BOONE — The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, in partnership with Allen Wealth Management, has announced a new Saturday Morning Family Film Series at the historic King Street landmark in downtown Boone. It is being offered free of charge to the general public. Six family-friendly movie classics will be screened over the summer months on select Saturday mornings between June 18 and August 27 beginning at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a tour of the newly renovated and restored 1938 vaudeville theater and cinema.
The films selected for the inaugural series are “Where The Lilies Bloom” on June 18, “Dumbo” on July 16, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” on July 30, “Mary Poppins” on August 6, “Lady and the Tramp” on August 13, and “Heidi” on August 27. Please note that attendees under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
“One of the most remarkable aspects of this new series is that admission is free of charge, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Allen Wealth Management,” said App Theatre Board Chair Keith Martin. “As one of ten in my own immediate family, I know that the cost of admission quickly adds up to some real money, but that financial barrier has been removed. We’re thrilled that members of the general public will finally get to see this beautifully-restored theater, many for the very first time.”
Owner Jonathan Allen, a member of the Board of Trustees, said, “We’re proud to help the App Theatre accomplish their outreach goals by making these cherished classic films available without cost to every member of our High Country community. I look forward to seeing these films in the venue where they were originally screened decades ago.”
Martin credits the staff of the Appalachian Theatre with proposing the idea of a free family film series and suggesting Saturday mornings during the summer months when local residents and visitors to the region can take advantage of the air-conditioned theater during the hot daytime hours. Parking is available at no cost in the nearby Peacock (formerly Raley) lot between Howard and Rivers Street, directly behind the theater’s location on King Street.
In conjunction with the Boone 150 celebration, the series begins with the only major motion picture release ever filmed entirely in the High Country. “Where the Lilies Bloom” is a 1974 film adaptation of the novel by the same name filmed at locations in Watauga County, Ashe County and in the Avery County in North Carolina. The soundtrack was composed by Earl Scruggs. The cast of more than 100 actors included film stars Harry Dean Stanton, Rance Howard, Jan Smithers, Sudie Bond, and dozens of local school children. The film will be screened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 18.
“Dumbo” is a 1941 American animated fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. The main character is Jumbo Jr., an elephant who is cruelly nicknamed Dumbo, as in “dumb.” He is ridiculed for his big ears, but in fact he is capable of flying by using his ears as wings.
Throughout most of the film, his only true friend, aside from his mother, is the mouse, Timothy — a relationship parodying the stereotypical animosity between mice and elephants. At 64 minutes, it is one of Disney’s shortest animated features and is considered to be among the greatest animated films of all time. The film will be screened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 16.
Fifty-five years after its first showing at the App Theatre, Disney’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” a 1968 British musical-fantasy film starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes. At a rural English garage, two children, Jeremy and Jemima Potts, find a car formerly used for racing in Grand Prix in Europe until it crashed and burned in 1909.
When they learn the car is due to be scrapped, they beg their father, inventor Caractacus, to save it; he makes lots of unsuccessful attempts to sell his inventions to raise money to buy it, until he earns tips from a song-and-dance act at a carnival. He purchases the car and rebuilds it with a new name, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” for the unusual noise of its engine. The film will be screened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 30.
Disney’s “Mary Poppins” is a 1964 musical fantasy based on P. L. Travers’s book series of the same name. The film combines live-action and animation and stars Julie Andrews in her feature film debut as a nanny who visits a dysfunctional family in London and employs her unique brand of lifestyle to improve the family’s dynamic. Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, and Glynis Johns are featured in supporting roles.
It received a total of 13 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture — a record for any film released by Walt Disney Studios — and won five, including Best Actress for Andrews, Best Original Music Score, and Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” The film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film will be screened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6.
“Lady and the Tramp” is a 1955 animated musical romance film produced by Walt Disney featuring the voice of Peggy Lee, among others. It tells the story of a female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady, who lives with a refined, upper-middle-class family, and a male stray mutt called Tramp. When the two dogs meet, they embark on many romantic adventures and fall in love. It was the first animated movie to be filmed using the widescreen CinemaScope process, as well as the first animated film to be distributed by Disney’s Buena Vista division. A direct-to-video sequel, “Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure,” was released in 2001. The film will be screened at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13.
The beloved classic film “Heidi” concludes the inaugural series at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.
This 1937 American musical film stars Shirley Temple as the titular 8-year-old Swiss orphan, who is taken from her mountain-dwelling hermit grandfather, Adolph, to live in the wealthy Sesemann household in Frankfurt as a companion to Klara, a sheltered, disabled girl in a wheelchair, who is constantly watched by the strict Fräulein Rottenmeier. When Klara’s body and spirits mend under Heidi’s cheerful companionship, Rottenmeier sells Heidi to the gypsies, but she is stopped by the police, rescued and reunited with her grandfather. The film was a success and Temple enjoyed her third consecutive year as number one box office draw.
For a complete performance schedule and additional information on each film, please visit the theater’s website at www.apptheatre.org.