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$2 Movies Coming to the Gem Theatre This Summer

Summer is just around the corner, and we're thrilled to announce our $2 Summer Matinees. Cool down with us by enjoying some affordable, family-friendly entertainment every Tuesday at 10:00 am and 12:30 pm between June 13 and August 8 as we show some of your favorite G and PG films that were released in the last few years. With admission only $2 per person, this is something everyone can enjoy! Click here to see the full summer schedule.

summer matinees

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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You Voted Us the Best Movie Theater in the Independent Tribune's 2022 Best of Greater Cabarrus Contest!

2022 winnerThe Independent Tribune's 2022 Best of Greater Cabarrus contest winners have been published and we're excited to announce that we won the 🍿 Best Movie Theater category! 🎉 We also were voted as a 'Favorite' in the Best Family Entertainment and Best Place to Take a Date categories.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us and for making the Gem your favorite spot for movies! Also, a special thank you goes out to the Independent Tribune for not only recognizing us but so many other wonderful businesses and organizations across Cabarrus County!

Cabarrus County, NC 2022-2023 Destination Guide

2022 23 Cabarrus County NC Destination Guide Photo credit Visit CabarrusCabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau has released their 2022-2023 Destination Guide and we made the cover!

CONCORD, NC (April 28, 2022) – The latest edition of the official travel resource for Concord, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Midland and Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina is now available from the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Defined as a Destination Guide, the free 72-page publication serves as a road map to memories for travelers and residents alike. Its pages include features on the area’s community gathering hubs plus information for lodging, indoor and outdoor fun, restaurants, racing attractions, historic sites, and more. An autograph page inside the back cover also makes the magazine a special keepsake for race fans.

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Carolina Impact: The Gem Theatre

Going to the movies isn’t quite what it used to be, right? Now there’s Netflix and all those other channels that let you watch almost any movie, right from your sofa - even on your phone. But at the historic Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, even new films still have that old Saturday matinee feel.

WTVIPBS Charlotte stopped by for a tour our historic theatre!  This feature highlights our history, takes you behind the scenes, touches on hosting the NC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and explains how we are weaved into our community!

Iconic Gem Theatre Charms Available!

1On Tuesday, Nov 30, the City of Kannapolis celebrated the Gem Theatre, the city's most revered historic landmark, with an open house and unveiling of the National Register of Historic Places plaque. The celebration also included the recognition of the Gem's upcoming 85th birthday and completion of the Phase I renovations which included a new HVAC system throughout the building, restoration of the marquee, and the addition of lower level restroom facilities.

In collaboration with this celebration, the Kannapolis History Associates have miniature charm re-creations of the Gem Theatre available! These custom originals are designed and handcrafted by Windsor Gallery jewelry store in Salisbury, NC. Charms can be made in 14K, 10K, or Sterling Silver and can be bought with or without a bracelet. These charms can be worn as-is on a necklace or charm bracelet or be crafted into lapel pins, tie tacks, bookmarks and more. By purchasing a Gem Theatre charm, you can wear a piece of history and support the Kannapolis History Associates.

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Lower Level Bathrooms Are Now Open!

When planning the first phase of our upgrades, adding handicap accessible restroom facilities on the main floor was at the top of our list. We are thrilled to announce that the Gem Theatre bathroom addition is complete and open for use!

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Get the Break You Need With a "Staycation"

780x440 StayCationDuring these tough times, traveling out of town may be an option for some, but enjoying a safe, affordable “staycation” is an opportunity for everyone! If you’re looking for budget friendly ideas to make the most of your Kannapolis staycation, check out this article from Truliant Federal Credit Union, “5 Ideas for Planning Your Staycation on a Budget.

Their 5 suggestions include finding free and reasonably priced cultural attractions, indulging in a delicious lunch at a nice local restaurant, camping in a state park, enjoying a day on the lake, and our personal favorite, seeing a movie at The Gem Theatre! That’s right, we are featured as one of the notable discount movie theaters in the area. We are proud to consistently provide affordable ticket prices for the people of Kannapolis and Cabarrus County for first run movies. So, if you’re planning your next staycation, keep us in mind! We’d love to be part of your next adventure.

