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Great Interest in New Life for Appalachian Theater PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Thursday, 08 December 2011 07:07

A gathering of local folks interested in the restoration of the old Appalachian Theater met at the Watauga Library yesterday morning gave new momentum to the project, just taken on by the Town of Boone with a winning bid for the King Street building.  Mayor Pro-Tem Lynn Mason was impressed at the range of interests of those gathered, including Doc Watson himself, "John Cooper did an amazing job bringing together a number of people from the community for this meeting.  We did some visioning--what we want to see in the theater, and then we actually broke into committees to begin working on the planning both for the fundraising and for the design features and the organization for a new non-profit.  There was tremendous community support—just a variety of stake-holders."
John Cooper, who already had ideas in place before the final bids were in, was likewise energized by the group, "I was thrilled with the amount of turnout, the quality of the people involved and the talents that we have, and I think so many have left with great energy.  I feel very confident about this project going forward—I'm excited."
Lynn Mason said the council is turning the guidance of the project over to the Downtown Boone Development Association with the goal of turning the project over to a non-profit, and she said that the 75th anniversary of the opening of the theatre is in November of 2013, and hopes are that the planning and restoration can have the theater ready for that date.  In the meantime, besides the $624,000 purchase price, another $3 to 4 million will have to be spent to create the space being envisioned by the group. Next meeting—next Wednesday at the library.

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