Bonnie Kate Theater enters year three of renovations

Published 4:38 pm Monday, August 20, 2018

With roofing material scattered outside the Bonnie Kate Theater, the fruit of labor by several dedicated citizens continues to make progress.

It all comes back to the passion of seeing the Bonnie Kate Theater thrive for the years to come. Work is expected to get underway this week for improvements to the roof of the historical theater, which is be provided by the City of Elizabethton thanks to allocated monies from bond proceeds for 2018-19 projects.

Bonnie Kate will soon be the hotbed of various community activities in September and officials will kick off the month right by inviting the public to a visionary meeting inside the facility on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with free refreshments.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Marcia Ross, programs coordinator with Bonnie Kate, said the event will allow the public to see the steps the theater has taken over the past two years for revitalization. The meeting will also give attendees a chance to see what’s ahead for further improvements.

Due to the roofing project on the horizon, Jeff Treadway, City Councilman and Bonnie Kate Board member, said the funds raised during upcoming events will be used to benefit a new sprinkler system, window repairs and electrical improvements inside the building.

But with the immediate goals in sight, the vision meeting will give people a chance to see what’s ahead for the Bonnie Kate. Having public support for the facility will be key, according to Treadway.

“I think we have a golden opportunity to save this historic theater,” he said. “But just a few people can’t make it happen. If it is going to happen, it’s going to happen because of the community. The city has been very gracious by giving us this jumpstart with the roof, but it’s going to take people to support the fundraising projects to keep this going. Our hope is to have some of the funds we’re collecting to use as leverage for a matching grant. We’ve contacted a half dozen or more grant agencies, but we’re just not ready to go after that yet.”

Ross echoed Treadway’s sentiments. Ross recently returned from a theatre conference in Texas and was able to take in different fundraising ideas and different ways to approach the creation of programs at the Bonnie Kate

“It has been a long road, but we’ve had a lot of support,” Ross said. “There have been a lot of people that want to see this happen. Now it is our goal to make this happen through the next round of fundraising events.”

Moving forward, board members are eagerly waiting to unveil the second annual BBQ, Blues & Brews Festival on Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. inside Covered Bridge Park. One week from the festival, the theater will host an “evening of jazz” starting at 7 p.m.

To learn more about the upcoming events, email or call (423) 895-1762.