Senator Rusty Crowe issues donation to the Bonnie Kate Theater

Published 4:49 pm Thursday, June 25, 2020

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Senator Rusty Crowe is encouraging citizens of Elizabethton to donate to the Bonnie Kate Theater. 
On Thursday morning, Crowe was at the theater to present a proclamation from February for the 2020 Songwriter’s Week Qualifying Event, and also donate a check for $500. 
“I’m donating this today to once again jumpstart the community giving,” he said. “It’s important that people realize this is a part of our history we don’t want to lose. The tradition and history are so important to us.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were plans to obtain financial aid, such as grants, to help fund the theater’s restoration project. This has since been halted as a result of the virus. Crowe’s donation was part of continued work on restoration.
The theater was built in 1926, and current plans are to have restoration complete by the 100-year anniversary in 2026, making the theater a community arts center in addition to showing movies. 
In order to help fund the restoration project, donations are still needed.
“Let’s get this giving going from a community perspective,” continued Crowe. “Even if you could just give $10, $15, $20, let’s start that, let’s kick-start that again.”
Jeff Treadway, member of the theater’s board and a city councilman, explained that the best way to donate is by writing a check to the Friends of the Bonnie Kate, and sending it to 115 South Sycamore Street, Elizabethton, TN.
Additional ways that the community can help out is by becoming a member of the Friends of the Bonnie Kate, and “putting in the elbow grease,” explained Casey Eryasa, president of the organization.
The cost of yearly dues for membership is currently in discussion, but would be no more than $25 per year. 
“One of the best ways community donors can support the Bonnie Kate is join with us, pay your membership dues, come and volunteer,” she said.
Treadway explained how memorable Bonnie Kate has been for people over the years. 
One such attendee at the event, Deacon Bowers, described how he would hitch a ride from Stoney Creek to the theater when he was a little boy and could get in to see a movie for nine cents. He said the popcorn bags were so big you could hardly eat them. 
“Everybody in the community that’s lived here has a memory of the Bonnie Kate,” said Treadway. “Whether they came here on their first date, or with their parents to see a show or bottlecap matinees on Saturday, everybody’s got a memory of the Bonnie Kate.”

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