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Gem Theatre Reopens May 16th with “IF”


After months of renovations, the historic Gem Theatre in Downtown Kannapolis is reopening its doors for moviegoers with the much-anticipated movie, “IF”.

📍 111 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
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What is IF? Starring Ryan Reynolds, IF is about a girl who discovers that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends–and what she does with that superpower–as she embarks on a magical adventure to reconnect forgotten IFs with their kids.

🎬Showtimes for Opening Weekend are:

  • Thursday Premier: 7pm
  • Friday: 4pm, 7pm
  • Saturday-Sunday: 1pm, 4pm, 7pm

🎟️ Tickets can be purchased online or at the door: seniors, children, and matinee (before 6pm) tickets are $4. Adult tickets are $5.

$2 Summer Matinees Are Back!

The Gem’s popular summer matinee series is back this year! You can enjoy affordable, family-friendly entertainment every Tuesday and Thursday from May 28th – August 8th. Showtimes are at 10am and 12:30pm. See the full summer lineup.

Did You Know?

The NC State Historic Preservation Office officially listed the Gem Theatre on the National Register of Historic Places on August 26, 2019. It is also one of the oldest single-screen movie theatres in existence in the United States.

The Gem’s Most Recent Renovations

Renovations to the interior of the theatre began in December of 2023 and included the installation of new seats, refurbishing the original seats in the balcony, refinishing the stage and floors, a new screen, curtains, and projector, and repair of much of the original plaster work. The lobby, restrooms, and concession area have also been restored and updated. Other elements of the project include the addition of historical artifacts throughout the facility.

Hundreds of people donated to the Gem Renovation Project by sponsoring seats, a marquee brick, or through the purchase of the Gem’s vintage seats. You can now see the bricks at the entrance of the theatre.

The Gem Theatre’s Recession Buster Wednesdays Made National News

Our favorite Gem Story is from almost 20 years ago. What a difference we’ve seen in Downtown Kannapolis, but so happy the Gem is still entertaining families. The Gem Theatre was featured on the MSNBC Nightly News during the recession of 2007-2009. The Gem offered free movie tickets every Wednesday in order to help the local community during some very rough times. 🎥 See the clip here.

Quick Timelines Facts:

December 31, 1936 – The Gem Theatre originally opened.
1942 – The Gem Theatre was extensively damaged by fire.
1948 – The Gem was rebuilt, opened, and has been in continuous operation since that time.
2015 – The City of Kannapolis purchased the theatre as part of the Downtown Revitalization Project.
2021 – The City of Kannapolis completed the renovation of the marquee, replaced the roof and HVAC, and added new first-floor restroom facilities.
2022 – The City of Kannapolis purchased the business operations of the theatre.

News credit: Gem Theatre website


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!