City reconsiders Paramount fees
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 20, 2008 1:46 PM
No formal vote is expected until July, but Goldsboro City Council members seem to agree that changes should be made to some of the policies associated with the Paramount Theatre.
Paramount Director Sherry Archibald recommended several policy changes to the council before its June 16 meeting -- such as lowering rehearsal rates to $125 per four-hour block and adding a $250 fee for "Educational Synopsis," events for school and church groups that might not justify the full performance fee of $500.
On those issues, council members seemed supportive.
But not all of Mrs. Archibald's ideas were well received.
Councilman Chuck Allen was outspoken in his opposition to the idea of "Friends of the Paramount," a program that would grant discounted rates to those groups who utilize the theater frequently.
"I see that this facility is costing us enough money where we need to make every dime off it we can," Allen said, adding that the theater had already lost the city some $65,000.
When Mrs. Archibald explained that some groups just could not afford all the rehearsal time needed, he defended the current rates as "fair, actually cheap."
"I think anybody who is not willing to pay these doesn't need to be in there," he said. "I'm not certain why we are even having this conversation."
Mrs. Archibald also recommended selling beer and wine.
The council seemed OK with that idea, but Finance Director Richard Durham said that might not be as easy as it sounds.
Currently, beer and wine sales are permitted at the Paramount, but only if sold by renters with valid ABC permits and general and liquor liability insurance.
Mrs. Archibald's suggestion, though, is for the city to obtain a permit and policy.
And that, at least in Durham's view, is the problem.
"No one, at this point, will write that policy," Durham said. "It seems like every time we ask, the question comes up about the city not owning the theater."
City Clerk Melissa Brewer said she expects Paramount policies to be on the next council meeting agenda.
Whether or not the board will act remains to be seen.
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