Katie Jones is the first Executive Director of the Garden Theater. Katie has a background in theater, writing and film production, as well as a four-generation connection with Benzie County.
The Garden Theater was originally built in 1923, but like many one-screen theaters in the late 70's and early 80's, it fell into disuse.  In 2008 the theater was purchased by local citizens led by Rick & Jennie Schmitt and Blake & Marci Brooks.  In 2018 The Friends of the Garden Theater was formed as a nonprofit to protect and preserve the theater and grow its impact within the community. The group's first priority was to raise $2 million to repair the roof, create ADA-accessible bathrooms and facilities, expand the stage and restore the marquee.
 
Katie came on the scene this past June, moving to Frankfort from Nashville with her family.  She reviewed the improvements underway at the theater, as well as her vision as to the theater's future as a state-of-the-art venue for all sorts of music, art, theater and community events. 
 
Construction at the theater is slated for completion on October 7th, well in time for the Frankfort Film Festival on October 21-24.  Further events are scheduled for November and December.  Katie expressed thanks for the financial support that the Friends of the Garden Theater will be receiving through the joint efforts of the Benzie Sunrise and Frankfort Rotary Clubs.