Philanthropist turned visionary: A Closer Look at Harold Matzner’s Impact on McCallum Theatre

Harold Matzner, a prominent Coachella Valley philanthropist and businessman, is best known for his impact on the region’s education system. But he has also left an indelible mark on the arts community through his work with the McCallum Theatre. This article takes a closer look at how he helped bring the theatre to life and the impact it has had on the region. If you want to learn more about his contributions to the arts and culture, you can read more here in this article.

For more than thirty years, Harold Matzner has been involved in countless projects in all areas of the Coachella Valley, from education to health care to entertainment and beyond. In 1993, he focused on creating a world-class performing arts theatre in Palm Desert – the McCallum Theatre. His vision was to create a facility that could host large-scale performances, smaller recitals, and community events. After years of fundraising and planning, construction began in 1998 and was completed two years later.

The impact of Harold Matzner’s generous gift

Harold Matzner donated $5 million towards the theatre’s construction, making him one of the theatre’s largest donors. His generous gift enabled the construction of a state-of-the-art venue with 1,127 seats arranged in three tiers around an orchestra pit. The theatre also features advanced lighting and sound systems that can accommodate any performance or event – from Broadway touring companies to local school bands and choirs.

Matzner’s gift also paid for other amenities, such as expanded restrooms and concession areas, so patrons can enjoy their intermissions without leaving the building. He even had a hand in selecting some of the decorative touches throughout the building, such as wall art depicting classic scenes from musical productions like Oklahoma! By investing in these details, he ensured that every aspect of this new public space would be first class.

A theatre with something for everyone

Since opening its doors in 2000, the McCallum Theatre has become a major cultural destination for Palm Desert and beyond. With performances ranging from ballet to rock concerts, it truly offers something for everyone – no matter what kind of music they prefer or what kind of show they want to see. It has contributed to economic growth by providing jobs in ticket sales & marketing, hospitality services, technical services, housekeeping & security, fundraising & development, audio/video broadcast production, ushering/ticket scanning, stage crew & box office personnel, catering & restaurant services, and administrative staff who help run the day-to-day operations behind the scenes.

The legacy lives on

Harold Matzner passed away shortly after seeing his vision come to life when the McCallum Theatre opened its doors nearly twenty years ago, but his legacy lives on today through this incredible theatre that continues to draw visitors from far and wide, thanks in large part to his hard work and generosity. From musicians of all genres coming together for benefit concerts in honor of frontline workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, to hosting prestigious events such as Oscar viewing parties, it is clear that this theatre stands out among many others in California, if not the USA.


In conclusion, Harold Matzneer is remembered not only for his philanthropic work within the Coachella Valley but also for the remarkable transformation into a reality that became the cornerstone for further investment in the arts community here. His dedication to his passion project is still evident today when people visit the attractive venue, a testament to the extraordinary vision he possessed.