Falling debris at old downtown theater to get fixed

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Plans to stop falling debris from the top of the old two-story Center Street theater have currently eased concerns from the Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners.

Condemnation proceedings had been under consideration, but town attorney W. Carroll Turner told board members in monthly session last week theater owners have agreed to fix the problem.

Turner said work should begin within two weeks to install debris netting, a fix designed to catch falling debris.

Town officials had raised concerns after receiving complaints about debris falling below on the sidewalk along both Center and James streets.

The said it had become a safety issue.

Debris netting is a process used in high rise type construction to protect areas below.

Turner said the property owners, the Swinson family of Mount Olive, have been cooperative since being alerted of the problem.

He said the work is expected to be completed before the Pickle Festival on April 12-13.

The old theater has been closed for years and its condition has deteriorated.

Earlier, the University of Mount Olive had expressed an interest in purchasing the old theatre and convert it into a per-forming arts center.

However, those plans fell through when authorities at the university felt it was not economically feasible.

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