McCallum Theatre

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McCallum Theatre
Address 73000 Fred Waring Drive
Palm Desert, California
United States
Coordinates 33°43′47″N 116°23′22″W / 33.72972°N 116.38944°W / 33.72972; -116.38944Coordinates: 33°43′47″N 116°23′22″W / 33.72972°N 116.38944°W / 33.72972; -116.38944
Type Performing arts center
Capacity 1,127
Opened January 1988 (1988-01)
Architect Anthony and Langford/Architects

The McCallum Theatre is a 1,127-seat theatre and concert venue located on the southern edge of the campus of College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, USA. It was built by and is operated by an independent non-profit corporation, Friends of the Cultural Center, Inc.


Introduced to the world by Bob Hope with a nationally televised concert on Jan. 2, 1988, the McCallum Theatre was founded with the mission to provide desert residents and visitors a world-class performing arts venue diverse in its programming, patrons, and educational opportunities. The world’s best artists have appeared at the McCallum, the valley’s premier performing arts venue, ranging from rock and pop icons and dance legends to classical soloists and orchestras, as well as many of the most cherished stars of stage, screen, television, and song. All-time audience favorites include Johnny Cash, Rudolf Nureyev, Mel Tormé, Cab Calloway, Vienna Boys’ Choir, Peggy Lee, Leontyne Price, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte, Peter, Paul & Mary, Patti Page, Isaac Stern, Oprah Winfrey, Linda Ronstadt, Shirley MacLaine, Smothers Brothers, Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, Joan Baez, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, George Burns, The Temptations, Luis Miguel, Carol Burnett, Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Vaughan, Phyllis Diller, Barry Manilow, Queens of the Stone Age, Yo-Yo Ma, Steve Martin, Juan Gabriel, Janet Jackson, Marvin Hamlisch, Julio Iglesias, dozens of the finest direct from-Broadway productions, and far too many others to begin to count.

Today, the McCallum Theatre is celebrated by artists and audiences alike as an intimate jewel of a theatre with a reputation for bringing the finest international talent to the Coachella Valley. Consistently ranked among California’s most popular venues, most recently the McCallum was rated by Pollstar magazine as the top ticket-selling venue in California.

McCallum Theatre Education, the theatre’s educational outreach division, was founded in 1997. It offers intensive and enriching arts literacy experiences for approximately 40,000 children, parents, and educators annually, both at the McCallum and in area classrooms. Participation has steadily increased and, this year, the McCallum will partner with 25 area schools, 303 classrooms, and more than 8,000 students, representing about 70 percent of valley schools. Close to 2,300 individual classroom workshops will be facilitated by McCallum Theatre Education teaching artists during the 2017–2018 season.

As a nonprofit organization, the McCallum is governed by a volunteer board of trustees and also enjoys the considerable advocacy and fundraising assistance of The Muses & Patroness Circle, a women’s leadership council that raises funds for the educational activities of the McCallum Theatre.


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