BOONE — The excitement in the air was electric on Monday, Nov. 14, 1938 as local residents and curiosity-seekers throughout the High Country and beyond gathered on KingStreet for the “Gala Opening Program” of the Appalachian Theatre in Boone.

So many people wanted to be in the first day audience of “Western Carolina’s Finest Theatre” that the opening festivities were repeated three times that day at 3:45, 7 and 9 p.m. The combined attendance was estimated in the media at approximately 3,000 persons in the then 997-seat venue, meaning that each of the three programs was completely sold out.

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