The Gem Theatre opened for business on Dec. 31, 1936, under the management of Cannon Memorial YMCA. At that time, it had a seating capacity of 1,200; it seats about 900 now.
A fire destroyed the back portion of the place in early 1942, but it was soon rebuilt and reopened. The theatre was rebuilt again and had a second grand opening on March 15, 1948, at which time admission was 12 cents for kids and 40 cents for adults. The theatre is built in Art Deco style, which began in the mid-1920s and continued into the 1940s. Many of the original Art Deco architectural details have survived: the neon sign above the marquee, the decorative chevrons incorporated into the building’s facade, the sconces and the decorative coverings over the theatre speakers. The Gem has been “The Showplace of Kannapolis“ for 72 years now.
The price of admission has gone up since 1948, but not much. Popcorn is $1.25 -$4 and candy is $1! Admission ranges between $4 – $5!
For more information, call the Gem Theatre at (704) 932-5126. Find out abut special deals for groups of 100.