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Cornelius News

Gem Theatre renovations are a show-stopper

Gem exterior in downtown Kannapolis

May 17. If you love a classic movie palace, the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis is back in business after more than a year off-stage due to extensive renovations. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the oldest movie theaters in existence in the United States.

“IF,” starring Ryan Reynolds is showing Friday, 4 and 7 pm, Saturday-Sunday, 1, 4 and 7 pm. Ticket prices are oldd-timey too: Seniors, children, and matinee (before 6 pm) tickets are $4. Adult tickets are $5.

Interior renovations began in December of 2023.

The stage and floors were refinished, along with a new screen, curtains and projector.

The Gem Theatre originally opened on New Year’s Eve in 1936. The theater was extensively damaged by fire in 1942. It was rebuilt and opened in 1948. It has been in continuous operation since that time. The City of Kannapolis purchased the theatre in 2015 as part of the Downtown Revitalization Project. 

Gem interior restored to 1940s glory