinema Circuit. The new operating structure was called Century Metropolitan Theatres. Bruce Corwin headed the new organization with his father, Sherrill Corwin.
Late 1970s: Camelot II is split into two theatres. The theatre and its owner, Metropolitan, continued their successful run through the 1970’s and 1980’s. As competition began to take shape in the valley in the early 1990’s and the era of multiplex theatres was born, market conditions began to change.
January 1992: Citing tough economic conditions from competition, diminishing attendance numbers and high operating costs for the then 25-year-old building, Metropolitan Theatres closed the Camelot Theatres after the Third Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. Saved from the wrecking ball by the Palm Springs Shopping Mall management, the building sat vacant for nearly 8 years.
November 1999: Ric and Rozene Supple, owners of RR Broadcasting, purchased the Camelot Theatres building and renovated the three-screen theatre complex. Reopened as the Festival of Arts Theatres, state of the art sound and projection equipment was added, offering an overall movie experience unmatched in the Coachella valley. The theatres also once more became the home for The Palm Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs Festival of Short Films and an ever-growing list of other prestigious annual events.
February 2002: The Festival of Arts banner was retired and the building and its theatres once again became known as the Camelot Theatres.
2015: The Supples invested in a brand new sound and projection system for Camelot Theatres; making the theatres once again state of the art.
Late 2016: Ric and Rozene Supple began proceedings to donate the Camelot Theatres building to the Palm Springs Cultural Center.
January 2018: The Camelot Theatres building is rededicated as the Palm Springs Cultural Center.