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 prior to 1931. Not quite sure when the theatre was twined or if it ever was equipped with an organ. It was de-twinned and became a live theatre venue and was closed in 2015.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

norjam on May 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Some information the “Bonnie Kate” Theater in Elizabethton, Tennessee. During the years 1926 through 1929 Elizabethton experience a boom time when the Bemberg and Glanzstoff Rayon factories began operations there and several theaters were the result of that boom. The Bonnie Kate Theater is located at 115 Sycamore Street and is still in operation. The Bonnie Kate was built the Classical Revival Design and opened in the spring of 1926. The “Bonnie Kate” was named after Katherine Sherrill Sevier, a heroine of Carter County in the 1700’s and the wife of the first Governor of Tennessee. The “Bonnie Kate” opened to a full house of 500 enjoying the showing of a silent film. During the 1930’s and in the 1940’s a live local music show called “Barrels of Fun” was broadcast by two radio stations to a listening audience reported to be in the millions in the southeastern United States. I saw many movies here in the 1950’s. The theater converted to a split screen and rocking chair seating in 1969 and was reportedly the first theater east of the Mississippi with this type seating. Their concessions currently include burgers, etc.

UnknownCinemaDude on June 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm

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

UnknownCinemaDude on June 3, 2009 at 9:10 pm

2009 photo it can be seen here:
View link

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 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 on May 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

I may just do that Mike.

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=]Maincourse: Theatres[/url]

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

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