Sitting on the Northeast corner of Hemphill and W. Berry Street sits the shell of a once vibrant theater that saw its glory days through the 40’s and 50’s. Originally named the White Theater when it opened in 1941, it contained 682 seats and was the anchor for a happening commercial strip center serving the south side of Fort Worth. The front third of the building is a three story structure that slopes down to a two story theater style stage and screen. The second floor includes a full width stadium balcony, which was common at the time with theaters of this style. At one point there was also a stereotypical theater marquee that extended out the front, but was removed when Hemphill was widened.
In 1961 it was renamed to the Berry Theater, and became home to Spanish speaking movies and performances. But like most single screen theaters, it’s days were numbered once the bigger multiplex cinemas started being built. The theater has never received any historical designation, and the attached buildings around it have slowly been demolished over the years.
Several entities have been interested in purchasing and remodeling it over the last decade, and according to recent permits filed with the city, it looks like someone will finally begin remodeling the theater in September of this year.
I was recently granted access to the theater for recording the structure as it stands now for documentation purposes, here it is in it’s present day glory!
All photos copyright Dustin Schneider 2019 and require a mandatory credit for use.