FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – After spending more than 30 years in the dark and falling into disrepair, Fort Worth’s historic, New Isis Theater quietly turned the stage lights on again last month, and Monday, June 7, opened the curtain on the silver screen.
The roof, once open wide enough to let in birds and rain, has been restored.READ MORE: Will The Ford Maverick Be A Game-Changer In The Auto Industry?
Yellow, classic wood seating faces a stage with blue and red curtains.
Large wood bars have been installed in the lobby and upstairs, adjacent to a green room for performers.
The re-opening of the 500-seat theater in the Fort Worth Stockyards marks the realization of a dream owner Jeffrey Smith had when he started on the project back in 2017.
“The stage is exactly what I saw. The seats are what I saw. The upstairs vision of what we’ve got up there is exactly what I saw,” Smith said Monday, as he rushed around finishing last minute cleaning ahead of a rec carpet film premiere. “Which is kind of interesting because I always bring people in and say ‘This is what we’re going to do,’ which you remember because you were here. You saw how dilapidated the space was. This is what I saw, but everybody else saw the rubble.”
His vision took longer to come together than he expected.
The pandemic set things back further, slowing delivery on materials. It also increased the original anticipated investment.
Smith said he has always looked at the theater though, now called Downtown Cowtown at the Isis, as a long-term project.READ MORE: Southwest Airlines Jets Grounded 2nd Time In 2 Days Due To System Outage
“So we wanted to make sure we got it done. We wanted to make sure we got it done right. And we wanted to make sure we’re here for a long time. So it’s worth it. Every bit of it.”
Smith still plans to show films in the theater during the day, with performances at night.
The calendar is already filled with music and theater performances through the fall.
There was a star-studded movie premiere Monday for the first time in North Texas since the start of the pandemic.
Hundreds of VIP’s and big Hollywood names attended the first showing of the movie, “12 Mighty Orphans.”
It’s an inspiring true story about football and a Fort Worth orphanage.
Many of the scenes were shot in Cleburne and Weatherford.MORE NEWS: Norkendric Jackson, 17, Charged In Crash That Killed Dallas ISD Mentor Hanan Ali-Lacy
J.D. Miles contributed to this report.