Local News

Roanoke Rapids to Remove Randy Parton's Name From Theater

Posted January 8, 2008

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The Randy Parton Theatre is just a memory – not the building, but the name. The Roanoke Rapids City Council voted Tuesday night to change the theater's name to the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.

City leaders have banned Parton from performing at the theater and have taken down photographs of the performer. Theater management replaced Parton's photos with images of his band, Jerusalem Ridge.

“I think that will be a positive thing for the theater,” said Jim Garrett, a long-time critic of the city's contract with Parton.

“Well, I guess we just got thrown out of the place. What do you think?” Parton said.

The night of Dec. 6, the city asked Parton to leave the theater. The mayor said he was under the influence of alcohol.

“We had to move quickly and be fluid to change the direction of the theater,” said Jim Craig, an official with UGL Unicco, the company the city hired to manage the theater after it relieved Parton of that duty.

The theater has moved on without Parton. Parton's star, where he performed on-stage, is gone.

The band is working on a new show that should be ready by February. The theater also plans to host local talent competitions and has more than a dozen new acts booked through May.

Legally, the city still has a contract with Parton and is negotiating with his attorney to cut those ties.

The new theater managers said they will continue to move forward, booking performers, no matter what the name of the theater is.

When WRAL spoke with Parton in December, he maintained he had fulfilled all his agreements with the city.

The city borrowed $21.5 million to build the 1,500-seat complex. Parton, brother of country music singer Dolly Parton, managed the theater, but it had trouble generating revenue.

Under the new management contract with Boston-based UGL Unicco, the city wiped clean a $475,000 debt Parton owed and took on $220,000 in unpaid theater expenses.

Parton's original contract called for him to be paid $1.5 million a year to perform at the theater, plus a car and a house.

Roanoke Rapids City Attorney Glynn Rollins also resigned Tuesday night. Rollins said he wants to focus more on his private practice.
The city hired Gilbert Chichester as his replacement.

54 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • richard2 Jan 9, 2008

    Randy will probley end up owning the place.

  • Justin T. Jan 9, 2008

    They didn't accept my new name nomination! I proposed "Hazzard Opry".

  • Flip99 Jan 9, 2008

    That last line should read:

    Or did they have one specific local resident in mind as LIGHTLY regarded?

  • Flip99 Jan 9, 2008

    Sad that Carolina Crossroads got off to such a rough start. I see through internet archives that the groundbreaking for the project was absolutely electric, with none other than country superstar Dolly Parton in attendance. Dolly and Randy joined 10,000 other spectators and dignitaries for the launch on a sunny day in November 2005.

    A News & Observer story by staff writer JERRY ALLEGOOD (ALLEGOOD: like ALL, "everyone in", socialist theme) says: The Partons sang "God Bless America" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" and took turns at the microphone with the other performers for "I Saw the Light."

    Was that “I Saw The LIGHT” a foreboding predictor of the LIGHT attendance the theater would see under Randy’s stewardship? Or some other manifestation of LIGHT related to being substandard or not up to snuff?

    Were they slickly calling local civic leaders LIGHT for “selling the store” in Randy’s sweetheart deal? Or did they have one specific local resident in mind as LIGHTLY regarde

  • Flip99 Jan 9, 2008

    More on "menace of the state / U.S. Highway 64" theme:

    STEPHANIE, 64 also matches the amount of RAM loaded into primitive home computers of the 1980s. The COMMODORE 64 is one example (lots of Jersey girls probably had one), but I owned an ATARI 800 XL, which also came with 64 kilobytes of RAM.

    U.S. 158 winds West from Roanoke Rapids toward WARrenton, which begins WAR--like the "coming armed conflict" theme. Sadly, WARrenton more recently has been known as home to disgraced former congressman, Democrat FRANK Ballance. He succeeded EVA CLAYton (like Gabrielle UNION's 2003 film, "Deliver Us From EVA") and hails from “royal” WINDSOR in Bertie County.

  • Flip99 Jan 9, 2008

    Scarecrow Cow, I couldn't help but notice in your profile that your real name is STEPHANIE and you mention BAGPIPES among your interests. This hasn't anything to do with SCOTTISH RITES, does it? More interesting, you say: "My favorite way to spend a Saturday is walking to the grocery and buying chicken strips and mayonaise to eat outside on a bench"

    I wondered if this means you visit the deli-bakery and buy prepared strips or that you purchase uncooked strips from the meat section, then eat them raw. Deli sounds like New DELHI--linking to the Hindu CASTE system & your Scarecrow COW ID, since COWS are sacred to Hindus.

    I also see that your profile page URL ends 1593464. 159 is "one better" than US 158--the main drag through Roanoke Rapids, about 3 miles from Carolina Crossroads. 64 like "menace of the state" theme's U.S. Highway 64 to Raleigh, the state capital, which is directly responsible for educational shortcomings of the 1980s--4 which others would like to shift blame.

  • shine Jan 9, 2008

    Jackadoo, No doubt that is where the money came from, it almost put the former President of NE partnership in jail. The grant writers quit and went to work for the theater, I understand one of them is back working with NE again now after this recent malay with Partin. It would be interesting to see how much of this was Gold Leaf money, and how accountable R.R. is for the 21.5.

  • TheWB Jan 9, 2008

    hmm too many words here is what I tried to say-

    Or, how about a golf resort, the theater would make a beautiful and grand club house. Again the auditorium could be put to use as a state of the art indoor training center and driving range. The property around the theater, if quickly acted upon, is wide open and could easily be made into a fine course. I bet it would be some kind of successful with that location too.

  • tsquaring Jan 9, 2008

    This has been a very entertaining boondoggle. The taxpayers are the people punished and no doubt the pols that thought this was a good idea will get re-elected. It's an amazing thing to see. I'm not even sure anyone is embarrassed about it, but they should be.. What a display!

  • TheWB Jan 9, 2008

    Possible alternatives for the building/property;

    The state should by it and make it the ultimate, most awesome, flag ship of all rest stops. Complete with a real restaurant along with several fast food ones, an entertainment center (video games and the like), a museum of North Carolina highlighting tourist attractions. The auditorium can be used to watch movies of our state's land marks and other beauty spots. It could have fuel lanes and maybe even an automated car wash. Basically, it could become a well known, one stop to take care of all of your traveling needs that motorists would make plans to stop along their way up or down the coast. A problem might be the brand new cluster of fast food joints at the Roanoke Rapids exit and those established ones along the main drag.

    Or, how about a golf resort, the theater would make a beautiful and grand club house. Again the auditorium could be put to use as a state of the art indoor training center and driving range. The property around th

More...