02/16/08 — Ensemble triumph: Theater proves what we can do by working together

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Ensemble triumph: Theater proves what we can do by working together

The lights have been lit and the curtains are up.

After more than three years of waiting — almost to the day, the Paramount Theater is once again back in business.

Although many will say it, it bears repeating here that the reason Wayne County residents will be able to once again enjoy a show at the Paramount is that David Weil cared enough to lead the way.

His vision — along with the county residents who supported his efforts with donations and a city leadership with the courage to proceed — is what made this past weekend’s debut possible.

The Weil family has long had a history of being leaders in the community — and being integral parts of making this a better place to live.

You can bet that this will go down as one of the best of those achievements.

And it is a project of which David Weil and his family should be very proud.

The stage will be the home of not only established artists, but also those who are just beginning their forays into the arts. There might even be another Johnny Grant or Anne Jeffreys who will perform on its stage.

But that alone is not what makes the Paramount’s rebirth so special.

This is truly a theater that a community built, with its heart and soul.

It is both a gift for future generations, and a thank you to those who have come before — a chance to restore a treasure that was entrusted to this generation and almost lost forever.

It is a chance to tell the stories again of those who traveled downtown to mark family milestones or who planned a career as they sat in the darkened room.

It is a chance to share a little history and culture with our children, and to remind them that there is more to life than just televisions, computers and video games.

It is a chance to make a whole generation of new memories.

Although it has been christened, the Paramount will not be fully open and ready for business until it has a few community productions under its belt. A theater is never truly happy until it serves as a backdrop for actors and musicians of all ages.

It will be a joy to see future productions there.

But for now, those involved in the project should take a bow. Their hard work and determination are what made it possible for downtown Goldsboro to be a center for the arts again — a home for music, dance and theater.

Now, it is up to the rest of us to support our new theater and the performers who will entertain there.

This could be one of the most important steps in downtown Goldsboro’s rebirth.

All we have to do is plan a lot and dream big.

And now we have proof that when we work hard and believe as a community, those dreams really can come true.

Published in Editorials on February 16, 2008 11:41 PM