Local News

City Could Release Parton Theater Contract

Posted November 20, 2007 4:01 p.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2007 7:12 p.m. EST

— The Roanoke Rapids city council could release its new contract with the Randy Parton Theatre at its meeting Tuesday night, if the contract is finished. The meeting was expected to start at 5 p.m.

The council has kept mum about the negotiations, and details of the new contract are unknown.

The theater has been at the center of a brewing controversy. City Councilman Jon Baker said the city should be more open with the public about the theater, which the city borrowed $21 million to build.

Don Carrington with the Carolina Journal has followed the theater story since the beginning.

“The initial deal with Randy, the city and the private developer was done in secret,” Carrington said.

Roanoke Rapids Mayor Drewery Beale said the city cannot legally release details about the negotiation until it’s finalized.

Parton gets $1.5 million yearly in salary as a performer and manager, plus a car and a house. Carrington says secret dealings made in the past have been a problem, and he believes they're making the current contract negotiations more difficult.

“In plan B, the big questions are: What will Randy’s role be? How much will he be paid off to have a reduced role or to actually leave the project entirely?” Carrington said.

Parton has not spoken publicly about the contract negotiations.

Under state public records law, WRAL and the Carolina Journal have formally requested any e-mails involving city officials pertaining to the Randy Parton Theatre.