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Gem Theatre Tops 20,000 Fans on Facebook

20K thankyou fbWe are so excited to have reached such an amazing milestone with our Facebook fans! As a small, local theatre, we know that connecting with our audience on social media is important. That is why we work hard to make our page a fun and engaging place for you to connect with us! Not only do we post the movies that we are showing, but we also love to share happenings in the downtown Kannapolis area that will be of interest to our customers. We also like to keep you informed of movie news that we often hear first from the studios. And of course, we love to offer contests and giveaways!

To celebrate reaching this milestone, we asked our followers to share with us their favorite Gem Theatre memory and/or photo. We selected three fans to feature in this article and win a Gem Prize Pack (4 tickets, 4 small popcorns, 4 small sodas and 4 candies). Michele, Cathy and Carrie - please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can send your prize certificate!

Click on the names below to see their special memories.

Michele Rees

Michele Rees
"Took my daughter Reagan to the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games. It was a surprise, and she was thrilled!! She was obsessed with the books at the time, and this was a great bonding experience."

Cathy McGraw Phillips

"I remember my mom taking me and my brother to the GEM when we were growing up. (Whispers, "I am 50 now") I remember seeing a Don Knotts movie but can't remember the title. When my kids were little I would take them there and I'm sure they got tired of me reminiscing every time we went in. My grandson is now 2 years old and the GEM is going to be one of our special places to go."

Carrie Paynter

Carrie Paynter
"We surprised our girls with a trip to see Trolls on 11/13. It was our first time at the Gem and we loved it! They said "this is the best day ever" and gave it two thumbs up!"

The Gem Kicks Off its 80th Anniversary Celebration

gem 80th 400In 80 days, the Gem Theatre will reach a huge milestone – its 80th Anniversary.  To celebrate, we have a great special that you don’t want to miss.

From Thursday, October 13th through Sunday, October 16th, you can get a small drink, small popcorn and a box of candy for only 80 cents each.  That means you’ll be able to enjoy a movie and concessions for $7.40 or less!

History of the Gem

Since opening its doors on December 31, 1936, the Gem has served as a landmark place to watch movies as a family.  It was built by Cannon Mills Company and was originally under the management of the Cannon Memorial YMCA.  The first movie to show at the Gem was “Can This Be Dixie” starring Jane Withers.

A few years after opening, in 1942, the Gem was gutted by a fire and the theatre was reduced to ashes.  It wasn’t until six years later that the Gem was rebuilt and it featured a beautiful lobby, 916 seats and a balcony.  It has been open ever since and is the longest standing Art Deco building in Cabarrus County as well as the oldest single-screen theatre in continuous operation in the U.S.  The Gem is also one of only a few movie theatres to offer balcony seating. 

Click here to read more about the Gem’s history.

Photo credit: Michael A. Anderson Photography

Finding Dory Giveaway

Finding DoryTo get ready for Finding Dory (opening June 17), we're giving you the chance to take home a Finding Dory prize package!

We've "hidden" Finding Dory buckets at nine different locations around Cabarrus County. When you visit each of these spots, look for the Dory sign and bucket and fill out the golden entry form. Once you've filled out the entry form and placed it in the bucket, you're entered!

Prize drawings will be held randomly through June 27th.

*One entry per location.

Contest Locations:

Make Kannapolis Your Next “PokeStop” with PokemonGO

Gem Theatre PokeStopPokemonGO is taking downtown Kannapolis by storm, and you can get in on the action! Come visit the Gem Theatre and explore Kannapolis as you hunt for your next rare pokemon.

PokemonGO is the latest interactive app for both Android and iPhone that allows you to catch, train, and battle creatures called Pokemon in a real-world set up alongside other “trainers” to be the very best. From young trainers to advanced masters, PokemonGO is designed for everyone searching for adventure in their own backyard.

Visit historic locations in downtown like the Gem Theatre, the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza, the North Carolina Musical Hall of Fame and so much more to collect free in-game items from PokeStops.

You can also visit the Veterans Memorial Statue and other spots to test your skills and battle in Pokemon Gyms to take claim for your team. There are eleven PokeStops and three Pokemon Gyms in downtown Kannapolis, so come visit and remember, “Gotta Catch ‘em All!” Be sure to tag us using #GemNC on social media – we’d love to see your photos!

Also, remember to take a break from your Pokemon adventures by catching a movie at the Gem Theatre! You can also always grab a cold drink or popcorn from our concession stand!

