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Monday, May 3, 2010

The Grand Theater: Fort Worth, Texas A Picture is worth A Thousand words

By: Tigner Rand
The Grand Theater -Southside
Fort Worth, Texas - 1984
A theater painted on canvas could have no significant meaning.

Yet to many, this modest representation of a Black Historical landmark on Fort Worth Texas, Southside is reminiscent of childhood memories.

I was inspired many moons ago to paint this iconic location to capture the last twinkle of a once vibrant life-style surrounding Rosedale and Fabons Streets, Fort Worth's Southside. A hot July in 1984 froze in time. A photo archived my final chapter of an area’s transformation into a dormant state.

For many years this painting laid quiescent in my garage buried among other sketches and paintings of years gone by. At one time, The Grand Theater served as a beacon for natives of Fort Worth, Texas, connecting them one way or another to good-times, food, church or family gathering. Unbeknown to me did I realize that this restoration would be an evolution of flashbacks to ‘The good old days’.

A picture is worth a thousand words

This work of art has granted access to long forgotten images of my brain’s memory banks. Mental pictures emerged with crystal clear images. Childhood happy times materialized recalling weekend skating fun at Jolly Time Skate Rink, or that first kiss at the Poly Theater. Weekly rituals of Friday night football at Farrington Field, anticipated gravity defying basketball Ally-Oop's from Dunbar Flying Wildcats, cruising Don Carter bowling lanes, or just cooling out at the Car Wash on Berry St on a Saturday night. One cannot forget summer parties at the Forest Hill Club house, kicking back at old Bunche Park or Bar-b-que's in Sycamore Park! A picture can be more than a thousand words.

A New dawning
The Grand Theater -Southside
Fort Worth, Texas - 1984
photo by Tigner Rand

The Grand Theater was once home to a segregated world in Black America. But it also was the epitome of togetherness in a community. Where families would line up to see Hollywood’s greatest superstars on the silver screen, or children could fantasize of being a superhero.

As a reminder of history, The Grand sign still stands. Today the edifice houses 619 Productions, a community art center designed to revitalize a community and develop minds for the future.

So the next time you find yourself rummaging through discarded mementos, rediscover and chronicle those magical moments from photos, places, or visiting with childhood friends. Whatever your iconic landmarks, cultivate, cherish, and share them with others so they too can enjoy a piece of your memoirs!

Tigner Rand


  1. Hello, I was so glad to see this Blog on The Grand Theater! This was my neighborhood as a child and young man. I grew up a couple of blocks away from the Grand on Pulaski Street. I often speak of the Grand to people. I am so interested in writing an article about Grand and that corner area...possibly for the Star Telegram. If I could accomplish this, I would love to use your artwork. And by the way, does this painting happen to be for sale. ha ha Just asking. Gary aka Sleepless G

  2. Actually, I am opting for a magazine. The artist of this magnificient piece actually captured the real colors and images in my memory. I sure would like to work with him.


  3. Can Mr. Tigner J. contact me at


  4. I see you added the photo. I still have not found any interest, but maybe locally.

  5. After the major re-write of course!!!

  6. I just saw on another site all the work that has been done on the Grand. WOW!

    1. G,
      yes i finally was able to find it...!
      try this publication. find out how to submit and lets revisit another draft...



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