Two theaters, The old Arlington downtown and The Grand in Fort Worth.

iPhoneography: Arlington Theater

Arlington Theater

iPhoneography: The Grand

The Grand

iPhoneography: When I Am Weak

When I Am Weak

Camera Bag: Camera Genius, CameraBag, Photogene, Mobile

I never got to see a movie at The Grand. It was closed long before I ever found it. I had lived in Fort Worth for years and had always heard that part of town was pretty sketchy — dangerous for kids without any street sense.

My best friend and I got brave one day. “Come on, Tom, show me the hookers and the drug dealers. Take me down Rosedale.” Starting from the Interstate, we made our way east. We passed by old wooden houses with peeling paint and bars on the windows. There were red brick churches with leaning signs and hand-me-down playground equipment. As we drove, I saw nothing sketchy. It was just an old neighborhood that had seen better days.

There was a little jog in the road and that’s when I saw the theater for the first time. In this old neighborhood, I didn’t expect to see a movie theater, let alone an old movie palace. We’d stopped at the light. I had a few seconds to look. It was huge and old and was silhouetted against the horizon. The tall balcony side faced the road we were on. The paint on the red brick had worn off over the years — you could barely make out the name. The doors were boarded up. The marquee was blank.

The light changed. We moved on to our Friday night. Over the years, I’ll drive down Rosedale just to see if it’s still there. I pull up to the light and The Grand still greets me.