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Theatre Marquee Lights Up Downtown Boone

By Jesse Wood

The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country group lit up the brand new Blue Ridge Energy Marquee on King Street on Friday during art crawl and the Saturday Christmas parade in downtown Boone.

While plenty of interior work is left to restore the Appalachian Theatre to its original 1938 art deco design, the exterior of the theatre is just about complete. The multi-colored marquee and black-and-teal façade looks marvelous.

The next public lighting will take place on Dec. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Town of Boone fronted the Downtown Boone Development Association a three-year loan worth $624,000 to purchase the gutted theatre in foreclosure in the fall of 2011. The DBDA and the project-specific nonprofit, Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, eventually paid the town back for purchasing the theatre in 2013.

In June, the ATHC announced the public phase of the capital campaign after raising more than $6 million for the project – or nearly 80 percent of the $7.85 million goal. A separate goal of $750,000 was also announced to cover operating expenses for the first three years prior to the opening of the facility.

Speaking last week, ATHC Chair John Cooper said construction costs are going to be higher than the $7.85 million goal that was announced last year. The second phase of the project, which includes the construction of the “front of the house,” is already funded and ready to go to bid.

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts continue to fund the entire restoration project without entering into debt. Cooper mentioned that the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is accepting contributions of any size, so if someone would like to make a contribution as a gift or in honor of someone this holiday season, that is certainly possible.

See this prior article for more information.

For more information, click to www.savetheapptheatre.com.

Tours will be made by appointment by phone at 828 865-3000 or email at apptheatre@skybest.com.