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Fort Worth Flashback: Greenwall Opera House entertained Cowtown before its untimely demise

Posted Dec. 28, 2012

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The Fort Worth Opera House was built in 1883 by a syndicate headed by Walter Huffman. The 1,200-seat theater was located at Third and Rusk (now Commerce) streets.

In 1890, Huffman sold the opera house to Henry and Phil Greenwall and it was renamed the Greenwall Opera House. The first performance was William A. Brady’s After Dark.

The Greenwall Opera House was torn down in about 1906. There are two stories surrounding why the Greenwall was demolished. One is that during a performance of Ben Hur, the horses on the treadmill put too much strain on the stage. The second is that a strong wind blew the building off line by four inches. It was replaced by the Byers Opera House in 1908.

The Fort Worth Library holds a collection of programs from the Greenwall Opera House dating 1887-1905.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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