Built in 1926, The Bonnie Kate Theater evolved and became one of the most successful ventures in the downtown area of Elizabethton. The original owner, Olivia Hogue Brown, was an oil baroness from West Virginia, and she brought more than film to rural East Tennessee. Her theater opened at the same time as the industrial boom in Elizabethton, and it provided people with entertainment and a sense of local identity. To comprehend the communal ties of the Bonnie Kate Theater and Elizabethton, we must look at the lives of those who worked there.
Today, the Bonnie Kate Theater is undergoing a state funded renovation as part of a program to preserve historical sites in rural towns. While the Bonnie Kate Theater seldom shows movies anymore, the building contains office buildings on the third floor and a local restaurant on the first floor. The community of Elizabethton continues to revolve around the Bonnie Kate Theater, and with the current renovations taking place, the Bonnie Kate is on course to remain a prominent force in the community for generations to come.
Through donations and restoration efforts we look forwards to making the Bonnie Kate Theater a multi-functional Cultural Arts Center capable of hosting plays, concerts, movies, meetings, etc.
The Bonnie Kate Theater Restoration Project is committed to community development through the revitalization of this historic building.
The heritage of the Bonnie Kate is very rich with deep roots in the community. We strive to make the Bonnie Kate an important part of all the lives we touch, just as it has to so many since 1926.