The Appalachian Theatre spooks Boone with first film screening

Meredith Nanney

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The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country put a spell on Boone on Oct. 25-26 with screenings of the Halloween film “Hocus Pocus.”

This was the first film the theater has shown since reopening this month.

Moviegoers of all ages flocked to the renovated theater, some dressed as witches, to view the film in time for Halloween.

“The Appalachian Theatre has a long history of presenting films so, of course, we had to include films in our month of Grand Opening events. Halloween is just around the corner, and we wanted our first film to entice audiences of all ages. ‘Hocus Pocus’ was the obvious choice, and it was great to see that 600+ moviegoers agreed. It was fun to see people in costume,” said Laura Kratt, executive director of the theatre.

Boone resident Jeff Tiller attended the Friday showing, and said he has many memories of visiting the The Appalachian Theatre before it closed in 2011. 

“We saw ‘Groundhog Day’ and a bunch of other movies. It was a dollar (then), but of course there was no heat. It’s luxurious (now), it’s beautiful,” Tiller said. 

the selection of this title as the first movie to be shown in The newly-renovated theatre is both a homage to its past, as well as a demonstration that movies are very much a part of the programming mix moving forward.”

— Keith Martin

According to a theatre press release, “Visitors to the theatre will see many of the Art Deco features from the 1938 design replicated in all their glory, including the historic façade and original marquee, the signature striping on the vaulted ceiling in the audience chamber (and) the side panels on the interior walls.”

Tiller said “Hocus Pocus” was a fun movie to see, but “came more for the theatre than the movie.”

Keith Martin, vice chair of the board of trustees and executive committee member since 2012, said this wasn’t the first time “Hocus Pocus” has graced the screen of the Appalachian Theatre.

“‘Hocus Pocus’ had its High Country film premiere at the Appalachian Theatre exactly 26 years ago this week in October 1993. So, the selection of this title as the first movie to be shown in the newly-renovated theatre is both a homage to its past, as well as a demonstration that movies are very much a part of the programming mix moving forward,” Martin said. 

In the press release, the chair of the theater’s board of trustees, John Cooper, emphasized the theatre’s importance to the Boone community.

“It preserves one of the most historic and iconic structures in the High Country, and provides a vitally important stage for so many talented folks who live here, and audience members young and old alike. The Appalachian (Theatre) is a venue to attract nationally-known talent, create jobs, revitalize Boone’s downtown district, and serve as a significant economic driver for the region,” Cooper said in the press release. 

Kratt and Martin said the theater will announce more shows and its holiday film lineup soon.

Upcoming events at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country include the Appalachian Opera Theatre performing “Die Fledermaus” on Nov. 8 and Nov. 10, and the Carolina Snowbelles on Dec. 13-14.

The Appalachian Theatre is located at 559 West King Street in the heart of downtown Boone. Tickets for events are available online at apptheatre.org or at the theatre’s onsite box office, which is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and one hour prior to each curtain.