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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

In the News: Ten in Tenn: Bonnie Kate Theater - Elizabethton, TN

A few days ago, the Tennessee Preservation Trust released their 2015 list of endangered historical sites in the state. This week on the blog, we are talking about some of the properties on this list. Here is how TPT describes the list:
"The Tennessee Preservation Trust’s Ten in Tennessee Endangered Properties List Program is TPT’s strongest advocacy tool for the state’s most endangered historic sites. Each year, TPT seeks nominations for the “Ten in Tenn” from the public from each of Tennessee’s nine Development Districts."

You can also see past entries on their website here:

Bonnie Kaye Theater - Elizabethton, TN

From the Elizabethton Walking tour brochure (Stop #29)

The Bonnie Kate Theater, another Classical Revival Design, formally opened on May 16, 1926. All 500 of the seats were filled and the audience enjoyed the showing of a silent film. A local music program "Barrels of Fun" originated here in the 1930s and in the 1940s was broadcast by two radio stations (one next door) to a listening audience of 3.2 million people in the southeast area. This was the first theater East of the Mississippi to have rocking chair seating (1969).

From TPT:

The Bonnie Kate Theater from 1926 is the last surviving movie house in Elizabethton and both part of the local Elizabethton Historic District and the National Register Historic District. It embodies
the distinctive architectural characteristics of theaters built during the 1920s and fully sat houses up to 500. Unchecked roof deterioration has led to multiple leaks and subsequent water damage. Despite strong community and local government interest to save the building, no action has been taken by the building owners to make necessary repairs or correct the damage caused by the leaks.

For more, see this WCYB news report.

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