Bonnie Kate Theatre

115 Sycamore Street South,
Elizabethton, TN 37643

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Bonnie Kate Theatre

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Quaint and distinctive little movie palace in this college town. The Bonnie Tate Theatre was opened May 16, 1926. It was twined in the 1970’s. It was closed in November 2012 screening “The Twilight Saga:Breaking Dawn Part 2”. It was de-twinned in 2014 and became a live theatre venue and was closed in 2015.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

UnknownCinemaDude
UnknownCinemaDude on June 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

2009 photo of the bonnie kate cinema . can be seen here:
View link

UnknownCinemaDude
UnknownCinemaDude on June 3, 2009 at 9:10 pm

2009 photo it can be seen here:
View link

UnknownCinemaDude
UnknownCinemaDude on June 13, 2009 at 7:40 pm

located in the same building , there is the bonnie kate cafe.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

nice looking theatre,Boy, they enjoy splitting them theatres.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I need to drive over and check out this one.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Yes you do.And take photos.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

I may just do that Mike.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on June 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm

It is really remarkable to find a theatre which has been in continuous operation for 85 years and in such remarkable shape! Even though the auditorium has been reconfigured into a twin it is salvageable in that the original proscenium and backstage area remain intact although entomb behind a massive wall of sheetrock. [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/maincourse/]Maincourse: Theatres[/url]

bonniekate
bonniekate on June 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

Hi Chuck, Mike & Jack, We are currently working on plans to take out the “massive wall of sheetrock”. We would appreciate any suggestions or advice. Thanks! Cindy

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on November 19, 2017 at 11:10 am

In April 2016, the City of Elizabethton was the highest bidder to acquire the Bonnie Kate.

Here’s its history at that point, shamelessly* copied from the Elizabethton Star:

The first owner was Mrs. Ollie Browning of Bluefield WV in 1926. She lived upstairs above the theater. …

The theater formally opened to a full house on July 4, with a christening by former Governor Alfred Taylor. …

In 1950, Bob Neal, who owned the Ritz Theater downtown, purchased the theater from the Browning family.

In 1962, Earl Bolling, owner and operator of the Stateline Drive-In bought it from Bob Neal. …

In 1973, Ray Glover began managing the theater with his wife, Jeanette, until 1989. Then, they sold it to Leroy and Agnes Policky, who operated it for 15 years.

During the 1970s, a massive sheetrock wall was built to twin the theater, allowing two movies to be shown simultaneously.

In 2004, Leroy Policky sold the theater to Brian and Cindy Higgs, who operated it till 2012.

Since then, it has been without an owner. (Huh? If it was abandoned, then why were folks bidding on it?)

  • For the “fair use” scholarly purpose of establishing the timeline for this historic theater.
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