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Attorneys are in agreement that G&T Holdings, the current owners of the Roanoke Rapids Theatre, are in default on their loan, City Attorney Geoffrey Davis told city council Tuesday night.

G&T Holdings, which is made up of Thomas and Evon McLean, has owned the venue since 2018.

The city currently holds the promissory note on the venue.

“Suffice it to say where we are now, the balloon payment they owe to the city is overdue,” Davis said. “I have been in conversations with their attorney and I think he and I both agree that they are currently in default on their obligations to the city of Roanoke Rapids.”

At this point, Davis said, “It does not seem they are going to be able to cure that default. Normally as anyone knows that has a home mortgage … what would happen in this context is the lien holder would move forward with foreclosure proceedings.”

There are some alternatives to foreclosure, Davis said — “alternatives that may be cheaper to the lien holder and less damaging so to speak to the reputation of either party.”

Davis said he has been discussing those options with G&T’s attorney. “I have already contacted somebody in preparation of some of those options to perform a title search on the property just to make sure G&T doesn’t have any liens out there that we need to know about. I don’t believe that they do.”

He said he should have that information by the end of the week. “Based on the results of that I will be making a suggestion to this council as far as a proposal for action.”

The attorney’s plan of action should be ready by the July meeting. “It seems like both parties — myself representing the city and the attorney representing G&T agree they are in default on the agreement. There’s no question about that. Now the question is will it be the hard way or the easy way.”

Council had requested some time ago it wanted discussions of the theater to be held in open session. 

Davis said, for purposes of his discussion during the meeting, “There are some legal issues that we have to be careful with and kind of navigate but I think we’re going to be able to do that.”

Following the attorney’s presentation, Mayor Emery Doughtie was about to say there were some matters related to the proceedings which would have to be discussed in closed session. However, he cut his comments short and simply said, “We can’t talk about it. I guess that’s the only thing to say.”

Asked following the meeting whether there was a potential buyer for the venue, Davis said, “It’s too early to say one way or the other.”

He said the current options available are to proceed with foreclosure, the owners could deed the property back to the city which the city would have to accept in lieu of foreclosure or someone could buy the venue from the current owners.