City of Kannapolis | City of Kannapolis > Community > Gem Theatre Master Plan

Gem Theatre Master Plan

The City of Kannapolis would like your input on the future programming, expansion and renovation needs of the Gem Theatre. The City purchased the theatre property in 2015 as part of the Downtown Revitalization Project.

“It is our intention to preserve and enhance the Gem Theatre property and programming. This is one of our most significant historical landmarks and our goal is to ensure it remains an integral part of our new downtown,” said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.

The operations of the Gem Theatre are managed and owned by Steve Morris. “I am pleased that we are master planning for the theatre. It has been a vital part of the City’s culture for 82 years and we want to see it continue to be a vibrant feature of downtown Kannapolis,”

The City would like for you to complete a short survey on what you like best about the Gem Theatre and what improvements or additional types of programs and activities you would like to see incorporated at the historical theatre.

You can find the survey at this link. Please complete it by October 1.

Clearscapes, a Raleigh based firm who specializes in historical preservation and renovation of theatres and performing arts centers, will help the City develop a master plan for the expansion and improvements to the Gem Theatre. The group will work with a committee appointed by the Kannapolis City Council. The timing of renovations will depend on future funding and community support.

The Gem Theatre opened in December of 1936. A fire nearly destroyed it in 1942 but it was rebuilt and reopened in 1948. It is one of the oldest single screen movie theatres with balcony seating in the United States. It’s historic marquee and art deco architecture made it a unique place to see a movie. Admission and concession prices are reminiscent of the past and remain affordable allowing families to enjoy first run movies annually.

More information will be posted on this page as the Master Plan process continues.