Palace Theatre

113 E. 7th Street,
Fort Worth, TX 76102

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Palace Theatre

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Originally opened as the Byers Theatre, it was remodelled in 1919 to the plans of architect Raphael A. Nicolais, and reopened as the Palace Theatre October 19, 1919. Seating was listed at 1,468. The theatre was located on 7th Street at Main Street. The Palace Theatre was owned by Southern Theatres, 1930 by Publix and 1935 by Interstate Theatres. " The Sound of Music" played 21 weeks at the Palace Theatre starting on 27, May 1965.

I could find no closing date for the Palace Theatre but it has since been demolished. Any further information on this theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

jamestv
jamestv on June 8, 2010 at 12:26 am

Someone tried to revive this theatre in the mid-70’s showing old movies but the downtown movie-going experience had died and it closed for good. During it’s heyday, this was the city headquarters for Interstate Theatres in Fort Worth—as was the Majestic in Dallas. This became Fort Worth’s 70MM Todd-AO roadshow house in the mid-50’s and one of the best theatres I’ve encountered for seeing Cinemascope/Panavision widescreen movies; when I saw The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father in 1963, the picture was incredibly wide leading me to wonder if they were still using the original aspect ratio 2.55:1 Cinemascope screen!

RyanBrennan
RyanBrennan on September 20, 2010 at 3:14 am

The original Palace Theatre — not to be confused with the presently operating AMC multiplex located a few blocks away — was closed in 1976. It was originally an Opera House, hosted Vaudeville performers and many other live acts.

The theater was home to one of the longest burning Edison light bulbs. Installed in September of 1908, the bulb is still burning, now on display at the North Fort Worth Historic District Museum located in the Stockyards. As of September, 2010, the bulb is now 102 years old.

The Palace hosted GONE WITH THE WIND during its 70mm reissue. Some other films that played the Palace: The 1967 CASINO ROYALE, THOSE DARING YOUNG MEN IN THEIR JAUNTY JALOPIES, Monte Hellman’s THE SHOOTING, Sergio Leone’s DUCK, YOU SUCKER, PLAY DIRTY with Michael Caine, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, and Robert Aldrich’s THE DIRTY DOZEN.

Woody Woodall was manager of the theater during the GWTW run. Formerly, he had been the longtime manager of Interstate’s Arlington theater in Arlington, Texas.

DonLewis
DonLewis on November 26, 2010 at 4:11 am

From the late 1960s a photo postcard view of East 7th Street along with the Palace Theatre in Fort Worth.

malcolmdbc39
malcolmdbc39 on February 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Another one of Ft. Worths great ideas. Tear it down and put up a parking lot.

ElleGee
ElleGee on September 9, 2014 at 3:42 am

My brother worked here during the late 1960’s and I can remember getting to go with my dad to pick him up at night after the last show. It was beautifully lit and and the inside screen, from my 7-8 y.o. mind’s memory, was enormous.

jamestv
jamestv on September 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Actually malcolmdbc39, they put up a high-rise office building—-no entertainment in downtown Fort Worth!

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on December 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm

The Byers Theatre opened in 1908 as the Byers Opera House at 7th and Rusk Street (now Commerce St.). The $150,000 facility launched with a mixture of live sporting events, music events, and live plays. It became the Byers Theatre when it became exclusively a movie house with some live acts interspersed. The Byers main claim to fame was an Edison light bulb mentioned in earlier comments that wouldn’t burn out. Installed in 1908 by electrician Barry Burke, the bulb outlasted the Byers nameplate.

The theater was purchased by the Hulsey Circuit and given a major makeover of just $25,000 for its renaming and reopening on October 19, 1919 as the Palace Theater (advertised and sometimes referred to as Hulsey’s Palace Theater in the early days). The improvements included a fireproof projection booth with Simplex projectors, a new color palette which was rose and grey with blue panels and medallions and usherettes' uniforms to match, and a wayward Pilscher pipe organ which was lost in transit and installed a month late. The architect of the Palace Theater was Raphael A. Nicolais.

The Palace’s Edison light bulb then became national news as Guinness Book of World Records (incorrectly) listed it as the longest burning light bulb. After the Palace’s closure in 1974, it became home to a jazz club called, “Daddio’s.” Daddio’s owner moved to the Land Title Block Building when the Palace property was sold and demolished in 1977 to make way for a parking garage. Those plans would change when the nearby Aviation Building was demolished in 1978. The entire block would become home to the skyscraper known initially as Continental Plaza, then UPR Plaza, then Carter Burgess Plaza, and as of 2012-forward 777 Main.

The Byers' bulb (aka “Eternal Light") outlasted Burke, the installing electrician (dying in 1964) and the Palace ten years later. So the bulb was acquired by an Irving, TX man and then onto the Stockyard Museum within the Livestock Exchange Building and is considered the second longest burning bulb in the world.

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