01/04/07 — Paramount Theater now moving full steam ahead

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Paramount Theater now moving full steam ahead

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 4, 2007 1:59 PM

David Weil has been pacing himself since he unveiled plans to rebuild the Paramount Theater along Center Street a few months ago -- going over every detail again and again.

But shortly before the New Year, only moments after making his mark on a fresh contract with T.A. Loving for reconstruction of the Goldsboro landmark, he hit the ground running.

"I've signed the contract," Weil said. "We're going to build that theater."

There is no longer any doubt. Goldsboro is getting its Paramount back.

To date, the old facade has been moved, the site has being graded and a foundation is being dug and poured.

"Construction has started," Weil said. "I think in January, people are really going to start seeing what we're doing. The foundation is about ready, and they will start to see walls."

But getting to this point hasn't been easy, he added. In the months since the plans were originally shown to City Council members, questions have been raised and answered and meticulous attention to detail has been given.

"My thought was the more we do now, the fewer surprises we'll find once we get downstream," Weil said. "We've tried to think of everything."

In the process, a few alterations were made to his original design, he added.

At the request of City Council members, an addition will be built onto the back of the 15,000-plus square-foot facility that will accommodate bathrooms and dressing space for performers. Other than that, not much has changed, Weil said.

"The addition will add to the cost slightly, but beyond that, the cost of the project is holding at the initial estimate," he said.

The final product is expected to look much the same as the original Paramount from the outside. But once people walk inside, they will likely understand what it means to combine authenticity with novelty, Weil said.

The plan features a revamped first floor, equipped with a box office, concession area and bathrooms, loading dock, control booth, seats and more.

The second floor also features a large lobby, one that looks down over the theater's entrance. A balcony, bathrooms, storage space and lighting will also be housed on this floor.

The state-of-the-art facility also will also include a control room, catwalk, lighting oval, office space, an elevator, fly space, a trap room, an orchestra pit and stairs leading to the second floor.

Weil said construction of the theater should be completed by mid-October, with a dedication to follow a few weeks later.

"We'll hold many events there that will illustrate to a broad cross-section of the county the many uses of the theater," he said. "Put it on your calendar."