Gem Theatre

111 W. First Street,
Kannapolis, NC 28081

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Showing 51 - 75 of 75 comments

eagleart
eagleart on July 19, 2006 at 2:28 pm

I am a local artist in Kannapolis, and I am working on a pen and ink drawing of “A Gem”. You can see the progress at www.eagleartgallery.com and pre-order a copy.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on July 7, 2006 at 2:24 am

What a nice theater!

Patsy
Patsy on July 7, 2006 at 1:43 am

This theatre is known as a survivor!

Patsy
Patsy on May 23, 2006 at 12:17 am

I have visited this theatre and met the owner/manager. The Gem is what I refer to as a survivor as is sometimes the term used to describe classic cars that have survived the years well.

pote1995
pote1995 on May 22, 2006 at 10:14 am

The theater in North Kannapolis was the “Main” on Cannon Blvd (US 29). Admission was 10/15 cents in early 60’s. Could get 10 hotdogs for a dollar at a cafe down the street. Was a great time/place to be a kid in early 60’s at K-town.

Patsy
Patsy on April 16, 2006 at 9:54 pm

A great photo of a great original art deco marquee in NC!

RHarmon
RHarmon on December 28, 2005 at 11:51 am

I worked at the Gem Theatre (as many others did) while I was in high school in the mid-70s. It is truly a wonderful place. Originally, there were stage shows there and it is equipped with a full sized stage (not visible due to the screen and it’s frame supports) and also a basement that had dressing rooms for the performers. The history of this building is fabulous. I do hope that it is able to remain as a historical part of Kannapolis. My family and I attend movies there frequently (yes, first run, went to Chronicles of Narnia this weekend) and it is a much better experience than the multi-plexes. There were many other theaters in Kannapolis. The Swanee is now the Visitors Center. I went to movies there frequently in the early 70s, then there was the Palace (which was considered the black theater during segregation). It is located across from Kannapolis Middle School (not the new one) near A.L. Brown High School. There was the Dixie ( I believe it is now the Table Supply Grocery Store) and one other who’s name I can’t remember that was located in North Kannapolis. Also, on North Cannon Blvd at the corner of Jackson Street is a Shoe Depot that is in another old theater building. Yes, Kannapolis is changing with the destruction of Cannon Mills (I also worked there while in College) but hopefully the renovation of the town with new industry (bio-tech) will bring more jobs. The Gem is definitely a highlight in Kannapolis, and I STRONGLY encourage everyone to visit there.

ghamilton
ghamilton on October 16, 2005 at 6:38 pm

Thanks,TA,I’ll take a camera and look closer next time.

UAGirl
UAGirl on October 16, 2005 at 6:26 pm

ghamilton

There were several theatres in downtown Concord. Unfortunately none of the building have retained their original facades. First Charter Bank houses it’s security offices in what used to be the Cabarrus Theatre. That is the theatre with the movie star signed charter (or plague as it is referred to) hanging in the main entrance. After 9/11 the front door became password protected thus making it impossible for anyone to see a neat part of Concord’s film history.
This theatre was originally called the Paramount whenever it was located across the street in what is now the closed “Union Street Mall”. Earlier on this year the feds had deemed it a historical landmark and I believe that they have begun renovation that recently has run into a halt status. Right beside of this Union Street Mall is a lovely little white building that houses the City of Concord Zoning/Planning office. That was the Star Theatre. Note the three projectionist windows that angle the incoming light down so that it would not shine into the theatre.

Further down the street (and since my track record is rather off concerning the exact addresses) there was the Pastime Theatre, The New Piedmont Theatre, the Theatorium, and the Lincoln Theatre located just off of Union street.

Hope that helps!

PS: If you go to the history room in the Concord Library you can find tons of photos concerning the theatres,

Patsy
Patsy on September 8, 2005 at 10:06 pm

ghamilton: Yes, there was a theatre in Concord and it is talked about somewhere on CT, but I’ll have to find it. As I recall it would be hard to find as, I think, it is a bank now and there is a plaque about the theatre in the bank’s lobby.

ghamilton
ghamilton on September 8, 2005 at 9:42 pm

Patsy,what happened to the old theater in downtown Concord?An old guy in Richmond claimed there was a nice theater in Concord in the 50-60’s.I drove down every street and saw no evidence of one .

Patsy
Patsy on September 8, 2005 at 12:45 am

ghamilton: It was interesting to read your post concerning the Gem, Cannon Village Visitor Center, Cannon Mills and the grocery store theatre as I’ve been to this area and have seen all of this. I agree it is very depressing to see the Cannon factories come down and I recall the Cannon towel outlet store that was so nice. In fact, the entire Cannon Village was very active with shoppers at one time. The Gem Theatre is just around the corner from all of these former stores and it’s good to see it’s still hanging on as nearby Concord has the multi-plexes which is tough competition in today’s world. I’ve walked inside that grocery store/former theatre and talked to an older lady at the cash register. She recalled the many times that she went there to see movies as a young girl.

ghamilton
ghamilton on September 7, 2005 at 11:09 pm

Drove by these theaters twice in the last week.The Gem is showing Transporter 2.The closeby other theater around the corner and down a block is the CannonVillage visitors center.It is a beautiful building of a somewhat Georgian style matching the rest of this unique shopping area.The pathos of the area really bummed me out.The half dozen or so HUMONGOUS Cannon factories are being demolished.This devastation is all of our faults,since too many of us would rather pay a few cents less for a crummy import that won’t last half as long while a way of life disappears and our real jobs go to china and pakistan.Oh,yeh,the grocery store theater is a very well-built,handsome building at the corner of S.Main and Dale Earnhart Blvd.

