Worth Theatre

306 W. Seventh Street,
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Worth & (Hollywood Theaters)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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 10 comments)

kenraney on March 15, 2005 at 9:55 am

Attended this one in late sixties as a high school student. My buddies and I would drive into downtown which was virtually deserted even then. Unfortunately the theater was the same way. Gorgeous thick red carpet with elaborate designs covered the floors. Opulent sculptured walls were dramatically lit including a cathedral like rose window backlit in the ceiling. Sculpted Egyptian figures larger than life adorned the walls. We always sat in the balcony. Once up the stairs there was a long waiting/smoking area/corridor just outside the seating of the balcony. I remember tvs hung hospital like up and down the space and every weekend while we were there it seems that “Wagon Train” (not old then) was on all the sets. Wish I had taken photographs of this theater. If anybody has any or knows where I could find some it would be greatly appreciated.
We used to go to the Hollywood (in the picture above) as well but neither it nor any other theater in the area could compare with the Worth.
We graduated in 1969 and all went our separate ways. I went off to college and never got the chance to see the Worth again. It was a truly amazing space for movies and I can only imagine what live performances of vaudeville must have been like.
Movie theaters and drive-ins populate my memories and mark milestones of my life. Too bad so many of them no longer exist. Even the most meager of the lot had more character than the multiplexes of today. I suppose however even these will be looked back upon with fondness someday.
Someone dim the house lights and pass the popcorn.
Ken Raney

tcaldwell on March 16, 2005 at 11:58 am

My cousin was the manager of The Worth in the 50’s and 60’s. My family from Shreveport use to visit his family about once a year, and it was a great treat to go visit him at the Worth. He would allow us to have free access to the whole place from the projection booth to the stage. I even remember going into the catwalks above the ceiling and in the crawl space under the floor. I once asked if I could play the organ, and he told me that all the wires to it had been cut becasue they were afraid of a fire.

It was a truly grand place. I especially remember the rose windwow mentioned in the comment above. Unfortunately I never took any pictures.

In 1965 as a married young adult I was in Fr. Worth and again visited with him in the theater. Hush,Hush, Sweet Charlotte was playing. By this time, he had had the organ restored and it was played at intermission. So after visiting the theater for many years, I finally got to hear the organ.

That was the last time I saw the cousin and the Worth. I understand that the organ was installed in the Casa Manna Playhouse.

Tom Caldwell

kenraney on March 17, 2005 at 1:40 pm

I envy you Tom. Access to all the spaces you mentioned would have been great. I remember the move of the organ being mentioned locally on the news but never heard it used.
Casa Mana is an interesting building itself. Being a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome it was perfect for theater in the round. I believe it’s round stage has since been altered to a more traditional form though. Last time I was there my children were small and we saw a live production of “Little Shop of Horrors”.

johnbmiller on March 30, 2008 at 10:20 am

Hello,I was an usher at the Worth Theatre in 1964.I’d like to reminisce with anyone who has memories of the theatre..John

tcaldwell on March 31, 2008 at 8:05 am


Was Ray Jones the manager when you were working at the Worth?

johnbmiller on March 31, 2008 at 5:57 pm

I remembered his name as Sam Jones,but I think you are right.I remember the asst. manager was named Songer and I think his first name was Gary.The head of the ushers was Gary Eason….It was a great job for a 15 yr old kid.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on April 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm

A postcard view of the Worth and Hollywood theatres in downtown Fort Worth.

cacarr on January 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

Does anyone know where the Rialto Theater in Ft. Worth was located? Any pictures? My great grandmother use to work there.

jamestv on January 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

This was the palatial theatre in downtown Fort Worth in the 50’s and 60’s after the closing of the Majestic. It was the home of the James Bond movies.

Mrkevinjones on September 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

My Grandfather, Ray Jones Sr., was the manager of the Worth. When it was demolished my father rescued two chairs. I refinished those chairs and they are now in the media room of my home in Nashville, TN. Above the chairs I placed pictures of the Worth Theater, my Grandfather, and some of the movie stars he had at the theater while their movies were playing.

I do not have any pictures of the interior of the theater but I would very much like to add some to the display. If anyone has any please contact me.

Kevin Jones

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater