Roanoke Rapids officials are hoping they’ve found the right mix of games and entertainment to create an economic engine for the city near I-95 on the Virginia border. Roanoke Rapids spent millions of dollars on a theatre named after Dolly Parton’s brother – it failed. And that was tough for a community that has already been hit hard. Mayor Emery Doughtie.
Emery Doughtie says, " I don’t know where you live but in eastern North Carolina, especially in Roanoke Rapids, we’ve lost all of our textile jobs, we’ve lost a lot of farming jobs, we’ve just been on a downturn in our population."
Last night – Roanoke Rapids re-opened the newly-named Royal Palace Theatre.
Emery Doughtie continues, "But we’re hoping the theatre will generate excited new interest and maybe bring in some restaurants, gas stations, hotels and that kind of thing."
Besides entertainers, the theatre will feature internet sweepstakes and gaming – 24-hours-a-day.