Patsy
Patsy on April 29, 2005 at 4:17 pm

GREAT PHOTOS!

RobertR
RobertR on April 28, 2005 at 5:18 pm

Here are some pictures of the Gem, this is such a great survivor of by-gone neighborhood house days.

http://www.agilitynut.com/p/gem1204.jpg
http://www.agilitynut.com/p/gem21204.jpg

Patsy
Patsy on March 3, 2005 at 1:49 am

After walking inside and looking at the molding along the ceiling, the marquee, etc. I can report back here that the theatre is art deco. And the special part is that it’s all original since the 40’s. The ticket kios is still there, but not being used anymore.

Patsy
Patsy on March 3, 2005 at 1:46 am

Well, today was the day! I found the Gem and had a nice chat with the owner. At the time a group of elementary children were seeing the movie entitled Because of Winn Dixie. We were able to walk inside the darkened auditorium and make out the 2 illuminated phoenix birds in the deco sections near the stage/screen. This theatre along with about 3 others in the town were all built by the Cannon family. One of the theatres was for the black population and is now a funeral home, but wasn’t able to find it so will try again in the near future. Another theatre is now a grocery store, but spoke to an older lady who is the cashier and she recalled going to see movies at that location for 12 cents! The Gem is truly a gem and we plan to go see a movie some evening in Kannapolis!

Patsy
Patsy on December 23, 2004 at 3:33 am

Now that I’ve found this ‘gem’ I plan to pay it a visit in the near future!

decepter28027
decepter28027 on July 9, 2004 at 9:40 pm

on july 5th i went o the gem theatre with my 2 children and my wife and for about 20 dollars we watched spiderman 2 and had popcorn sodas and candy for all it was a great deal i go there very often couple weeks ago i went and watched the day after tomorrow by myself and had popcorn and large soda for under 5 dollars total..The Gem is the best deal going!!!!!!!!!!

Tammy
Tammy on March 11, 2004 at 1:12 pm

I have lived in kannapolis for many years and my family enjoys the Gem theatre very much. I have family in Monroe area and they will drive up here (40 minutes) to attend a movie here since you only have to pay $4 for adults and $2 for children and watch a 1st run movie. The candy, drinks and popcorn prices are cheap too. I have a middle school child and the middle and high school kids love it too. They get to go to the movies more often at these prices rather than spending $20.00 for 1 movie with popcorn & drink. It’s a great place for a family to have a evening out with out breaking the budget. tnt

mickmc
mickmc on January 16, 2004 at 5:30 pm

the gem does show 1st run movies and my 11 yr old and i attend this wonderful theatre most fridays.with a price of $4 per 1st run this theatre has my vote every time.my daughter thinks that it is the greatest place and food and drink prices are exceptional.highly recommend this “GEM” to all.

UAGirl
UAGirl on January 19, 2002 at 1:07 am

The Gem has now stopped playing first run films. Management lost too much money having long contract times with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

BigD
BigD on January 7, 2002 at 6:25 pm

You can go to this link and see a picture of the theater.

View link

UAGirl
UAGirl on December 14, 2001 at 9:47 pm

The Gem theatre is quite possibly the crown jewel of the city of Kannapolis, NC. She is located in Cannon Village across from Cannon Mills plant #4.The Gem Theater was built in 1938. She was burned down in 1942 and was rebuilt in 1948.

The auditorium has a seat count of 960. The auditorium itself has beautiful dark draperies flowing down the main wall. The deco sections nearest to the screen/stage are covered in these two brilliantly illuminated phoenix birds. She ceiling is a grand domed top with very simplistic yet decorative stucco designs. Inside concession area and box office are in a stream line styling with beautiful silver highlights. The upstairs balcony lobby is surrounded with mirrors on all of the walls.The carpet is a lovely burgundy/purple hue. All original signs and lights remain. Her booth contains a Cristie projector and platter system. The sound is standard Dolby surround

Function wise she plays second films 60% of the time and first runs 40% of the time. I believe that on Sundays though a local church has service in the theatre.

I will provide the site with more photos as I get my film developed.

Hope this helps, UAGirl *the other theatre manager down the street in Concord,NC :)

davidearl
davidearl on November 24, 2001 at 3:00 pm

very historic theatre now used for discount 2nd run movies i believe. i have not been in but have drove by a few times. i plan to visit it soon. amazed no officials of the city or theatre have contacted this site with pictures or more info. this theatre appears to be a real gem!