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Roanoke Rapids Theatre still in red

Posted April 29, 2008
Updated May 1, 2008

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— The Roanoke Rapids Theatre lost more than $1 million in the first three months of this year, including the costs of buying singer Randy Parton out of his performance and management contract.

The City Council agreed in February to pay Parton $546,000 to cancel his five-year contract with the music theater, which once bore his name.

Parton was banned from performing in the $21.5 million theater in December after city officials said he was intoxicated when he showed up for a show.

Officials also raised concerns about Parton's use of taxpayer money, invested in what was then called The Randy Parton Theatre, for trips and alcohol. An audit showed Parton spent more than $2 million from a reserve fund within two years, some of it in Las Vegas and at liquor stores.

Excluding the buyout, the theater lost about $459,000 between January and March, officials said. Mayor Drewery Beale has said attendance at the theater has improved but still isn't at an acceptable level.

City Manager Phyllis Lee said covering the theater's operating losses could force cuts to other initiatives. For example, the city has wanted to revitalize Roanoke Avenue downtown, but officials are looking to local merchants to help pick up the costs, she said.


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  • saintnate Apr 30, 2008

    So where are all those Roanoke Rapids people who were saying what a great idea this was a year ago and how great the show was eight months ago? Where did their rancor against the pessimists go?

    Speak up, people of Roanoke Rapids. The first step to learning from a mistake is to admit you made one. After that, you can admit your town stinks because of the paper mill, is incredibly racist due to old traditions, has no economy because it's got nothing to offer but its location on I-95 ...

  • Shadow213 Apr 30, 2008

    i still maintain building this was a dumb idea to begin with. i understand that RR wants to increase revenue by making the town into a vacation/tourist/i95 stop....but this just isn't a way to do it. they should've spent that money on revamping the downtown area.

  • shine Apr 29, 2008

    The last article written about this on this site was explaining how well it was doing ( unless you were smart enough to do the math ).

    They were explaining ( profits ) - you can't make profits when you in the whole from the begining. Paying that idiot off might have been the worst mistake ( wasted time energy and money) They never have come clean on what they did with the house and car...... (part of his contract).....