Movies in the sky
8 essential tips for sky-high fun at Fort Worth's new Rooftop Cinema Club
After months of anticipation and a few delays, the new Rooftop Cinema Club Downtown Fort Worth finally premiered on November 1. The al fresco urban cinema at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel is more than an outdoor movie theater — it's a whole experience. (And a great date night.) But where, exactly, is it, and where do you park? Here are some tips for making the most of an evening at the Rooftop Cinema, based on an opening-night experience and information from the venue.
Where it is
The actual address for Rooftop Cinema Club is 235 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth. This is different from the The Worthington Renaissance Hotel's address, 200 Main St. It's advertised as being on the "Mezzanine Level," which may not mean anything to Fort Worthians who've never stayed at the hotel and had reason to find the Mezzanine Level.
Specifically, the entrance to Rooftop Cinema Club faces Throckmorton Street (across from Jimmy John's). If you're on the Toro Toro side of the hotel, you're on the opposite side and need to walk all the way to the other end. Once you find the entrance, walk up a couple flights of stairs and you'll be on the third-floor Mezzanine Level.
If you start from inside the hotel, take the elevators to the "M' level and simply walk outside to the terrace. Which brings us to ...
Where to park
Do not valet at the hotel or you'll end up paying the hotel's general valet price. What you want to do is self-park in The Worthington Renaissance garage, whose entrance is near the entrance to the Rooftop Cinema off Throckmorton, just north of 2nd Street.
You'll get a rate of $10 if you bring your parking ticket to the box office — don't forget that!
There's also nearby street parking, and if you're up for a walk, Sundance Square lots and garages are free on weekday evenings and weekends.
Tip: If you dine at the hotel restaurant Toro Toro before or after a movie, you'll receive complimentary valet parking up to three hours. There's a special Toro Toro "Show on the Road" menu offered from 5-6:30 pm for pre-cinema dining. You can also get 10 percent off your Toro Toro bill when you show your movie ticket. Which brings up...
Food and drink
You do not need to eat before you arrive at the Rooftop Cinema. Concessions go beyond popcorn, candy, and cokes (though they do have them all) and into a limited menu of chef-driven dishes served from a concession stand on-site.
Toro Toro chef Richard Sandoval helped create an "elevated" menuthat includes pulled pork tacos, hot dogs, chips with salsa and brisket queso, and more. To be clear, we're not talking $3 nachos and $2 tacos. Think $12-$18 per dish. A limited selection of cocktails, beer, and wine is for sale for $7-$12, too.
Bringing in your own food or beverages is not allowed.
You can easily move between the lounge and theater areas.Photo by Michael Merry
What to bring
BYOB a blanket. The venue will be open on cold winter nights and searing summer days. Dress appropriately for the outdoors (don't forget hats and sunscreen on sunny days), and on these current chilly fall evenings, bring a blanket or throw to snuggle under. You can also toss it over a chair or loveseat and reserve your spot before the movie starts.
Starting December 1, they'll offer wind-proof, Rooftop Cinema Club-branded blankets for purchase. Blankets can be brought back each time for a free treat.
What if it rains?
Light rain probably won't thwart a movie showing (bring a poncho), but if inclement weather affects the guest experience, they say, screenings may be canceled. They outline the official procedure:
"In the event of a cancelled screening, we will notify you as soon as possible via email with details on how to transfer your tickets to another screening or obtain a refund. If creating an account, please be sure to use the same email address you used to purchase your tickets. You can also check the current status of your screening on its thumbnail visible on the venue page or its booking page."
More information about ticket transfer is here.
Everyone gets a set of personal wireless headphones. Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club
The movie-watching experience
This is not your father's drive-in. Guests sit in either single or double, love seat-style Adirondack chairs (depending on which ticket you buy; see below), with cushions and wide armrests for drinks; side tables help contain food trays and popcorn cartons.
Upon entry, everyone is given a pair of personal wireless headphones, "silent-disco" style. Movie audio is piped in loud and clear. (You still may hear some street and airplane noise, but if you're paying attention to the movie, ambient noises are not distracting.) Suddenly craving Raisinets? You can move easily between the theater and concession areas with the headphones on during the film, and you won't "miss" much. The headphones are turned back in at the end.
A large, L-E-D movie screen has a crisp picture quality, right under the moon and stars. (To this eye, the lights coming from inside the office building behind it were slightly intrusive — but maybe they'll read this and start to turn them off at the end of the day.)
You'll want to arrive on time for your movie; unlike most modern movie theaters, there aren't 30 minutes of previews and commercials.
The outdoor theater is surrounded by downtown buildings.Photo courtesy of Worthington Renaissance Hotel.
What else to do
The whole venue feels like a backyard party, complete with high-top tables, lounge areas, games, and even an old pick-up truck for photo opps. (It can be rented out for special events and private screenings.) Arrive early or stay late to play cornhole, ping-pong, or Cards Against Humanity. Don't miss the chance for a sky-high selfie against Fort Worth landmarks like the Tarrant County Courthouse clock tower.
Photo opps abound.Photo courtesy of Worthington Renaissance Hotel
All tickets are sold online only, but can be purchased up until movie starts. Standard tickets range from $17.50–$26.50, depending on ticket type and time of day:
- Adirondack chair only: $17.50-$19.50
- Adirondack chair with popcorn: $22.50
- Loveseat with popcorn: $26.50
Active, retired, and family of military personnel can get 15 percent off with the code FortWorthMilitary2022. (Bring any form of valid military ID as proof.) Students can get 10 percent off with the code FortWorthStudent2022. (Active student ID or student schedule required as proof.)
A complete list of upcoming movies is here. There are special Open Caption screenings for the hearing impaired, sing-a-longs, dog friendly "Wooftop" events, and more special programming (like "corny Christmas classics") planned.
Note that all screenings before 4:30 pm are open to all ages, while screenings starting at 4:30 pm or later are strictly for those 18 and older.