02/19/05 — Paramount Theater fire

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Paramount Theater fire

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on February 19, 2005 11:59 AM

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The Paramount Theater, a downtown Goldsboro landmark for more than a century, was destroyed Saturday in a pre-dawn fire.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined. Fire Chief Bobby Greenfield said the building was too unsafe for investigators to go inside.

The Stagestruck Theater was also heavily damaged, but other adjoining buildings were saved. County volunteer firefighters were called in to assist the Goldsboro Fire Department. The building was still smoldering at midday.

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The Paramount, a former movie house, was the city’s hub for the performing arts. Local theater groups were scrambling Saturday to find locations for upcoming productions. The venue’s loss was “devastating for the arts,” said Peggy Wingate, artistic director for the Goldsboro Ballet.

The fire was also a blow for downtown redevelopment and to historic preservation advocates.

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“Peter Pan,” a Stagestruck production, was scheduled to open at the theater Thursday. No announcement about alternative plans for production had been made at midday.

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Photos by Bobby Williams