Town seeks new opinion on old theater

By WILLIAM HOLLOMAN
Staff Writer
Posted 9/23/21

Town commissioners want a second opinion on the old Centre Theatre downtown.

The board voted unanimously for town attorney W. Carroll Turner to employ a structural engineer to inspect the …

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Town seeks new opinion on old theater

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Town commissioners want a second opinion on the old Centre Theatre downtown.

The board voted unanimously for town attorney W. Carroll Turner to employ a structural engineer to inspect the deteriorating 40-year-old, two-story building that’s become an eyesore. The report is expected at the next commissioner’s meeting in mid-October.

The move comes after the board gave the theatre’s original owners 60 days to provide a plan for the building’s future and present it at last week’s meeting. But the owners sold the theatre, which delayed search warrant efforts to have the town’s building inspector, Justin Hill, take a look inside.

Hill, along with local authorities, pried open a rear door to the building nearly two weeks ago. However, they didn’t enter after seeing the damage inside.

Turner gave commissioners another option that remains tabled.

He said the board could request the owner to appear before Hill and present his case. Hill, in turn, could appeal, which would leave the theatre’s fate in the commissioners’ hands.

Photos taken by a drone show considerable damage from a collapsed roof.

Town officials consider the building a nuisance and danger to pedestrian traffic.

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