State News

Roanoke Rapids considers new manager for troubled theater

Posted September 28, 2010 4:02 a.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2010 1:46 p.m. EDT

— A North Carolina city that gambled on a theater along Interstate 95 that would pack in tourists from miles away is looking for new managers to ease the drain on local taxpayers.

Mayor Emery Doughtie of Roanoke Rapids said the city council on Tuesday authorized the city manager to prepare a contract for Neste Event Marketing to take over the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.

Any new management for the venue would be the third such 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.