The Next Branson? Roanoke Rapids To Get Parton Theater

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, could soon be joining the ranks of small-town high-calibre entertainment destinations like Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Entertainer Randy Parton, brother of Dolly, signed with private developers and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, to headline a theater and entertainment district that will open in 2007.

The Parton family has a long history of large development.

“It’s going to completely change the makeup of our city,” Roanoke Rapids Mayor Drewery Beale told the paper. “We’re trying to put together a theater district like Branson, (Mo.).”


The proposed 35,000-square-foot, 1,500-seat Randy Parton Theater will anchor an entertainment district that will host Grand Ole Opry performers and country, pop, beach and gospel music concerts, officials told the Rocky Mountain Telegram.

Officials expect the first phase of development, which includes the theater, an aquarium and other businesses such as restaurants.

In addition to performing, Parton and his wife Deb will hire the acts and bring other entertainers to the district, which will expand to about 15 theaters, Rick Watson told the paper. Watson is the president and CEO of the Northeast Partnership, a private and public partnership funded by the General Assembly to improve economic conditions in northeast North Carolina.

“He’ll be the mastermind of all the theater creations,” Watson said.

Parton, his sister and other entertainers, will hold an outdoor concert on the theater site in the coming months. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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