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“The Polar Express” First Train to Stop in Boone since 1940; App Theatre Screens Holiday Family Film on December 13

BOONE, NC – Not since the historic flood of 1940 forced the closure of the Linville River Train
Station has a train stopped in downtown Boone, N.C. That fact will change at 7 p.m. on Tuesday,
December 13 when Tom Hanks and “The Polar Express” steam into the Appalachian Theatre
of the High Country for its inaugural Holiday Family Film Series.

“The Polar Express” is a 2004 computer-animated fantasy adventure film co-written and
directed by Robert Zemeckis, based on the 1985 children’s book of the same name by Chris Van
Allsburg. The movie features human characters animated using live-action and motioncapture CGI animation. It tells the story of a young boy who, on Christmas Eve, sees a mysterious train bound for the North Pole stop outside his window and is invited aboard by its conductor. The boy joins several other children as they embark on a journey to visit Santa Claus preparing for Christmas.

The film stars Tom Hanks, also one of the movie’s executive producers, in multiple distinct roles,
with Daryl Sabara, Nona Gaye, Jimmy Bennett, and Eddie Deezen in supporting roles. Castle
Rock Entertainment produced the film in association with Shangri-La, ImageMovers, Playtone, and Golden Mean Productions for Warner Brothers Pictures. It was Castle Rock’s first CGIanimated movie and was made with a production budget of $165–170 million, a record-breaking sum for an animated feature at the time, eventually grossing $314 million worldwide. The movie was later listed in the 2006 Guinness World Records as the first all-digital capture film.

Music lovers will note that the soundtrack of the film, titled “The Polar Express: Original Motion
Picture Soundtrack,” was released in November 2004 by Reprise Records, Warner Music Group
and Warner Sunset Records. The song, “Believe,” written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri, was
nominated for Best Original Song at the 77th Academy Awards and was sung during the
ceremonies by original performer Josh Groban with Beyoncé. It won a Grammy Award in 2006.
Architecture at the North Pole in “The Polar Express” refers to a number of buildings related to
American railroading history. The buildings in the square at the city’s center are loosely based
on the Pullman Factory in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood.

The locomotive featured in the film is an American 2-8-4 Berkshire type steam locomotive
modeled after the Pere Marquette 1225, which had spent many years on static display near
Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan on the campus of Michigan State University, where
children’s book author Chris Van Allsburg recalled playing on the engine when attending football
games as a child.

In partnership with Allen Wealth Management, “The Polar Express” is one of four movies
programmed by the App Theatre for its Holiday Family Film Series. The running time of the
movies is 100 minutes. The remaining movie on the series is “The Muppet Christmas Carol” with
a showtime at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 17.

Note that Films@TheApp are shown without 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 $5 per person, and attendees under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent
or guardian.

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