Rusty Crowe, John Holsclaw present $200,000 check to Bonnie Kate Theatre

Published 8:09 pm Monday, August 9, 2021

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Monday afternoon contained a very special moment for historic Elizabethton and the Bonnie Kate Theatre when Senator Rusty Crowe and Representative John Holsclaw presented Chairman of the Advisory Restoration Board for the City of Elizabethton John Huber with a check in the amount of $200,000 to be used for restoration of the theatre.

Opened in 1926, the Bonnie Kate Theatre began as a place for the public to enjoy silent films and live local music shows. Nowadays, the theatre is a place where people from around the surrounding areas can enjoy live music as well as plays and musicals for all ages.

Huber explained that the contribution from the State of Tennessee will be used for many different areas of the theatre, saying, “This money will be going towards new windows, the front entryway, the marquee, as well as things on the outside of the building that people will be able to see when they drive by.

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“We have a lot of projects that we need to do, and this money will go a long way towards getting some of those done and improving things that people will notice.”

And the projects that will be completed with the money contributed by the state should be noticed rather quickly, as Huber explained that this first round of things should be finished in one year. 

This donation is only the first step in a larger journey, Huber explained, saying, “There is much more to come, and our final goal is to have everything complete and ready for a grand opening on the theatre’s 100th birthday in 2026.”

Other projects that the Bonnie Kate hopes to complete in the future include a renovated upstairs and new seating in the theatre.

And while this donation from the state helps tremendously for the Bonnie Kate, the theatre continues to raise funds for their full restoration project in the future. One event, in particular, is the Barbecue, Blues, and Brews festival set for August 28 at the Covered Bridge Park.

Huber expanded on the event, saying, “We will have five barbecue vendors, beer, and three live bands for the entertainment. The event will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and you can purchase tickets at the door.”

In terms of donations, those willing to contribute can address checks to “Friends of the Bonnie Kate” and send them to 115 South Sycamore Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Along with physical donations, visiting is another way for those wishing to contribute to do so.