02/10/08 — Curtain will rise Saturday at rebuilt Paramount Theatre

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Curtain will rise Saturday at rebuilt Paramount Theatre

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 10, 2008 2:07 AM

It happened nearly three years ago today -- thousands of dreams inching skyward in a thick, black haze.

A building sat burning.

The place where you saw 'The Godfather' for the first time.

The place you stole your first kiss.

The opening setting in stories still passed down from father to son and mother to daughter.

When an early-morning fire turned an "opulent" theater into a charred facade that February day, crowds gathered and tears were shed.

To many, the Paramount was more than a venue.

David Weil remembers when he was just another boy in the crowd.

So he told the Goldsboro City Council he would spearhead an effort to bring it back.

And on Sept. 22, 2006, council members unanimously approved its reconstruction.

Not much more than a year has gone by since Mayor Al King informed the crowd gathered at the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.'s annual awards banquet that Weil had presented a $5 million plan to bring the Paramount back -- one he said "worked."

Still, it is the charred facade that stood along Center Street that night that is now just a memory.

Curtains up.

The Paramount Theatre is back in business.

And residents have been invited to attend the first public performance.

Scheduled to begin Saturday at 1 p.m., the event will feature Goldsboro native Anne Jeffreys.

Commemorative tickets will be given at the door during this free, first-come, first-serve event.

The other acts scheduled to perform along with Mrs. Jeffreys include StageStruck, Ms. Robyn's Academy of Dance and Gymnastics, Center Stage Theatre, Goldsboro Civic Ballet, Top Hat Ballroom, Addison & Russo and Madeline Edwards.

Before the show, from 9 a.m. to noon, free tours of the theater will be given. No appointment is necessary.

For more information, contact Paramount Director Sherry Archibald at 750-1481 or visit the Web site at www.goldsboroparamount.com.