High Country residents and visitors alike will travel to the Alpine region of Switzerland, conventionally referred to as the Swiss Alps, for the screening of “Heidi,” the final offering on the free Family Film Series at the Appalachian Theatre in downtown Boone, NC. The film was released less than one year before the theatre first opened in 1938.
Due to a generous sponsorship by Allen Wealth Management, “Heidi” is being offered free of charge to the general public at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, 2022. It is the sixth family-friendly movie classic presented during the summer months. The film runs one hour and fifteen minutes in duration.
The free screening begins at 10 a.m. and is followed by a tour of the newly-renovated and restored 1938 vaudeville theatre and cinema. Please note that attendees under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Family-appropriate concessions will be available for purchase, including popcorn, candy, bottled water, and soft drinks, among other items. Free popcorn is being provided by Magic Bound Travel to audience members who stop by their information table in the lobby.
“Our inaugural Saturday Family Film Series has exceeded every measure we set for success,” said Keith Martin, chair of the board of trustees. “As many as 235 audience members have gathered at the App Theatre to experience these cinema classics exactly as they were intended to be seen: on a large movie screen in a real theatre with family and friends.”
Martin noted the surprising fact that there are more grandparents bringing their grandchildren to the screenings than parents attending with their own kids. “Several of our older patrons have been overheard telling their ‘grands’ that they brought their mom or dad to this same film when they were youngsters, including more than a few who did so right here at the Appalachian Theatre,” said Martin. “That’s at least three generations… and counting!”
“Heidi” is a 1937 American musical drama film directed by Allan Dwan and written by Julien Josephson and Walter Ferris, loosely based on Johanna Spyri’s 1881 children’s book of the same name. The film stars Shirley Temple as the titular orphan, who is taken from her grandfather to live as a companion to Klara, a spoiled girl. It was a huge success and Temple enjoyed her third consecutive year as the number one box office draw.
Adelheid, called Heidi (Shirley Temple), is an eight-year-old Swiss orphan, who is given by her aunt Dete (Mady Christians) to her mountain-dwelling hermit grandfather, Adolph (Jean Hersholt). While Adolph behaves coolly toward her at first, her cheery nature turns him warm, and sees him open up to the nearby town.
Heidi is then stolen back by her aunt to live in the wealthy Sesemann household in Frankfurt am Main. She becomes a companion to Klara (Marcia Mae Jones), a sheltered, disabled girl in a wheelchair who is watched constantly by the strict Fräulein Rottenmeier (Mary Nash). Heidi is unhappy but makes the best of the situation, always longing for her grandfather.
When Klara’s body and spirits mend under Heidi’s cheerful companionship, Rottenmeier (who has tried to keep Klara dependent upon her) tries to get rid of Heidi by selling her to the gypsies, but she is stopped by the police. Heidi is rescued and reunited with her grandfather.
Temple made one other film in 1937, “Wee Willie Winkie.” The child actress was growing older and the studio was questioning how much longer she could keep playing “cute” roles when “Heidi” was filmed, but she retained her position as the number one draw. The contemporary reviews were generally positive, and the film was a huge success at the box office. For a complete performance schedule and of all upcoming events, please visit the Appalachian Theatre’s website at www.apptheatre.org.
Courtesy of the Appalachian Theatre.