Local News

City Could Release Parton Theater Contract

Posted November 20, 2007

— The Roanoke Rapids city council could release its new contract with the Randy Parton Theatre at its meeting Tuesday night, if the contract is finished. The meeting was expected to start at 5 p.m.

The council has kept mum about the negotiations, and details of the new contract are unknown.

The theater has been at the center of a brewing controversy. City Councilman Jon Baker said the city should be more open with the public about the theater, which the city borrowed $21 million to build.

Don Carrington with the Carolina Journal has followed the theater story since the beginning.

“The initial deal with Randy, the city and the private developer was done in secret,” Carrington said.

Roanoke Rapids Mayor Drewery Beale said the city cannot legally release details about the negotiation until it’s finalized.

Parton gets $1.5 million yearly in salary as a performer and manager, plus a car and a house. Carrington says secret dealings made in the past have been a problem, and he believes they're making the current contract negotiations more difficult.

“In plan B, the big questions are: What will Randy’s role be? How much will he be paid off to have a reduced role or to actually leave the project entirely?” Carrington said.

Parton has not spoken publicly about the contract negotiations.

Under state public records law, WRAL and the Carolina Journal have formally requested any e-mails involving city officials pertaining to the Randy Parton Theatre.

24 Comments

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  • cjcoley Nov 20, 2007

    That place is the biggest waste of taxpayer money in a long time. Its alot of funny business going on there, which will come out in due time. Give it a few years and weeds will be grown up around the place.

  • Eduardo1 Nov 20, 2007

    haggis basher and others. We had a saying in Brooklyn "When the fish stinks, it stinks from both ends"

  • lornadoone Nov 20, 2007

    "I have seen that theater from I-95. I must confess I do not know very much about the surrounding area. Are there enough people in that area to support this sort of venue? Say you had a current high-profile artist or band, is this in a location where they could draw big enough crowds?"

    No. The entire city of Roanoke Rapids would have to empty itself to fill up that place.

  • x Nov 20, 2007

    Don't you just smell a rat? Making secret deals with taxpayer funds should be illegal. I would like to know who all the participants in the "deal" are.

  • NCTravellinman Nov 20, 2007

    I have heard that guv wannabe, Richard Moore, is waist-deep in this quagmire, but no one will say how. You would think that would scuttle his chances for a campaign, but the democrats in this state are so arrogant (see Jim Black, Basnight), they'll probably run him anyway.

  • wdkanesfan Nov 20, 2007

    The concept behind the RP theatre and Carolina Crossroads is a good one. The best kind of revenue for a municipality is tourist money. They come and spend money for rooms, food, entertainment, then they go home. You don't have to school their kids, pay their medical bills, etc. But for this concept to work in a place like Halifax County you need 2 things....traffic, and a reason for that traffic to stop. The traffic is there..I-95. The reasons for them to stop aren't all there yet. As the other planned businesses open, there will be a reason for travelers to stop and stay. CC is still in its infancy, but it seems like many want it to walk on its own.....give it time.

  • 3forme Nov 20, 2007

    if it walks like a duck....

  • dws Nov 20, 2007

    hmmmmm, VERY interesting reading:
    http://www.carolinajournal.com/articles/display_story.html?id=4383

  • Deer Hunter Nov 20, 2007

    The city should be open with the meetings. They are negotiating
    with public money, not their own. The state should do a complete
    audit of this entire thing.

  • LuvLivingInCary Nov 20, 2007

    I vote for one gigantic topless bar. Cafe Risque type.

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