VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - In its day, the Roland Theatre in Virginia Beach was a popularspot. But now, its days appear to be numbered.
What some call an historic building, others refer to as adilapidated structure that needs to come down. Looking a littlelike the Alamo--after the attack--the long vacant Roland Theater isshowing its age.
Built in the 1920s, it was once a popular Oceanfront movietheater. Several decades ago it became a playhouse for stageproductions, more recently a bar and now it is a vacant building,falling apart.
"There's very little history left," said Mac Rawls, with theVirginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission.
Rawls is Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission. Hewould like to see the old theater renovated, the buildingrestored.
"This is one of the last historic buildings in the resort area,"said Rawls. "We have very few that are left. It's also one that hassome significant architecture although it's a little bit hard toidentify today."
According to city officials, the property is owned by Mr. PaulDugas in San Diego. City officials and neighboring businessmen sayDugas has done nothing to maintain the building for at least 10years.
Last month some of the building fell to the sidewalk forcing thecity to close part of the walkway. In fact, Virginia Beach recentlywon a judgment against Dugas for violating building codes andstandards giving the city legal right to demolish the property.
"As we tear down these building we lose our personality," Rawlssaid. "We lose connection with our past."
But preservationist aren't the only ones concerned about theprospect of tearing down this old building. One local businessmandown here has his own concerns but for a different reason.
Dough Boy's Pizza is right next door to the crumblingtheater.
"I'm worried it might fall on my roof and the other is I knowit's going to hurt commerce during that process," said Dough Boy'sowner George Kotarides Jr.
Charges have been made in a domestic abuse investigation involving a 74-year-old woman in Elizabeth City.
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.