02/18/08 — Light the lights: Paramount event a glimpse of what downtown could be

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Light the lights: Paramount event a glimpse of what downtown could be

It felt like Hollywood downtown Friday night.

The gala that inaugurated the new Paramount Theatre in downtown Goldsboro gave those in attendance a glimpse of what having a thriving and prosperous city center might be like.

Imagine not only an arts venue that attracts acts from all over the state, but a busy restaurant district and a coffee shop, gallery or boutique or two.

This weekend, it really did not seem all that far from anyone’s grasp.

Now that the first major step has been accomplished, it is time for some good, hard looks at what is really needed to make Goldsboro’s downtown into the kind of place people want to visit.

Under the glare of the morning sun, even though progress has been made, any visitor would see that there is a long way to go.

A viable plan for downtown Goldsboro must begin with accepting that there are some limits — that there are dilapidated areas near it and the commercial business support is not quite there yet.

And then there is the task of convincing residents it is a safe and fun place to be.

A comprehensive plan for the area is critical and important to keeping not only the Paramount humming, but the city that surrounds it thriving.

The new theater should be the catalyst this community needs to keep thinking about what is possible for Goldsboro and what it will take to get there. Those discussions will be the key to its future.

Published in Editorials on February 18, 2008 10:54 AM