New roof going up at Bonnie Kate, fundraisers planned

John Thompson • Aug 31, 2018 at 12:18 AM

ELIZABETHTON — The next step in the renovation of the 90-year-old Bonnie Kate Theater has started from the top.

Workers from Eskola Roofing of Morristown are putting a new roof on the theater in time for several upcoming programs. The low bid for the project was $94,500.

The new roof was critically needed to preserve the theater, which began showing movies in 1926, before the time of talkies. The next step is to install a sprinkler system in the theater. Several projects are coming up to help raise funds for that project.

To let everyone know about the plans for the future, there will be a “Catch the Vision” presentation at the theater on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The session is free and everyone is invited. Guests will get to see renderings for the future Bonnie Kate and they will have the chance to talk with members of the board of directors on how the historic theater can be restored.

The event is not only free, but guests will receive free popcorn and drinks.

Two September fundraising events have given board members high hopes for success. The first is the second annual “BBQ, Brews and Blues” at the Covered Bridge Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. The event is sponsored by the Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation. The first version of this event proved to be very popular.

As the name of the event implies, it features the best local barbecue, beers and blues groups. A friendly barbecue competition among some of the most popular pork purveyors in the area will be one of the highlights. Some great blues music will also be presented on the Covered Bridge Stage.

The next weekend, Saturday, Sept. 22, is the time to try out an ambitious plan to attract jazz lovers and all those who are fond of the music of the Big Band Era. “A 1940s Evening of Jazz” featuring music by the Tri-Cities Jazz Orchestra. The music is provided by a 17-piece band led by Eddie Dalton.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the music will begin at 7. This will be a limited seating event and tickets are $60 each. They may be purchased at the Bonnie Kate and at Appalachian Printing, 530 W. C St. There will be music, dancing and hors d’oeuvres.

If September did not provide enough variety, October will bring the theater back to the Bonnie Kate.

Guest director Daniel Banks, who brought the 19th century comedy “Engaged” to the stage in February, will bring another British-theme play, “Shakespeare Abridged.” Three cast members will attempt to act out scenes from all Shakespeare’s plays in one short 90-minute evening.

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