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 31, 2006 at 12:16 am

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

RobbKCity on December 23, 2006 at 7:48 am

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

RobbKCity on November 21, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Don, that’s a lovely picture.

Patsy on October 13, 2009 at 2:55 am

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

Driveintheatre2001 on January 27, 2012 at 7:57 am

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 2:14 pm

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 23, 2018 at 2:44 am

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

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