The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) is hosting a special online FUNdraising event, Lights, Camera... AUCTION! from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

It will be broadcast live from the stage of the venerable landmark in downtown Boone. The event will include onstage performances by Soul Benefactor with a silent auction broadcast in real time to thousands of High Country homes via Facebook, YouTube and the theatre’s website, www.apptheatre.org.

Four-time Emmy Award-winning actress Laura Linney is serving as honorary chair for the event. Linney has been nominated three times for an Academy Award, four times for a Tony Award, six times for a SAG award, once for a BAFTA Award, and five times for a Golden Globe. She has won one Screen Actors Guild Award, one National Board of Review Award, two Golden Globes and four Emmy Awards. She is the daughter of the late playwright Romulus Linney, whose archives reside in the Belk Library at Appalachian. 

"It is my pleasure to serve as honorary chair for the Appalachian Theatre's fundraising event as they join non-profit arts organizations around the world in efforts to survive the pandemic,” said Linney from Atlanta where she is filming the fourth and final season of the web television series, “Ozark.”

Linney said, “The historic theatre's property in downtown Boone is across King Street from the Linney/Coffey homestead and a short distance from the intersection of Linney Street, locations that are near and dear to my heart. I wish the Appalachian Theatre well with their upcoming event and am pleased to support the cause."

”We are so honored to have an award-winning actress like Ms. Linney lend her support during such a busy time” said ATHC Executive Director Laura Kratt, noting Linney’s whirlwind of activity leading up to the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 20. Linney is up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the role
of Wendy Byrde in “Ozark.” It is her seventh Emmy nomination, having won previously for her work in “Wild Iris,” “Frazier,” “John Adams,” and “The Big C.”

Former board chair John Cooper, who is leading the steering committee for Lights, Camera... AUCTION! with theatre trustee Gail Hearn, said the event reunites the same production team who worked behind the scenes last June to make “Re-Energize Watauga Live” such a success, including broadcast director Wayne Sumner and his crew from Jackson and Sumner Associates.

The auction will feature over 80 distinctive items collected by Hearn and her committee and auctioneer Jesse Miller will lead the bidding. Packages include movie memorabilia, vacation packages, artwork and a whole range of professional services donated by friends of the Appalachian Theatre who have stepped up to help while the theatre is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home-hosted viewing parties are being coordinated by ATHC trustees Johann Vaz and Jesse Miller with details available on the theatre website. To date, 12 such viewing parties have been planned with other groups being formed on an almost daily basis.

Cooper acknowledged the event’s marquee sponsor, Allen CPA, PLLC who leads over a dozen altruistic local underwriters in supporting the FUNdraiser, including auction sponsors First Horizon Bank, New River Building Supplies, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank, and Skyline/Skybest.

“Due to their generous support,” Cooper said, “Lights, Camera... AUCTION! is already well on its way to being a success and will ensure that the Appalachian Theatre weathers the pandemic to re-open bigger, bolder, and better than ever before!”

Artist sponsors include 828 Real Estate; Combs, Tennant and Carpenter; Creekside Electronics; Deal, Moseley, and Smith LLP; First Security Insurance; LifeStore Bank; Peabody's Wine and Beer; Peak Insurance Group; and Rosemyr Corporation. Blue Ridge Electric is also an event backer along with many generous individual donors who will be honored during the gala.

With regard to entertainment, Boone-based sextet Soul Benefactor has been churning out “deeply funky grooves” from the American soul music capitals of Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Motown and New Orleans. For over a decade, they have been packing dance floors at bars, breweries, wineries, clubs, parks, outdoor festivals, fundraisers, weddings and private events, the band is a staple of the High Country music scene.

Led by multi-instrumentalists Aaron Burleson and Dave Brewer, and featuring the Horns du Jour, Soul Benefactor’s high-energy mix of 1960s & ’70s soul, funk and rock pays homage to artists such as Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Junior Walker. The band’s take on classic works by Van Morrison, The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Cocker and Steely Dan always keep the dance floor packed. 

For more specific details about Lights, Camera... AUCTION! including pictures and descriptions of auction items and information on home-hosted viewing parties, please visit www.apptheatre.org.