Parton Theatre Breaks Ground

A groundbreaking ceremony for the 1,500-seat Randy Parton Theatre in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., was set for November 11th. The project will help the city with its goal of becoming a live entertainment destination.

Dolly Parton, sister of Randy, and Grand Ole Opry members Jeannie Seely and Jim Ed Brown were among the dignitaries scheduled to take part in the festivities.

“These country music greats helped pave the way for the country artists of today,” Randy Parton said in a statement. “(My wife) Deb and I are honored to share this exciting event with my family, these legends in the music business, our business partners and the people of Roanoke Rapids and Halifax County.”

Parton forged an agreement with the city and private developers earlier this year to build the $129 million theatre as the centerpiece of an entertainment district à la Branson, Mo., or Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

He and his company, Moonlight Bandit Productions Inc., plan to operate the venue and host concerts featuring country, pop, beach and gospel music. The singer will also perform at his namesake theatre, which is slated to open in April 2007.