Gem Theatre

239 E. Main Street,
Athena, OR 97813

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Nice little movie theatre in Athena, OR. Converted into a movie theatre from a saloon in 1908. In 1938, a balcony was added to increase the seating capacity. The Gem Theatre was closed in 1968. A group is trying to raise money to repair and restore the building and get this theater back open. There are many pictures of this theater on their website.

Contributed by Ken Layton

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 23, 2006 at 1:08 pm

One website alleges that the Gem Theater is haunted:

Athena – Old Gem Theater – Second story of theater is now used as a home and the first floor is the abandoned theater. Reports of hearing foot steps in the hallways, doorknobs turning when there is no one on the other side. A whitish figure wonders about the theater seats.

KenLayton
KenLayton on July 8, 2006 at 8:23 am

Seems that the theater website has disappeared. Digital-textures.com has gone out of business. :(

strawberry
strawberry on February 15, 2009 at 6:52 am

There are about a dozen photos of the Gem from 2007 up at
View link

KenLayton
KenLayton on October 31, 2013 at 12:51 am

Anyone else have pictures of this theater? The old Digital Textures website had some real good pictures of this theater, but that website is long gone.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on October 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Not yet, but it’s certainly on my to-do list.

SteveSwanson
SteveSwanson on October 31, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I drive by Athena all the time on the way to the M-F drive-in, but i don’t plan on a trip out there until spring.

KenLayton
KenLayton on October 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm

If there is some work being done on the building now, can someone please get some information about it? Perhaps it’s a preservation group doing it and it would be nice to have a website link or facebook page about it. Some pictures would be nice too. :)

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 4, 2014 at 10:21 am

Anyone know that status?

SteveSwanson
SteveSwanson on June 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I stopped by last week for a visit. They received a grant from the Ford Family Foundation last year, but it was a matching grant. They are still looking for another grant so the project is in limbo right now.

The interior has been gutted and the next step will be replacing the roof. It will be a performing arts center, a commercial kitchen will be placed on the other side of the theater building.

KenLayton
KenLayton on June 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm

It’s a haunted theater:

http://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/gem-theatre/

That website has a nice picture of the front of the building as it looks today all restored.

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