State News

Roanoke Rapids Theatre gets temporary new management

Posted October 14, 2010

— Roanoke Rapids has approved an agreement for temporary management to take over the town's troubled theater.

Mayor Emery Doughtie said that the City Council voted 4-1 to enter an agreement with Gil Cunningham with Nashville, Tenn.-based Neste Event Marketing to manage the Roanoke Rapids Theatre. Roanoke Rapids businesswoman Elizabeth Branham will assist.

The contract, which still must be approved by attorneys, has a clause that allows either side to opt out of the deal within 30 days. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Neste Event's website says that it is a full-service event-production company with clients throughout North America.

This is the third management arrangement since the city borrowed $22 million in 2005 to build the theater it named for its headliner and original manager, country music singer Randy Parton, brother of Dolly Parton.

After that deal soured, officials agreed to a lease-sale agreement with Lafayette Gatling of Chicago. The city ended the contract with Gatling after he fell behind on his payments.

10 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • bmg379 Oct 14, 5:11 p.m.

    must be nice to be the town guy who handed all the money out and had to answer to no one for creating this mess for the town.

  • tim14 Oct 14, 3:21 p.m.

    Why not try to promote it as the Southern White House?

  • bmg379 Oct 14, 3:13 p.m.

    the drive thru funeral guy failed there also,the city saw the opp to sell all the equipment at fire sale pricing to recoup some of their money

  • Cricket at the lake Oct 14, 2:59 p.m.

    Let's see a schedule and go see some shows! There was so much good music and entertainment in lake country when the theater was open. It's a great idea, I'm still convinced RR could be a mini Branson with the lake right there, just get some good mgt. in place.

  • IAMAmerican Oct 14, 2:28 p.m.

    What a pink elephant!!!!!!!!!!

  • Qwerty27807 Oct 14, 2:00 p.m.

    They took the sound and lighting? From a theater?

    Guess "indoor flea market" is the only option left...

  • McLovin Oct 14, 1:47 p.m.

    umm just bulldoze it...

  • weasleyes Oct 14, 1:38 p.m.

    If they could only put a casino there ......

  • bluegrass Oct 14, 12:54 p.m.

    People - It is still Roanoke Rapids, COME ON

  • bmg379 Oct 14, 11:23 a.m.

    This venue has several strikes against it

    location,not in branson/mb or even selma which has outlet malls

    they never built the food places or shops they were going to build beside the theatre

    the city made a huge mistake with a stars relative who noone knows who they are,then they threw money at stupid things all RP did was take their money he had no idea how to run a successful business as he never had any success hisself.

    no one in RR has a clue about these things,I live in Raleigh toured with arena bands and offered help early on to no avail

    i understang they have striped out and sold all the house sound and lighting now,so there is yet another expense

    This will be Roanoke Rapids white elephant and will probably become at best the nice new town hall for the town.

    Good Luck