Group finalizes Taylor Theater purchase
By Miles Layton
Thursday, December 14, 2017
EDENTON — A local investment group has purchased the Taylor Theater in Edenton, breathing new life into the movie house that closed this summer.
Charlie Creighton, who along with Samuel Dixon and Larry Sellers heads the investment group, said the group has purchased the theater building from Montanaro Family NC Properties.
The investment group raised $610,000 for the project — $330,000 to buy the theater building and $280,000 to make repairs. The theater closed in June after its building was damaged in a storm.
Belinda and Ryan Respass will lease the theater from the investment group and become its new operators. The Respasses are former longtime employees of the Taylor Theater.
As contractors were busy cleaning and repairing the theater late last week, Belinda Respass said she hopes to be showing movies at the renovated Taylor early next year.
“Belinda and Ryan Respass will bring the theater to a higher level than ever before,” Creighton said.
Creighton said saving the theater was the right thing to do.
“I am thrilled that the Taylor Theater will continue living in Edenton thanks to the generosity of so many people that elected to invest in the theater’s future,” he said.
Dixon described Taylor Theater as the “people’s theater.”
“I can’t tell you how excited I am that this community yet again came together to save a vital community asset,” Dixon said. “I think that saving the Taylor Theater is important because having first-run movies will allow all members of our community to be able experience the magic of movies. ... The Taylor Theater is for everyone. It is the people’s theater and that is why we saved it.”
Sellers said he hopes the group’s efforts to save the Taylor Theater will kick-start other development projects in Edenton.
“I’m thrilled that the town did come together and open (the Taylor) back up,” he said. “I think we should also set our sights on a larger project in the near future. If you do one project, there is plenty more that can be done in town.”