• 64°

Renovations begin at Kannapolis’ Gem Theatre

KANNAPOLIS — The first phase of renovations at the Gem Theatre are now underway.

The City of Kannapolis, the owner of the theater, is funding the projects, which are expected to cost $1.1 million. The renovations include three major projects: the addition of handicap-accessible restrooms on the first floor, a new HVAC system and restoration of the historic marquee.

The addition of accessible restrooms on the first floor will be to the left of the theater entrance, which was formerly occupied by Keever’s Photography Studio and Coulter’s Shoe Store. The area will also include event space and an additional exit corridor which will relieve congestion in the lobby.

The new heating and air conditioning system will replace an aging system that is beyond repair.

The iconic Gem Theatre marquee was originally constructed in 1936. Neon lighting will be replaced and original colors such as the famous blue on the marquee will be used to restore it accurately to its 1936 condition.

The theater will be closed during the renovations and will reopen in time for the summer movie blockbusters.

“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. “These three projects are a result of the master plan we recently completed for the theater. Over 4,000 people participated in the master plan surveys asking what improvements and programs could be incorporated into the function of the theater. The response was wonderful, and we are pleased we can move forward with this first phase of improvements.”

The city purchased the theater property in 2015 as part of the downtown revitalization project. The operations of the Gem Theatre are managed and owned by Steve Morris.

“These renovations will ensure that the next generation of moviegoers in the city can experience first run new movies in a beautiful historic treasure,” Morris said.

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed

Education

Faith Academy interviewing staff, preparing site for fall opening

News

Volunteers work around obstacles, alter procedures to offer free tax services to those in need

Education

Education shoutouts

Local

Retired Marine gets recognition for toy collection efforts

Local

March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Education

Five get Dunbar School Heritage Scholarships

Education

Education briefs: Salisbury Academy fourth-graders think big as inventors

Education

Bakari Sellers keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founder’s Day program

Nation/World

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in ‘equity’ push

Nation/World

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Nation/World

GOP rallies solidly against Democrats’ virus relief package

Nation/World

FDA says single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson prevents severe COVID

High School

Coaches, lawmakers react to governor’s order expanding sporting event capacity

Coronavirus

Three new COVID-19 deaths, positives remain below triple digits

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces end to curfew, changes to restrictions affecting bars, high school sports

Crime

Blotter: Two charged after call about package

Crime

Salisbury Police investigating two shootings

Crime

Chase involving Kernersville man ends in woods behind Carson High School

News Main

North Rowan girls end season with playoff loss to Murphy

Education

Rowan-Salisbury EC department plunges in place after raising $1,300 for Special Olympics