State News

Roanoke Rapids Theatre gets temporary new management

Posted October 14, 2010 9:53 a.m. EDT

— 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.