  • North Carolina Research Center
  • Kakuna in Kannapolis
  • Kannapolis Train Station
  • Nidoran in Kannapolis
  • Venonat
  • Veteran's Park Memorial Flame
  • Weedle in Kannapolis
  • Kannapolis First Baptist Church Bell and Cornerstone

    $1 Movies Coming to the Gem Theatre This Summer

    Summer is just around the corner, which means our popular $1 Summer Movie Camp is almost back in session. Cool down with us by enjoying some affordable, family-friendly entertainment every Tuesday at 10:00 am and 12:30 pm as we show some of your favorite G and PG films that were released in the last few years. With admission only $1 per person, this is something everyone can enjoy! Click here to see the full summer schedule.

    summer 2016 blog article picture

    “Summer Movie Camp began over thirty years ago and we’ve been happy to bring it back every year since,” said Stephen Morris, owner of the Gem Theatre. “It began as a chance for families and daycare centers to introduce children to the movie-going experience in a child-friendly environment.”

    Best Popcorn Ever

    Part of the movie-going experience is enjoying the concessions, but today’s big theatre prices make it unaffordable for the average family. Where else but the Gem can you get a small popcorn, a small drink, and a candy bar for under 5 bucks? Oh, and our faithful moviegoers consistently tell us that we have the best popcorn ever! Click here to see all of our concession prices.

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    Cabarrus-filmed ‘War Room’ stuns Hollywood with $11M opening

    Posted: Monday, August 31, 2015 11:26 am

    war room

    A red carpet event for the new film "War Room" at the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis. The new Kendrick Brothers' film was shot in North Carolina, with several locations in Cabarrus County.

    The faith-based film “War Room,” filmed at several Cabarrus and Charlotte-area locations, earned $11 million in its opening weekend, nearly dethroning “Straight Outta Compton” as the weekend's highest-grossing domestic release with its $11 million debut.

    Outside of Christian evangelical circles, the names Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick are likely to be unknown but thanks to low-budget hits like "Fireproof" and "Courageous," the brothers have transformed themselves into the Steven Spielbergs of Christian cinema.

    Click here to read the entire story.

    Eric Church Breaks Into Own Hall of Fame Induction

    eric church smPosted: October 16, 2015 on

    After wrapping earlier than expected at a private event in his home state, Eric found himself only an hour and a half away from the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame ceremony where his mother, Rita Church, accompanied by his sister Kendra, were attending the induction to accept the invitation on his behalf. Realizing he had no time to spare, Eric borrowed the keys to his father Ken's vehicle and--with his wife Katherine and assistant Marshall Alexander in tow--they rushed in an attempt to make it to the Gem Theater in time for the dedication. While Alexander drove, Eric was busy texting his sister--unbeknownst to her or the hundreds in attendance--to see if he could arrive in time as he now had set his mind on attending and surprising the crowd.

    Click here to read the entire story on Eric Church's website.

    Kannapolis’ Gem Theatre Selected by Disney as “Iconic Movie Palace”

    Kannapolis, NC – May 15, 2015 - The Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, NC has been selected by Walt Disney Films and “Tomorrowland” movie director Brad Bird as one of 15 nationwide “Iconic Movie Palaces” that will premiere “Tomorrowland” on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm. Only five of the movie palaces are on the east coast, including 2 in New York, Washington DC, Baltimore and our very own Kannapolis, NC.

    walt disneyThe Gem will be celebrating this designation by having special movie swag and ticket giveaways on Thursday night. All attendees are encouraged to use #GemNC on their favorite social media platform to show their support for the local theatre as these premieres take place nationwide.

    The Gem Theatre originally opened on December 31, 1936. A few years later, in 1942, The Gem Theatre was gutted by fire and the theatre was reduced to ashes. The theatre was rebuilt in 1948 and featured a beautiful lobby and 916 seats, including the balcony section. The Gem has been open ever since and is one of the oldest single-screen movie theatre in continuous operation today. The Gem is also one of only a few movie theatres that offers balcony seating.

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    Hometown Theaters

    our state articleThe Gem Theatre was featured in the March 2014 edition of Our State Magazine.

    Step inside a vintage theater, and be transported into a glitzy otherworld.
    February 25, 2014

    Glittering chandeliers, neon signs, gilded handles, ironwork, velvet, and plush carpet that looks as if it came out of the Taj Mahal — these are all features of movie theaters built before 1960. Enter one, and the theater will transport you into another place, a fantasy castle built with an aura of glamour and imagination.

    Click here to read the entire story on

    Kannapolis' Carlyle Rutledge dies at 98

    rutledgeBy Ben McNeely
    Independent Tribune
    Friday, April 11, 2008

    KANNAPOLIS - J. Carlyle Rutledge, former state senator, local attorney and philanthropist, died Thursday at CMC-NorthEast. He was 98. He represented Kannapolis and Cabarrus County as a community leader for more than 65 years.

    Rutledge died from complications from an infection, said daughter Martha Macon.

    “He grew with the times,” Macon said. “He came to Kannapolis in a dynamic time in the city, and he was excited about what the city would become.”

    In the last few weeks of his life, Rutledge attended the UNC-Chapel Hill nutrition classes and participated intently, Macon said. He even had tickets to see the Broadway musical “Wicked” in Charlotte this week, Macon said.

    “He always said, ‘Always have something to look forward to,’ ” Macon said.

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