Appalachian Theatre

559 W. King Street,
Boone, NC 28607

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Appalachian Theatre

The Appalachian Theatre was opened November 14, 1938 with the movie “Breaking the Ice” starring Bobby Breen & Charles Ruggles. The admission price was 25 cents for adults, 10 cents for children.

Gutted in 1950 by a fire started by overheated popcorn oil during the Saturday matinee of the film “The Trail of the Singing Pines” starring Gene Autry. The manager went to the stage to ask people to depart, but flames then shot out of the corners of the screen, and people stampeded out. It was restored/repaired and reopened and continued until 1981. It was taken over by an out of town movie chain and was later taken over by Carmike Cinemas and converted into the Appalachian Twin.

In 2005, admission was raised from $1.50 to $2.00, and $2.50 for weekends. Art House films were shown at what was informally known as ‘The Dollar House’. Carmike Cinemas closed the twin on November 29, 2007.

In 2008, a Florida developer acquired the building, stripping the building and then went bankrupt. The building sat closed and empty under the town ownership of Boone. In 2013, a non-profit was formed – the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country Inc. – they bought the theatre from the town and the fundraising began in earnest. In 2017, the distinctive mint green and black glass Art Deco style facade and neon marquee was restored back onto the building, winning a NC MainStreet Award.

In the summer of 2019 and extensive renovation of the rest of the building is almost completed, with plans to reopen in October 2019. While the interior has been reconfigured to incorporate onsite office space into much needed lobby space, considerable effort has gone into reclaiming that unique Art Deco style gleam. Once billed as “Western Carolina’s Finest Theatre” the newly renovated theatre will feature historic elements like a recreation of the original bold Art Deco style designed carpet from 1938 and restored multicolored wall sconces.

Several film festivals are planned and a wide variety of performing arts events.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 3, 2007 at 6:18 am

Article on the theater’s closing:
View link

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 3, 2007 at 10:53 am

must’ve been some fire that forced the theater to rebuild as a twin soon after. Yet another twin theater in America that is being killed by the megaplexes.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on January 9, 2008 at 11:06 pm

anything going on with this theater??

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on February 25, 2008 at 10:50 pm

any news on this theater/

Harvey
Harvey on April 26, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Appalachian article at Watauga Democrat here.

I lived in Boone from the fall of 2004 until the summer of 2006. I saw some films at the Appalachian and while it was a bit run down, that was part of its charm. The balcony was converted into a second screen sometime back and really was one of the better instances of such a remodeling. Roomy enough with a kind of stadium seating and a decent size screen, much bigger than most megaplexes. One of the worst instances of balcony to screening room would be the Plaza Theater in Atlanta. During my time there, the general rule was if it played upstairs, I wouldn’t go.

Since I’ve left Boone, the Dragonfly Theatre has opened up, bringing what some would consider more art-house fare to the area. It’s apparently very active community-wise with art shows and concerts as well. Given it’s history, the Appalachian I hope will survive in some form, preferably the way it was left. You can’t buy that ambiance.

GMNash
GMNash on March 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I’m thinking Consolidated had this theatre for a period of time… and Carmike got it when they sold out to them.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Nice 1984 photo,nice looking marquee.

SaveTheAppTheatre
SaveTheAppTheatre on February 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

The Appalachian Theatre is coming back as a mixed-use performance venue for live theatre, concerts, and art house films. http://www.savetheapptheatre.com/

Texas2step
Texas2step on August 21, 2017 at 5:03 pm

A souvenir program for the Appalachian Theatre gives the opening date as November 14, 1938.

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