Bonnie Kate Theater reopens

Published 4:02 pm Thursday, July 16, 2020

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The Bonnie Kate Theater reopened their doors last week.
The theater kicked off their reopening with a concert from the band AllSkate on July 10. According to Jeff Treadway, a board member for the theater, around 25 people were in attendance, and it went pretty well.
“I was really impressed. They were a really, really good group,” he said.
Now that the theater has reopened, Treadway said the plan is to continue playing classic and family movies on weekends. Additionally, there will be live concerts and plays coming soon.
“The plan is to keep doing it weekly,” explained Treadway. “I have a list of movies and I’ve had people suggest some movies I’m going to try to include. I know classic movies are not everyone’s thing, so what I’ve been trying to do is have a family movie or kids movie at 4 p.m. and then a classic movie at 7 p.m.”
Treadway said that to follow guidelines for COVID-19, attendees have their temperatures taken upon entry and must wear a mask (if they do not have one, the theater will give them one). Social distancing in the seating is also implemented by someone seating attendees.
During movies and performances, concessions are now being sold. This includes popcorn, drinks and candy for $2, and water for $1. Treadway said he hopes to add to the concessions during performances with things like pizza and hotdogs. The concession stand has a new popcorn maker courtesy of Northeast Community Credit Union that he wanted to say thank you for.
The theater has partnered with the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library to host movies. Admission fees for movies is a suggested donation of $3.
Treadway said he understands many people are still reluctant to attend movies, etc. but he wants people to know Bonnie Kate is back.
Prior to the theater reopening, there was a need to fix the sprinkler system. This is now complete for attendees to be at the theater, however work on the upstairs is still ongoing. Treadway said that renovation plans have changed a bit to accommodate available grants as well.
“We’re reassessing our project and project phasing to better fit grant sources,” he said.
Revenue for the theater is generated in various ways, one being the restaurant, Red Chili, that rents out a space in the building.
Treadway explained the importance of Bonnie Kate and the ultimate goal. The theater was built in 1926, and is the only surviving theater out of the four that used to be in the town. One burned down, and the other two were converted into other businesses. He said many memories have been formed at the Bonnie Kate from first dates, first kisses to first movies. The future potential of the theater is to be a destination in downtown and be an anchor for future generations to make their own memories.
Those who donate can do so to share legacies, some even in honor of loved ones, which Treadway explained will be displayed as well.
On July 18, “Mary Poppins” will be playing at 4 p.m. followed by “The Sound of Music” at 7 p.m. On July 25, “Spiderman” will be played at 4 p.m. followed by “The Hunt for Red October” at 7 p.m.
For more information on the Bonnie Kate Theater you can check out their Facebook page.

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