Figurative and literally, the N&O reports.
City officials have approved electronic gaming as means of “taking a chunk out of the $1.7 million annual bill for the once ballyhooed venue.”
Look who’s being hired to help with upkeep:
Roanoke Rapids, the unwilling owner of a tourist-magnet-wannabe, has taken over management of the theater, renting it for concerts, weddings and other festivities and bringing in nearly enough cash to pay for upkeep. The city parks and recreation department is now largely responsible for the building that was to draw music-hungry, money-spending drivers from Interstate 95 to see big-name acts brought in by Randy Parton.
Whatever the circumstances of Parton’s departure, the theater he left behind remains controversial in the town. Doughtie said residents wish Roanoke Rapids could simply move beyond the project. But the theater can’t be wished away, nor time turned back. In a recent memo to the council, city staff said the building will incur greater operational costs in the years ahead.
On Monday, according to the memo, “model prisoners” entrusted with the task will carry out the weekly cleaning of the theater.
CJ’s excellent work on the Randy Parton Theatre.
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