City Council Wants to Negotiate New Randy Parton Theatre Contract
Posted November 14, 2007 5:27 p.m. EST
Updated November 15, 2007 7:49 a.m. EST
Roanoke Rapids — The Roanoke Rapids City Council went into closed session for almost two hours Wednesday night to talk about the future of the Randy Parton Theatre.
The city borrowed $21.5 million to build the 1,500-seat complex, which Parton manages.
The current contract calls for Parton to be paid $1.5 million a year to perform at the theater. His salary is based on revenue from ticket sales and merchandise.
The city manager said there are nights when attendance doesn't reach the break-even point.
Roanoke Rapids Mayor Drewery Beale announced after the session that the city is in negotiations for a revised contract with Parton.
“The negotiations are ongoing and when the negotiations are complete and a revised contract has been signed, the details of the revised contract will become public record,” Beale said.
Jim Garrett, a long-time critic of the city's contract with Parton, said a new management team should be hired to run the theater.
“Randy keeps everything a secret. He marks every bit proprietary information,” Garrett said. “The money that financed the theater is public money, and we have a right to know how the theater is operating.”
WRAL tried to talk with Parton about the theater, but was told he was not available.