Downtown News

Historic theater in Fort Worth's Northside gets ready for the spotlight

Historic theater in Fort Worth's Northside gets ready for spotlight

Downtown Cowtown at the Isis
Historic building on Fort Worth's Northside will be revived. Photo courtesy of Downtown Cowtown

A historic, iconic building in Fort Worth is on the final stretch of a marvelous makeover that will result in an exciting new entertainment space.

Called Downtown Cowtown at the Isis Theatre, it's a former theater at 2401 N. Main St. that's being renovated by a theater-loving couple, and promises to bring something special to the Stockyards.

Husband-and-wife Jeffrey and Smith and Debbie Garrett-Smith have big ambitions: Their goal is to offer more than 300 performances every year, including music, film, comedy, dance theater, and spoken word.

The couple has a background in theatre, business, and education, with several years in public secondary education that included Jeffrey serving as Theatre Director & Technical Director for five high schools.

In December 2017, they purchased the vintage theatre, secured funding, and began renovation in early 2020.

The theater has been closed since 1988. It was originally built in 1914 a combination theater, pharmacy, rooming house, and an office for Western Union. Its original name was the Isis Theatre, and they kept that as part of the name as well as many original artifacts.

Downtown Cowtown at the Isis will feature

  • a grand auditorium with 500 seats
  • a well-appointed VIP room for private events overlooks the stage
  • a redesigned pharmacy in the lounge transformed into a New Orleans-style bar
  • a family-friendly speakeasy with drinks and light food fare

COVID-19 protocols and precautions are being planned for upfront. That includes limiting the audience to around 300 and holding smaller shows in the interim.

The theater is set to open on January 7, with a three-day Grand Opening Gala featuring performances from John Schneider, Katie Kadan, and Adonis Rose from the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Other events booked include a four-day comedy showcase featuring Cowboy Bill (William Lee Martin) and Friends; The Voice’s Thunderstorm Artis; Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, Steel Betty; and Michael Martin Murphey.

For $250, you can also become part of the Inner Circle, which gets you a brass plaque and an invite to a preview party.

You can already purchase tickets to the galas on their website, as well as a unique sponsorship perk: You can sponsor a custom-designed theatre seat for two years.