Bonnie Kate owner sells theater
to Maryville couple
By Julie Fann
Leroy Policky, owner of the Bonnie Kate
theater for the past 15 years, sold the building to a couple
from Maryville, Tenn. on Friday. Open since 1929, the theater
has remained a definitive part of the Elizabethton community.
The new owners, Cindy and Brian Higgs, plan to
preserve the theater and its name, improve the existing structure
and increase its level of local involvement.
"We might restore some of the existing features
and add character to it, and get a new sound system. We also
want to add a few more features on Saturdays for kids," Cindy
Higgs said Tuesday. Originally from Butler, Cindy, 33, attended
Hampton High School and received her bachelor's degree from
East Tennessee State University.
Cindy's husband, Brian, 35, owns a landscaping
business in Maryville named Autumn Ridge, and Cindy sells
engineering software. They have two kids, Brittany and Jake.
Though the Higgs have no immediate plans to relocate to Elizabethton,
they want to in the future.
Angela Kiser with the Carter County Register
of Deeds office said Policky and Higgs have not yet negotiated
a transfer of deed, so there was no record of the amount the
Higgs paid for the building.
Policky also would not comment on the amount
he charged for the theater. He said he would train the new
owners for two weeks, then plans to find new work himself.
When asked why he sold the Bonnie Kate, Policky
just said, "It's a long story."
Cindy Higgs said a friend told her the theater
was for sale, but she said she doesn't know how her friend
found out about it.
"We have just always loved the theater since
I was a little girl," she said. "We just want to bring some
life back into it."