Randy Parton Theater Struggling

A $21 million theater at the center of a North Carolina community's plan to boost economic development is now looking for a jump-start itself.

Attendance has been lackluster at the two-month-old Randy Patron Theatre.

The attraction has now hired Raleigh advertising firm French/West/Vaughan to help raise attendance at the 15-hundred seat theater. The advertising firm plans to place up to 15 billboards along Interstate 95 next month, launch Internet ads and distribute brochures at rest stops.

The theater's operations have been shrouded in secrecy, prompting speculation about its well-being.

Job-strapped Roanoke Rapids borrowed the money to build and maintain the theater and is responsible for repaying the debt.

City officials have refused to release financial data about the attraction.