Annual '5-Kay Run-Unr un' Saturday to aid restoration

By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor

Kay Theater Foundation has accomplished much in its ongoing restoration (above) since start of work in 2005 (left). Kay Theater Foundation has accomplished much in its ongoing restoration (above) since start of work in 2005 (left). The old girl's looking better all the time.

Saturday is the fourth annual 5-Kay RunUnrun to benefit the Kay Theatre, Rockdale's 62- year old former Theatre, which is being restored as a cultural and performing arts center.

Runners who only come to Rockdale once a year will notice how much better the Kay looks this time around.

Outside, it's been restored to pretty much the way it looked when it opened in November, 1947.

The movie that night was "Rolling Home," starring Russell Hayden, Jean Parker and Raymond Hatton.

Early start

Les Davenport, Kay Theatre Foundation spokesman, said for the second straight year, a short children's "Kids Kay" dash will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the 5K run and walk at 8:30.

"You don't have to run or walk to support the effort," Davenport said. "all registered 'unrunners' can grab a seat to 'chat and cheer' at the finish line for the runners and walkers."

The Kay is located at the corner of Main and Davilla.

The Communities in Concert Band will provide entertainment on Saturday.

Entry blanks are available at The Report- er's web site, rockdalereporter. com.

Since its inception in 2006, the four Kay Theatre runs have raised about $35,000 toward the restoration project and have drawn 626 participants.

The past two Kay Theatre runs have been won by Kenyan natives Jacob and Hellen Rotich of Manor.

The Rotiches have also won the past two Rockdale Dewberry 5K Runs in the spring.


The Kay Theatre is a Quonset hut design, a style made famous by the U. S. military.

It soon acquired a reputation for showing westerns and for being an economical way to enjoy an evening out.

Kids got in for nine cents in the late 1940s into the early 1950s. When they turned 12 the price became 13 cents.

The theatre closed in the 1960s and was vacant for 40 years before the Kay Theatre Foundation was formed and owners Leon and Billie Noack and family donated the building and grounds for restoration and use by the community.


The Kids Kay run is for youth ages 6-13. It loops a four-city block area. No barefoot running allowed and runners' shoes must be tied.

Age divisions, in both male and female categories, are as follows:

Pre-Kay Dash—6-7, 8-9, 10- 11, 12-13.

5K Walk/Run—19-and-under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, super seniors (70 and above).

Prizes include $100 cash, a gift basket and trophy to the overall male and female runners. Awards will also be presented to the top three finishers in the run, walk and Kids Kay divisions in each age group.


The event will feature a silent auction and "plenty to eat."

Registration for the Kids Kay is $8 per participant before Sept. 26 and $10 on race day. Registration for the 5K and "Unrun" is $15 before and $20 on race day.

Forms can be mailed to Kay Theater, 5-Kay 2009, PO Box 1572, Rockdale TX 76567. Event sponsor is the Kay Theatre Foundation.

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