02/09/13 — A vision: Fifth anniversary of Paramount is a milestone for city

View Archive

A vision: Fifth anniversary of Paramount is a milestone for city

Eight years ago, it was a time for sadness and a sense of loss.

Soon after, it was time to ponder the future and the possibilities.

Five years ago, it was a celebration as a dream came true and a legacy was reborn.

And Friday night, it was a triumph and a chance to remember the journey.

The Paramount Fifth Anniversary Gala was a showcase of exactly why the decision to rebuild it was not just one of courage, but of necessity.

The performances on the stage were from a new generation -- many of whom probably do not even remember another Paramount, a place where the community gathered to watch movies and later, to enjoy the performing arts.

Many dreams were born on that stage, just as new aspirations and bravos will be part of this one's history.

But the decision to recreate the Paramount was not easy. It took vision and someone to lead the charge -- a leader to suggest that perhaps this community should take a leap of faith and recreate a special place that was lost much too soon.

It needed a champion to get skeptical officials to look past the practical and the dollars and cents to the value of a legacy and a showplace for downtown Goldsboro.

It took someone with business acumen, a philanthropic bent and a sense of history.

And while he would rather pass on the credit to others, that person who made this fifth anniversary possible was local businessman David Weil.

He made the wheels turn. He attended the hundreds of meetings and he set the framework in place to make the impossible seem entirely plausible.

And he is whom we should thank for the gem that is downtown today.

There will always be critics of the Paramount -- and the costs that built it and go along with it now. And the dream might need tweaking along the way -- they always do.

But the reason that Friday's gathering was such a joy was not that a bunch of important people got the chance to dress up and shake hands.

It was that a bunch of new artists, young people for whom performing is their dream, will be able to tell their grandchildren that they performed on that stage many years ago.

And perhaps the memory of what their community did for them will prompt them to return the favor.

And that would be the best curtain call of them all.

Published in Editorials on February 9, 2013 11:24 PM