Palace Theatre

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

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Interstate Theatres Inc. & Texas Consolidated Theaters Inc., Publix Theaters Corporation, Southern Theatres

Architects: Raphael A. Nicolais

Previous Names: Byers Opera House

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Palace Theatre

Originally opened as Byers Opera House on September 21, 1908. It was remodelled in 1919 to the plans of architect Raphael A. Nicolais, and reopened as the Palace Theatre on 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 Inc.. " The Sound of Music" played 21 weeks at the Palace Theatre starting on 27, May 1965.

I couldn’t find a closing date for the Palace Theatre but it has since been demolished.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

jamestv on September 9, 2014 at 11:55 am

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

dallasmovietheaters on January 4, 2015 at 11:02 am

The Palace had three iterations. It was conceived of when Greenwall’s Opera House sustained storm damage. Henry and Phil Greenwall of the Greenwall Circuit teamed with A.T. Byers to build the Byers/Greenwall’s Opera House architected by Marshall R. Sanguinet and Carl G. Staats and built by the Texas Building Company. 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 with seating for 1,600. It became known as 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 and his iteration is seen in two photos.

In June of 1936, only one wall of the theater was left intact as Interstate Theaters created a modernistic, streamlined designed theater with air conditioning and luxury seating. George P. O'Rourke Construction did the work for the theater which reopened September 24th of 1936 with “Patsy, the Second” now with 1,000 seats as 300 lower floor seats were added when the stage was eliminated. That theater’s exterior can be seen in yet another picture.

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. In 1974, ABC Interstate Theaters sold it to John O'Hara who tried to make it a revival house unsuccessfully. After the Palace’s closure in November of 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 May of 1977 to make way for a parking garage. Those plans would change when the nearby Aviation Building was demolished in 1978.

At its demolition, the original sign – an artifact from the previous incarnation – the Greenwall’s Opera House Call Board remained in place as you can see in another picture. 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.

brewerbear15 on September 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Enjoyed Buth Cassidy and The Sundance Kid here in 1969

dad44 on September 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm

I saw the theater act THE BELL, THE BOOK, AND THE CANDLE in the late 60s the as a young man

davidcoppock on February 23, 2018 at 11:58 am

The Light bulb from the theatre is the World’s second longest lasting light bulb. The world’s longest lasting light bulb is now in the Fire station in Livermore, California, U.S.A.

davidcoppock on February 23, 2018 at 11:59 am

The light bulb in Livermore has lasted since 1902.

davidcoppock on February 23, 2018 at 12:01 pm

The building was also known as Byers Opera House.

rivest266 on June 22, 2018 at 5:33 pm

This opened as Byers Opera House on September 21st, 1908. Article in photo section.

Randy A Carlisle
Randy A Carlisle on November 6, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Short video.. The Palace Theatre.. And featuring the ole historic Light bulb!! RAC Photography

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