Click here to read the article.

Jumanji: The Next Level Prize Package Giveaway

Jumanji prize pack newWe are so excited for our holiday blockbuster "Jumanji: The Next Level", that we are giving away a Jumanji Prize Package to one lucky winner! The Prize Package includes a paracord bracelet, fur hat, red bandana, survival pen, and a long sleeved t-shirt.

Contest runs from Friday, Dec. 13 through Friday, Dec. 27.

We wish everyone good luck!

This contest has ended. We wish everyone good luck!

Frozen II Contest

Untitled 40To celebrate Frozen II, we are giving away a Gem Theatre Prize Pack!

The Prize Pack includes 4 tickets to the Gem Theatre, 4 small popcorn, 4 small drinks and 4 candies!

Contest runs from Wednesday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Dec. 13.

This contest has ended. We wish everyone good luck!

Mary Poppins Returns Contest

rah 51771659842To celebrate Mary Poppins Returns (opening Dec. 19), we are giving away a Gem Theatre Prize Pack!

The Prize Pack includes 4 tickets to the Gem Theatre, 4 small popcorn, 4 small drinks and 4 candies!

Contest runs from Thursday, Dec. 13 through Wednesday, Dec. 26.

This contest has ended. We wish everyone good luck!

School Supply Drive

school tools

Come see Christopher Robin and Get a Free Popcorn with a School Supply Donation

We are proud to partner with WSOC (9SchoolTools.com), Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City Schools, the Concord Afton Sunset Rotary Club and Communities in Schools to help bring needed school supplies to students in our community. #9SchoolTools

Christopher Robin (PG)
Valid at the shows on August 11, 2018 at 1:00pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm

Receive a coupon for a free small popcorn for donations of a pack of pencils, pens, or crayons, or for items such as a bookbag or a ream of copy paper or construction paper.

school tools web

Dreaded Secrets of the Single Screen Movie Business

I am frequently asked, both in person, and digitally on social media and via email, why I show one movie over another. The short answer is...it's complicated. The long answer is as follows...

So, it's like this, we are a dying breed of single screen movie theatres and the big studio folk in their palatial, fashionably appointed offices in Hollywood and New York don't really care about my one screen venue all that much. I desperately need them, and they barely register my existence. But to my town...the city of Kannapolis, my theatre matters and is the site of countless memories for people decades over.

However, when working with the big studios there are several rules...

Rule One is not to tick them off in any way, and they are so easy to tick off that it is beyond belief.  If one of the majors that I've been buying from for four months and paying early without a quibble suddenly decides to send me a 25 page document that basically boils down to a guarantee that if I, Gem Theatre, Inc. fail to pay them, I (as an individual) am liable for it, personally.  That's right, they made 25 or so words into 25 pages that made my eyes swim. Of course I'll sign it quickly, scan it into a PDF, and send it to them followed by the hard copy in the mail as they asked without wondering "Why?" - aloud.  That's just the way this cookie crumbles.

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Special Screening of "May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers" at the Gem Theatre on September 12

may it last smThe Gem Theatre will be showing the the SXSW award-winning documentary, MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio (ESPN's 30 For 30), on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Stay tuned for showtimes and to pre-order tickets.

With the help of Oscilloscope and over two years in the making, MAY IT LAST is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at one of today's most popular bands as they collaborate on their hit 2016 album "True Sadness." Buttressed by incredible live performances, Apatow and Bonfiglio's camera captures deeply personal and revealing moments between the band.

With roots in bluegrass, folk and rock-and-roll, the North Carolina-based Avett Brothers – fronted by Seth and Scott Avett – are one of today's most popular indie bands with nearly 1.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify and constant top-selling albums. They routinely sell-out not just concert halls, but entire stadiums, playing to crowds of up to 40,000 people and catering to a wide swath of audiences (following up an NFL halftime show with a performance at Tanglewood, for example).

The Gem Theatre is thrilled to bring this film to the Cabarrus County native's community.


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

    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 www.ericchurch.com

    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 www.ourstate.com.

    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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