Some of you will remember Paul Buck, former manager of what is today the Bojangles’ Coliseum on E. Independence Blvd. That “House of Entertainment” was born in 1955, when Charlotte didn’t go much past Myers Park. 

The chief in charge who ran the joint for more than 33 years was Paul Buck. He was a dynamic man who could handle the sports moguls and the entertainment stars. He did it until 1988, when Charlotte thought the Coliseum and the new NBA Hornets should be in a larger, more modern, palace on Tyvola Rd. About that time, Paul Buck retired, but he had made his mark as one of the heavy hitters in Charlotte.

I knew him for 20 years. If you made it into his circle, he would take care of you. His top left drawer is where he kept his stash of the “good seats” to the big shows. Keep in mind, this was before computers — if the seats were sold out, he could “find” a couple. 

Neil Diamond was here several times and sold the place out. Elvis came to Paul’s house in ‘73 & ‘77. I remember the last Elvis trip to Charlotte, a short time before he died. The old coliseum only had 11,000 seats, and Elvis could have sold out the Rose Bowl. Just before show time, Paul Buck and Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, made the rounds inside the place like two Generals running an army. 

Paul Buck was big time…we were lucky to have him all those years.

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One Response to It’s a Paul Buck Throwback

  1. Roxanne says:

    Can’t be too many of us still around who knew Paul. I loved the man dearly. In August 1988, when they closed the old coliseum, everyone defected to the new facility that had been built for the Hornets. Everyone, that is, except Mr. Buck, his long-time assistant Patti, a loyal maintenance guy, and Hubert who was promoted to manage Oven’s Auditorium. I was new in town, needed a job and there was a spot open as a receptionist for Paul and Patti. All the activity, excitement, hype and glamour, was across town at the new joint. There was a new General Manager over there, too. Mr. Buck stayed with his abandoned “ship” like any good Captain would. There wasn’t much going on, but he faithfully returned to his office every day until he retired. Patti stayed with him until then, and so did I. His office suite was a 1955 time capsule. There were only a handful of us in what was the now darkened dome. I used to go out into the arena and just stare up at the curved ceiling so high above me. I could hear the echo of all the crowds that ever filled the space. I also used to go sit in the star’s dressing rooms. All by myself in there, with the ghosts of some of the greatest acts in history. Elvis first played there 1956, and had a few more dates before the 70’s. I loved listening to Mr. Buck’s stories. He had so many and I wish he had written them down. He was as legendary as some of the acts he booked. He put Charlotte entertainment on the map. So many people wanted to demolish the old building in favor of the new one. Mr. Buck fought for it to stand. It is an architectural achievement and it would be a crime to tear it down. Ironic that the building that opened in 1988 is gone now, yet, the dome is still standing. I have a deep love and regard for the place that will never fade. Same with Ovens. I am so glad to see their value was appreciated, and money was spent to renovate. Both look wonderful now. The changes are aesthetically pleasing, but I am sad to see the famous rose garden in front of Oven’s is gone now. They are part of Charlotte history and lore and long shall they stand.

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