Gem Theatre

Address: 120 Ross St
City: Beaverton
State: MI
Zip:
County: Gladwin
Notes:
Open:
Capacity:
Owner History: Unknown
Number of visits to this page: 10089
Info Updates:
3/30/2021 - Andy Gray

The Gem Theatre, which continues to entertain patrons, is a real small town treasure. My uncle A.S. Johnson Jr.'s notes date this Johnson theater job to 1940. The Gem is located at 120 Ross Street in Beaverton, Michigan.

My grandfather Al Johnson has left behind no slides of the Gem Theatre for us to enjoy, but several photos taken between 1940 and more recently are available online. Older images of the theater are remarkable for the apparent lack of a marquee or Gem signage. The sepia tone image taken opening week (below) shows two pairs of half-hexagonal glass entrance doors (a version of the "Johnson door") similar to those on the Bad Axe and other theatres built by Johnson Construction Co.

The Cinema Treasures site provide this history of the Gem Theatre: "It was in continuous operation since the 1940’s. It was closed in March 2016 for renovation. It had reopened by November 2018."

Seth Landon, whose family owned and operated the theater for several years, has provided several photos and family memories on the WaterWinterWonderland.com website. Regarding a recent renovation of the theater Seth noted: "You would be amazed but that wiring in there is all the same with a few upgrades. They said it passed the inspection."

It's clear from the "History" tab on the current Gem Theatre website that it's only because several key individuals cherished the theater and stepped forward during lean economic years, that the Gem has survived for over eighty years to offer a retro movie-viewing experience in the twenty-first century.

2/14/2021 - Andy Gray
My uncle A.S. Johnson Jr's (Bud's) list of Johnson Construction Company theater jobs shows a theater being built or remodeled in 1940 in Beaverton. I suspect that it was the Gem Theatre, although our family doesn’t have any surviving slides or pictures. On the Cinema Treasures website, a couple of early photos show red "art moderne" entrance doors with half-octagonal glass, identical to those on the Bad Axe Theatre and other theaters built by Johnson Construction Co. during that era.
2/27/2016 - Seth Landon
my great uncles theatre is now Digital and has been purchased by new owners and is in the process of being renovated and restored to her former glory like the way my great uncle intended after years of neglect and decay.
10/20/2005 - Seth Landon
My uncle built the thetre in 1939 and opened it in 1940. I have plenty more info that will come over time thanks
10/16/2005 - Seth Landon
Hi just wanted to say that I have some new photos of the interior including the projection booth comming soon. I recently got to meet the owner before one of the showing. He let us look around the theatre and take some good photo also. For me it was my first time to go in the projection booth while it brought back memories to my dad when he was a kid since he use to spend alot of time their anyway., I will be getting some new photos soon of the interior of the theatre. The owner said I could stop by and take some photos since I am related to the former owner.
2/13/2004 - Seth Landon
My great uncle was once the owner of the Gem he also owned the Sandra which now sit as an apartment complex in town. His name was James H. Methner. More info will be comming as soon as possible.
1/30/2004 - WaterWinterWonderland
The tiny Gem is a part of a rare breed these days, a single screener in the downtown of a small city. It is hard to tell how long the Gem has been around, but I would estimate it to be the 40's or 50's. Good to see it still going in 2004.
 Photos:7
Gem Theatre - THE GEM NOW
THE GEM NOW
Gem Theatre - STAFF AT GEM FROM SETH LANDON
STAFF AT GEM FROM SETH LANDON
Gem Theatre - AUDITORIUM FROM SETH LANDON
AUDITORIUM FROM SETH LANDON
Gem Theatre - LOBBY FROM SETH LANDON
LOBBY FROM SETH LANDON
Gem Theatre - LOBBY FROM SETH LANDON
LOBBY FROM SETH LANDON
Gem Theatre - EXTERIOR FROM SETH LANDON
EXTERIOR FROM SETH LANDON
Gem Theatre - OLD PHOTO FROM JAMES WYREMBELSKI
OLD PHOTO FROM JAMES WYREMBELSKI
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