Gem Theatre

1615 E. 18th Street,
Kansas City, MO 64108

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Related Websites

American Jazz Museum (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: George Carman

Functions: Concerts, Performing Arts

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: Star Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 816.474.8463

Nearby Theaters

Gem Theatre

Opened in 1912 as the Star Theatre, it was renamed Gem Theatre around 1914. It got a facade facelift in 1923. The Gem Theatre was built for use by African-American audiences and had a seating capacity for 1,414. Movies continued until the mid-1970’s and then went to live performances. Since 1997, after a detailed renovation to create a 500-seat performance space which removed most of the original interior, it has been a venue for the American Jazz Museum located across the street. The Gem Theatre is still a popular venue for the African-American audience. The theatre is very impresive and spotlessly clean.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 30, 2006 at 4:16 pm

For the technically minded (which excludes me), here is an article about sound recording at the theater:

RobbKCity on December 22, 2006 at 11:48 pm

The Gem Theater was designed by local Kansas City architect George Carman.

RobbKCity on November 21, 2007 at 10:20 am

Don, that’s a lovely picture.

Patsy on October 12, 2009 at 6:55 pm

This theatre has a Vitrolite tile exterior. The work was done by Tim Dunn, Vitrolite specialist located in St. Louis MO.

Driveintheatre2001 on January 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Here’s 3 Photos I took of the GEM back in November of 2007.. Enjoy!

Randy A Carlisle – Historical Photographer

Patsy on January 27, 2012 at 6:14 am

Again, what a lovely theatre and thanks “Driveintheatre” for the addtional flickr photos! This theatre is truly a “gem”!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 22, 2018 at 6:44 pm

This house was still listed as the Star Theatre in the 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.