BOONE — The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country announced an expanded schedule of screenings, including a new Cinema Classics series.
On seven different weekends during the autumn months, Cinema Sundays at the App Theatre will bring both documentary films and much-loved, family-friendly classics to audiences throughout the High Country region and beyond.
Perpetuating a cinematic tradition that dates back to 1938, when the venerable art deco “movie palace” opened on King Street in the heart of Boone, the Cinema Classics series will formally launch during the upcoming holiday season.
In the interim, it will tease theatregoers with a much-loved film that will be screened at the theatre, in person at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19, in conjunction with International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It is the only holiday that encourages people to babble like buccaneers for the sheer, anarchic fun of it.
“It’s been celebrated by millions of people on all seven continents and even on the International Space Station,” according to co-creators John Baur and Mark Summers.
The App Theatre invites audiences to don their best pirate regalia — the theatre requests no swords, though — and celebrate the best pirate film ever produced while practicing their best pirate jargon.
When the studio prohibited the App Theatre from mentioning the title of this popular 1987 film directed by Rob Reiner and featuring Dred Pirate Roberts, executive director Laura Kratt replied “Inconceivable!,” but offered the following hints: the movie stars Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn and Andre the Giant, and includes with the legendary catchphrase, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Kratt said the much-anticipated BOONE DOCS series of documentary film screenings will continue the partnership formed in 2020 between the App Theatre and South Arts’ Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. This collaborative initiative brings together cinema fans and community partners to create a High Country home for independent film.
“Given our area’s love for good storytelling and the quality and creative depth of the Southern Circuit Filmmakers, partnering again with South Arts was a natural fit for our upcoming season,” Kratt said. “We are thrilled to have been selected, for the second year in a row, to be a host sites and an integral part of this distinguished regional film network.”
South Arts in Georgia selected the Appalachian Theatre in Boone as one of only 24 screening partner organizations in the southeast United States selected for 2021-2022. The film selection process is equally rigorous with more than 200 filmmakers competing to be presented during each local tour. Kratt noted that a dedicated 12-person local film team was an invaluable part of the process volunteering countless hours in film review to help bring compelling and engaging films to Boone.
From September through November, BOONE DOCS will present five Southern Circuit documentaries hosted by the filmmakers, giving audiences a rare look behind the scenes with post-screening question and answer sessions about film subjects and the filmmaking process. To prioritize the well-being and flexibility of screening partners, filmmakers and audiences during the most recent spike in the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall 2021 Southern Circuit season will feature online screenings via the Eventive platform.
The first event of the series features a free, online screening of “Stateless” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12.
Through the grassroots campaign of electoral hopeful Rosa Iris, director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary reveals the depths of racial hatred and institutionalized oppression that divide Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
It is followed at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26, by “At The Ready,” set in El Paso, Texas. Home to one of the region’s largest law enforcement education programs, students at Horizon High School in El Paso train to become police officers and Border Patrol agents as they discover the realities of their dream jobs may be at odds with the truths and people they hold most dear.
“Not Go Quietly” tells the heart-breaking but uplifting true-life story of Ady Barkan. When he is diagnosed with ALS with only four years to live, he struggled to connect with his newborn son and mourned the future he will miss. But after a chance confrontation with Senator Jeff Flake, Ady decides to embark on a cross-country tour of America, using his final breaths to fight for health care justice. The documentary will be screened at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10.
Sunday, Oct. 24 brings the 3 p.m. screening of “And So I Stayed,” a documentary about survivors of abuse fighting for their lives and spending years behind bars. The story chronicles how the legal system gets domestic violence wrong. It is a moving portrait of Kim, Tanisha and Nikki — three survivors whose strikingly similar stories are separated by over 30 years. None of them were believed, and each of them was criminalized for fighting back. This screening is in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“Duty Free” closes out the fall BOONE DOCS series on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m. with additional films to be announced for the winter and spring of 2021-22. After a 75-year-old immigrant mother gets fired without cause from her lifelong job as a hotel housekeeper, her son takes her on a bucket-list adventure to reclaim her life. As she struggles to find work, he documents a journey that uncovers the economic insecurity shaping not only her future, but that of an entire generation.
A bonus “Cinema Sundays” event will be offered at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14, the exact 83rd anniversary of the 1938 grand opening of the Appalachian Theatre. “Hollywood in the High Country” is a feature-length documentary that explores the 69-year history of Boone’s iconic main-street cinema prior to its closing in 2007. The magic of the movies comes alive through the stories of locals who grew up in front of the theatre’s silver screen. The film also recounts the efforts of the townspeople to purchase and renovate this long-closed theatre into a performing arts center. This will be a live, in-person screening.
Tickets are required for all online and in person events and can be obtained online as part of the theatre’s touchless ticketing program at www.apptheatre.org/ticket-information. Tickets to the Southern Circuit films are free. Tickets to other film events are $10 for adults and $6 for children. Everyone, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
Patrons and supporters of the Appalachian Theatre should note that the venue is committed to the health and safety of its community and will continue to follow the guidance of health and governmental officials in the development and implementation of COVID-19 related policies.
To read about current guidelines in effect for each of the above events, or to join the theatre’s e-blast list, get tickets or purchase memberships, visit www.apptheatre.org.