Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2016 - 45
Is Your Town Ready?
If you're hungry to know more about
historic theatre restorations in the Blue
Ridge and beyond, go to lhat.org, the
website of the League of Historic American Theatres. In order to qualify for membership, a theatre must be more than 50
years old and have one or more of the
1. Be architecturally significant and
deemed worthy of preservation
2. Have played an important role in the
history of American stage and screen
3. Be usable as a performing arts facility
The Masonic Theatre renovation has had a positive effect along Main Street, Clifon Forge.
Macon, Bill Monroe and His
Blue Grass Boys, Doc Watson,
Minnie Pearl, Pee Wee King
and His Golden West Cowboys, Flatt and Scruggs and the
Foggy Mountain Boys.
Mohler shows a photograph
of a large crowd outside the Appalachian. "This is where the
town gathered to hear news
from the front during World
War II. The newsreels were a
big draw to the theatre."
In 1981, in an effort to compete with a seven-screen theatre at the local mall, the Appa-
lachian became a duplex, with
the balcony housing a second
screen. Various owners ran it
as a second-run movie house,
a "dollar cinema." But in late
2007, the Appalachian closed
its door. And when it was purchased by a hopeful restaurateur the following year, the
theatre was gutted...and then
abandoned when the owner
filed for bankruptcy.
With the support of the Town
of Boone (which purchased
the Appalachian in late 2011)
and the Downtown Boone
September/October 2016 45