Appalachian Theatre halfway to fundraising goal

By Anna Oakes (anna.oakes@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Nov. 21 | Modified: Nov. 21
Appalachian Theatre halfway to fundraising goal

While the facade of the historic Appalachian Theatre will be restored to its original art deco appearance, the interior spaces will focus on modern comfort, while incorporating flourishes reminiscent of the historic theater, according to organization chairman John Cooper.

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The fundraising goal of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country will likely remain a secret until early 2014, according to organization chairman John Cooper.

However, the nonprofit organization has now surpassed the 50-percent mark in its fundraising campaign, which is raising money to restore the historic theater on King Street in downtown Boone.

Cooper said the ATHC will go public with the fundraising goal when it has raised 60 percent of the amount, adding that the organization has been “doing well, both locally and with individuals and businesses, as well as foundation grants.”

He said the project has netted nine grants from foundations to date, with five more pending and another application in process. The largest gift thus far amounts to a half-million dollars.

“We haven’t had a $1 million lead donor,” Cooper said. “We would love to have one.”

ATHC formed in 2012 and, earlier this year, paid off a $624,000 loan from the town of Boone, which purchased the theater in a foreclosure sale in late 2011. At the time, the organization used funds already raised, along with a short-term bridge loan to repay the town, which Cooper said had recently been repaid.

As such, he noted, the organization is currently debt-free on the theater.

Architect Steve Schuster of Raleigh-based firm Clearscapes has completed the first phase of his work on the project, which included meetings with stakeholders and user groups, assessment of the facility and a review of code issues.

While the facade of the theater will be restored to its original art deco appearance, the interior spaces will focus on modern comfort, while incorporating flourishes reminiscent of the historic theater, Cooper said.

Last Thursday, the organization hosted a 75th anniversary party for the theater at Hound Ears Club.
For more information, visit http://www.savetheapptheatre.com.

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