Bonnie Kate owner sells theater to Maryville couple

By Julie Fann
star staff

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."