KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- The Gem Theatre in Kannapolis opened for business on December 31, 1936.
At that time, it had a seating capacity of 1,200.
A fire destroyed the back portion of the theatre in early 1942, but the Gem was rebuilt and had a second grand opening on March 15, 1948.
The seating capacity is now 916---still a very large movie house!
The theatre was built in Art Deco style and 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.
On Larry’s Look this morning, the Gem’s owner and manager, Steve Morris, gave us a tour of this “gem” in downtown Kannapolis.
His historical perspective shows how important the theatre is to the area and how much it’s still greatly appreciated. Larry even had a chance to use some “Humphrey Bogart” in the opening sequence.
Photographer/Editor Reid Bennett added some special “old time movie” effects to take us back in time.
For more about the theatre, go to: www.gem-theatre.com.