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App Theatre Honors Black History Month with Award-Winning Films: “Harriet” and “Black Panther” Screen on February 16 and 17

BOONE, NC – The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is honoring Black History Month with the debut screenings of two popular, award-winning films at its landmark venue on King Street in downtown Boone, NC.

The 2019 biographical film “Harriet” about abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be shown on Thursday, February 16 followed by the 2018 Marvel superhero film Black Panther on Friday, February 17. Each screening begins promptly at 7 p.m. and runs approximately two hours and ten minutes in duration with a general admission ticket price of only $6 per person.

Both films are sponsored by the Alfred B. and Josette L. Glover Foundation. A trustee on the App Theatre’s board of trustees, Alfred said, “While we celebrate Black history every month of the year, February provides a perfect occasion to showcase these outstanding movies for a High Country audience that may have missed them during their initial release. It also gives visitors to our region a chance to see these films in a historic theatre that has been lovingly and faithfully restored to its former glory.”

“Harriet” is directed by Kasi Lemmons, who also wrote the screenplay with Gregory Allen Howard. It stars Cynthia Erivo as abolitionist Harriet Tubman, with Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, and Janelle Monáe in supporting roles. A biography about Harriet Tubman had been in the works for years, with several actresses, including Viola Davis, rumored to star. Erivo was cast in February 2017, and much of the cast and crew joined the following year. Filming took place in Virginia from October to December 2018.

The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on November 1, 2019, by Focus Features. It received generally favorable reviews from critics, who praised Erivo’s performance and found the film sincere. It was a moderate commercial success, grossing $43 million worldwide against its production budget of $17 million. The film received 16 awards along with several accolades and multiple other nominations, particularly for Erivo’s performance, which garnered her nominations at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and the Screen Actors Guild. For the song “Stand Up,” Erivo and Joshuah Brian Campbell received Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe nominations.

“Black Panther” is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, and it stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa is crowned king of Wakanda following his father’s death, but he is challenged by Killmonger (Jordan), who plans to abandon the country’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution.

Wesley Snipes planned to make a Black Panther film in 1992, but the project did not come to fruition. In September 2005, Marvel Studios listed a Black Panther film as one of ten films based on Marvel characters intended to be distributed by Paramount Pictures. Mark Bailey was hired to write a script in January 2011. Black Panther was officially announced in October 2014, and Boseman made his first appearance as the character in Captain America: Civil War (2016). Cole and Coogler had joined by then, with additional casting in May. Black Panther was the first Marvel Studios film with a Black director and a predominantly Black cast. Principal photography took place from January to April 2017 at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and in Busan, South Korea.

“Black Panther” premiered in Los Angeles on January 29, 2018, and was released theatrically in the United States on February 16, as part of Phase Three of the MCU. Critics praised its direction, writing, acting (particularly that of Boseman, Jordan, and Wright), costume design, production values, and soundtrack, but some criticized the computer-generated visual effects. Many critics considered the film to be one of the best in the MCU, and it was also noted for its cultural significance. Organizations such as the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute named Black Panther as one of the top ten films of 2018. It grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide and broke numerous box office records, becoming the highest-grossing film directed by a Black filmmaker, the ninth highest-grossing film of all time, the third highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada, and the second highest-grossing film of 2018.

The film was nominated in seven categories at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Song, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing while winning Oscars for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score.

It was the first superhero film to receive a Best Picture nomination, and the first MCU film to win several categories. A sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” was released on November 11, 2022, while a television series set in Wakanda is in development for Disney+.

Note that all Films@TheApp are shown without movie previews or trailers, so please arrive a few minutes before the scheduled start time to secure tickets and purchase concessions. The general admission ticket price is just $6 per person, and attendees under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

While the App Theatre’s online ticketing system is accessible 24/7, customers can avoid the online service fees by visiting the lobby box office between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday, or two hours prior to showtime for each film. For a complete performance schedule of all upcoming events, or to sign up for the theatre’s e-blast distribution list, visit the organization’s website at www.apptheatre.org

Events, days, dates, times, performers, and prices are subject to change without notice.