Local News

Roanoke Rapids Theatre temporarily closed

Posted July 9, 2008

— For over a week, the curtain has been closed at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.

City officials said they are still trying to agree on a contract with Calvin Gilmore to run the theater.

Gilmore owns the Carolina Opry in Myrtle Beach.

The city manager said she is concerned about the city's ability to fund Gilmore's budget requests.

The city expected Gilmore to take over by July 1.

The theater 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.

There was no time frame for how long the theater will be closed.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • john283594 Jul 10, 2008

    It's kind of in the middle of nowhere...

  • jsanders Jul 10, 2008

    Tax Increment Financing really turned out to be a great idea, huh?

  • Adelinthe Jul 10, 2008

    Boy! What a hickey that place turned out to be, and all at the taxpayer's expense.

    If they can find nothing to do with this White Elephant, at least they can turn it back over to those who paid for it to show their own type of music for little to no money. Then at least it will become something more than an expensive dust catcher.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Tired_of_LIBERALS Jul 10, 2008

    The carpet baggers (Parton's, etc) sold the good-ol boys in RR's city council a bill of goods. Thats how it happened. They saw visions of $ signs dancing in their heads...

  • HemiTodd Jul 10, 2008

    What ever made town officials think they had the qualifications to run the theater in the first place after running off Randy Pardon? They had no business trying to do it on their own. They should've stayed with the 2nd management group. I hope the towns people remember to vote out their local corruptitions.

  • NeverSurrender Jul 10, 2008

    The thing I've never really understood is why they paid Parton $500K+ to go away in the first place. If the stated reasons were public intoxication before a show and misuse of appropriated funds...why in the world wasn't that good enough to give him the choice of voluntarily terminating the contract without pay or facing charges?

    I can't believe there weren't any weasel words in that document to allow Roanoke Rapids an easy out if he didn't perform as expected.

  • teacher-mom Jul 10, 2008

    I'll bet the people who arranged this are still in office. They probably will pull an Easley and get a mega promotion. Heck, they might even be in Europe for the summer. They have had some excellent performers up there including Larry Gatlin and John Anderson. I do not keep up with other acts, but I am sure it will accomodate many different acts and shows. It is too bad many of us cannot afford to go up there.
    I do not understand what the powers that be do not understand; we need good paying jobs inorder to shop and go to performances.

  • Glass Half Full Jul 10, 2008

    If this theater can be made profitable I believe Calvin Gilmore can do it but I'm sure he doesn't come cheap. I don't believe he'll get into it for any price if he doesn't feel he can make it profitable. At least we all know the kind of success Mr. Gilmore has with this type of venue, again, who in the world was Randy Parton anyway other than Dolly Parton's unknown brother? What had he EVER done to make these folks think he could draw the crowds necessary to make such a venue profitable? Sounds like some simple-minded decisions were made on the backs of the local taxpayers!

  • NE Raleigh Jul 10, 2008

    Look at the pretty new shopping mall!

  • freddie cadetti 72 Jul 10, 2008

    How about converting it to a Southern induction center for Yankee immigrants? I know, it won't work...it's on the wrong side of the road. BUT...DOT could build a fly over, then if they do not meet southern criteria, at least they'd be on the right side of '95 to head back up.