Roanoke Rapids Taking Big Loss On Theater

Roanoke Rapids officials are locking in a multi-million-dollar loss for taxpayers to get rid of a city-owned theater along Interstate 95 that backers hoped would attract tourists from miles away.

The Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids reported Friday that the city council approved a deal to sell the Roanoke Rapids Theatre for about $7 million.

Roanoke Rapids borrowed $22 million in 2005 to build the theater. The city signed the brother of entertainer Dolly Parton to manage and perform at the Randy Parton Theater, but that deal soured.

Local taxpayers are now paying nearly $2 million a year in borrowing and operating costs.

Roanoke Rapids Finance Director MeLinda Hite said the deal leaves the city still owing about $13 million.

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