Opened for business on December 31, 1936 under the management of Cannon Memorial YMCA, the Gem Theatre has been “The Showplace of Kannapolis“ for decades.
At that time, the Gem had a seating capacity of 1,200 and seats about 900 now. A fire destroyed the back portion 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 façade, the sconces and the decorative coverings over the theatre speakers.
The price of admission has gone up since 1948, but not much! Admission ranges between $4-$5, popcorn is $1.75-$4, and candy is just $1.
Contact the Gem Theatre to learn about special deals for groups of 100.