9682 Jasper Avenue NW,
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Jasper East Village -- Gem Theatre
Firms: Magoon & MacDonald
Styles: Renaissance Revival
Previous Names: Gem Theatre
Edmonton’s historic Gem Theatre was opened in 1914. With the earlier Dreamland Theatre across the street, and the Portola Theatre opened later that year in the next block, it was part of the city’s first cinema district.
The local architecture firm of Magoon and MacDonald designed the theatre in a restrained Italian Classical style. The original plans called for a building of three floors and mezzanine, but the upper two floors were never built.
The Gem Theatre remained a movie theatre until the 1950’s, and then served a variety of functions, including a night club and a restaurant. In 1979, it became a movie theatre again, called the Star Theatre, and showed Chinese language movies until the late-1980’s.
The building was designated a municipal historic site in 2000. Located in the gradually renovating Jasper East Village historic area, it awaited a restoration which never came, and was demolished in January 2011.
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Recent comments (view all 2 comments)
Does anyone know who owns this property? I’d like to chat with them about a theatre restoration project.
The related web site link no longer works. The Gem Theatre is gone. As told in this weblog post by Kim Harrold, the theater was bought by a developer who promised to promised to repair the roof so there would still be something left of the theater to restore eventually, but instead the building was neglected until it had deteriorated too far to be saved. The Gem Theatre was demolished in February, 2010.