Worth Theatre

306 W. 7th Street,
Fort Worth, TX 76102

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Worth Theater

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The Worth Theatre and adjoining Worth Hotel were designed in 1928 by Alfred Charles Finn and Wyatt C. Hendrick, who would also team up a year later to design the Electric and Hollywood Theatre Building and in 1930, the twenty-story Fair Building, all three marvels of early Art Deco style architecture in downtown Fort Worth. Additional design contributions were by John Eberson.

The Worth Theatre seated 2,484 and like its contemporaries on the Seventh Street ‘theater row’, the Hollywood Theatre and Palace Theatre, were major showplaces for several decades for both live and on-screen entertainment. In the early-1940’s, the Worth Theatre was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell.

It wasn’t until the late-1960’s and early-1970’s, when multiplexes in the suburbs began to draw theater-goers away from downtown that the huge movie palaces of Fort Worth, like so many others around the country, began to fall into decline.

The Worth Theatre was closed in 1971 and was demolished not long afterwards. In 1975, the historic Fort Worth Club Building (also designed in part by Hendrick) of 1926 was expanded a half-block west, with a fourteen-story addition on the site of the former Worth Theatre and Hotel.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

kenraney on July 7, 2015 at 11:57 pm

I always fondly recall this theater as my friends and I would go there in the late 60s. Rarely would there be many others there. I remember how beautiful the interior was done in an Egyptian motif. I searched and searched over the years for photos so I could see it again to no avail. I did however recently find this web page http://hometownbyhandlebar.com/?p=11815 which has newspaper articles, including photos, covering the opening, acts/movies through the years, and the eventual destruction of the wonderful theater. I hope this makes all smile as much as it did me! Still looking for better interior photographs but for now this helps.

chiefwithers on July 13, 2016 at 4:03 pm

My first job was at the Worth Theater in March 1964. The pay was .50 cents per hour. Some movies I remember were “Behold, a Pale Horse”, “Fail Safe”, “Send Me No Flowers”, “A Shot In The Dark”. There were many great movies I can’t recall now.

John B. Miller, sorry I can’t remember you, but Gary Eason hired me. It is difficult to remember many names of other ushers. A major friend was Jerry Wright and Rudy Manus who I later served with in the Navy. Wayne Robinson was a Diamond Hill Jarvis classmate who worked there and I believe the Assistant Manager was George Saunders.

The Manager was a much older man and I believe his last name was Jones. There was also a very elderly black man who did cleanup work.

During the summer, Bob Hope and Henry Mancini stayed at the Hotel next door. I remember we heard they would be meeting their limousine on 7th Street, in front of the Hotel/Theater. We waited and they both greeted us and shook hands. We told them we were all in “show business” too.

wildhorsegem on September 16, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I attended and work at Worth Theater from 1968-71, I worked as a usher at the ripe age of 15 in 1969, I saw Hell Angels 69 there, love it, it had the best sound acoustics that you could ask far, between work and sports and I lived in the Projects over by Leonards Subway, attended Trimble Tech High and could use the 50 cents and hour job, it was simply a beautiful place, shame they demo it, thanks for the memory’s Jerry Cravy

DavidZornig on November 7, 2016 at 5:51 pm

1963 photo added courtesy of the Special Collections, UTA Library.

DavidZornig on November 7, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Photo & copy added: Interior of the Worth Theater, shortly before it was demolished, 1972. Fort Worth Star-Telegram photo. (In Photos Section)

Radominski on January 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm

I have two beautiful sconces from the theatre that I purchased in mid 1980s. They are bronze parrots with stained glass. I need to sell as I am moving out of country. I can vaguely see them on old photos. I have them in my living room and they are quite beautiful. They are definitely Art Deco-Egyptian.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Mr Radominski do you want to sell the scones badly enough to post some photos & contact info?

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Didn’t think so….

ltreat on February 8, 2017 at 11:31 am

At the University of North Texas, we are preserving the local television news station of Fort Worth (WBAP/KXAS/NBC), and I found this great footage of Elvis fans lined up outside of the Worth… https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc938275/

bbell1402011 on November 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm

I have a friend that her father passed away recently he purchased some egyptian style statues out of what we think was the Worth Theatre ….. just needing some info and find out if there is any kind of historical significance they are and egyptian statue and 2 lions !

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