Mixed emotions as former PTL amphitheater demolished

Mixed emotions as former PTL amphitheater demolished

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 11:42 PM

FORT MILL, S.C. -- Crews are demolishing the old PTL outdoor amphitheater in Fort Mill, where thousands of people watched plays and listened to concerts during the heydays of PTL and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. 

 
The amphitheater also served as the site of plays by NarroWay Productions.
 
Demolition started a few days ago and is expected to finish next week.  People are pulling over in cars to take a look or snap a few pictures before it is gone for good and the hole in the ground is filled in. 
 
David L. Cook  with The Cook Family Singers performed at the amphitheater as a kid. 
 
"It's like a little piece of your heart being broken," Cook said, after watching some of the demolition.  "To be at the amphitheater singing, to go out there and be part of the passion plays and things that went on out there, it's just a wonderful part of your memories and your history."
 
Rick Drury grew up watching PTL.
 
"My mom and dad were religiously watching it," he said Thursday while watching demolition crews crush concrete.
 
Drury now lives at the campground next to the amphitheater and says it's an eyesore that needs to go, regardless of its ties to PTL. 
 
"It was an eyesore, there was graffiti, it actually was dangerous," he said. "You'd see people walking around up there in flip flops with broken glass and stuff laying around, and it's been like that for years and years and years. No, I'm not sad to see it go."
 
The property owner says he's not sure what will be built in the amphitheater's place.
 
Several neighbors also want to see the PTL tower torn down.  Morningstar Ministries plans to spend millions to renovate it, but York County says Morningstar is in violation of a five year development agreement, which includes repairing it or tearing it down with their own money. 

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