New Again

Bonnie Kate Theater

Relive classic stories and create new memories in this nostalgic theater in the heart of Elizabethton, Tennessee. More than preserving its historic legacy, the Bonnie Kate Theater is a centerpiece for cinema, theatrical productions, live music, and more. Enjoy the ambiance of this vintage theater with modern conveniences and amenities.

Brief History

Get to Know the Bonnie Kate Theater


The 500-seat Bonnie Kate Theater, named for the first “First Lady of Tennessee,” Bonnie Kate Sherrill, wife of Governor John Sevier, opened with a christening by then TN Governor Alfred Taylor.


The Bonnie Kate hosted the “Barrel of Fun” musical show that was broadcast by radio to 3.2 million listeners across the Southeast.


The theater’s ownership changed hands several times and enjoyed numerous upgrades, including the first rocking-chair theater seating east of the Mississippi River.


Ownership changed hands again, and more improvements were made, including dividing the theater in half to accommodate two shows simultaneously.


The Bonnie Kate Theater closes, but reopens as an event center after the transition to digital film projection could not be afforded..


The East Tennessee Foundation purchases the Bonnie Kate Theater, which allows efforts to begin for its preservation and eventual restoration.


The theater is now owned by the City of Elizabethton and managed by the Friends of Bonnie Kate non-profit organization. Renovations are underway to preserve the theater’s legacy and facilitate an everlasting multi-generational impact.
What We Do

Bringing The Arts to Elizabethton

Celebrating the Cinema
Originally opening as a moving picture cinema in the silent screen era, the Bonnie Kate Theater hosts numerous past and present favorites, including film festivals and special cinematic emphases. Visit our events page for the latest screening schedule.
Bringing Theatre Arts to New Generations
The Bonnie Kate Theater hosts live stage productions by the Bonnie Kate Community Theatre and provides space for teaching theatre arts and other related skills. Contact the Bonnie Kate Theater and ask about upcoming theatrical productions.
Showcasing Live Musical Performances
The Bonnie Kate Theater has a long history of showcasing live musical talent. We regularly host local bands, acts, and other shows to provide enjoyable family-friendly entertainment for our community. Visit our events page for upcoming shows or contact the Bonnie Kate about hosting your group.
Hosting Community Events
Throughout our history, we’ve hosted war bond drives, church services, political rallies, and various other types of celebrations. Would you like to hold your event at the Bonnie Kate? Contact us today for information about holding your party, meeting, or other event here.
What To Lookout For

Calender of Events

Give Back

How Can You Support the Bonnie Kate Theater?

We appreciate every person who connects with us about our historic theater or inquires about the ongoing restoration efforts. How can you get involved in preserving the Bonnie Kate’s legacy now and for future generations?

Enjoy a Show

Visit our Events page for upcoming films, live music, theatre productions, and other events, and purchase your tickets online.

Join the Theatre

Contact the Bonnie Kate and ask about participating in an upcoming live theatre production. We need actors, actresses, musicians, carpenters, painters, and a host of other volunteers.

Share Your Story

We love hearing your memories of the Bonnie Kate! Visit the contact page and share your favorite story of shows, events, people, and other aspects at our theater.

Sponsor a Show

You can become a Bonnie Kate sponsor and help us feature various entertainment options while promoting your business. Contact the Bonnie Kate for more information.

Make a Donation

We welcome your donations to our 501c3 organization for restoring and modernizing the Bonnie Kate Theater. Contact us about donating, or add a donation when you purchase event tickets or merchandise!

Get In Touch

Join us in celebrating the arts in the heart of downtown Elizabethton, TN! Browse our events page for upcoming shows or contact us to learn more about getting involved with the Bonnie Kate today!

(423) 895-1762

115 S. Sycamore Street Elizabethton, TN 37643