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Ava Gardner Museum

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Address: 325 E. Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone Number: 1-919-934-5830
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Description: The Ava Gardner Museum, one of North Carolina’s most remarkable...
The Ava Gardner Museum, one of North Carolina’s most remarkable attractions, honors the life, loves, and legacy of one of Hollywood’s most glamorous leading ladies. It’s here that you will see personal interviews and get the real story from those that knew her best.Discover the real Ava Gardner as you take the self-guided tour through more than 5,000 square-feet of exhibit space. You’ll see extraordinary costumes, movie posters and awards that represent Ava’s 50-year career as a leading Hollywood actress. The Museum also houses a collection of personal items of china, jewelry, clothing and fine art, including 40 portraits by Bert Pfeiffer, an artist whose collection was donated to the museum in 2001. The tour also includes a screening of a short biography of Ava that features information about her life in Johnston County and commentary by those who knew her best, including family members, childhood friends, co-stars, and even one of her husbands, Mickey Rooney.Get to know the people who played important roles in Ava’s life. Her circle of close friends included celebrities such as Gregory Peck, Grace Kelly, Ernest Hemingway and Howard Hughes. You’ll also learn about her marriages, which were even bigger news than her films. View artifacts that belonged to her third and final husband, Frank Sinatra, whom she considered the love of her life.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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worth visiting

We stopped by out of curiosity. The video provided an excellent context for Gardner's career. I am not a fan of Gardner, not my generation, but the story of her life was... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 23, 2015
Kimberly M
,
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
via mobile
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84 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2015 NEW via mobile

We stopped by out of curiosity. The video provided an excellent context for Gardner's career. I am not a fan of Gardner, not my generation, but the story of her life was intriguing. The memorabilia added to her story. I am not a fashion fanatic, but the narrative with each item was helpful. Be sure to ask the docent/cashier questions.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Orlando, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
69 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015 NEW

We went to Smithfield stay 2 days there with the intention to go see the Ava Gardner museum. First you watch 18 minutes a film about her life ,was really nice to see that. Then you go to see the clothes , purses,shoes,gloves,jewelery.The little playpen. Her china collection was beautiful. The play Frank Sinatra songs, and the watch that Ava... More 

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Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

North Carolina is full of boring small towns which have nothing to offer. Smithfield would normally fit into that category but with one remarkable exception. The stunning Ava Gardner museum is a must for all movie fans, attaining to the golden age of Hollywood. Reasonably price, complete with an 18-minute movie, you can see props and posters depicting Gardner's life... More 

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Hiram, Georgia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2015

We finally got to stop here on our way back from vacation on the Outer Banks. I am not an Ava Gardner fan. Or rather, I was not, until I got to come here! The girl at the desk was very enthusiastic. She took our money (only $8 per person) and sent us into a room that had an 18... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
West Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
181 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015

We had eaten lunch in Lumberton, NC and were driving to Washington, NC. Since we had an hour or so, we decided to break the drive by stoping at the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC off exit 95 of I95. We did good! So many of these "hometown museums" are well intentioned, but amateurish, NOT this one. You are... More 

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Northampton, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
56 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2015

The Ava Gardner Museum is as sparkling a jewel and as tailored a collection as the wardrobe of the remarkable woman and Hollywood legend it honours. Smithfield, NC off I-95 has created a generous and sophisticated homage to the actress that starts and ends with the warmth of its staff, and includes an 18-minute introductory film (a must see), stunning... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Hellertown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
52 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2015

This one is a must for Hollywood aficionados! Incredibly tastefully presented, and with a must - see introductory documentary on Ava's life. If you care about fashion, you will marvel at beautiful classic stuff made by Gucci, Dior, Ferragamo and others that genuinely belonged to her. Very enthusiastic lady at the reception desk and good stuff to buy at the... More 

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New Brunswick, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

I was here for a war reinactment but stopped into the museum and enjoyed the little time I spent there. I am a history fanatic.

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Haverford, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
797 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 490 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2015

I guess I was expecting a small kitschy museum dedicated to Ava Gardner when I pulled off I95. So I was surprised to find a rather substantial building on the Main Street in little Smithfield. I was the only person in the museum on this morning and the elegant, very southern docent gave me a warm welcome. I started with... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
175 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2015

I was highly impressed with my visit to The Ava Gardner Museum. It is located in downtown Smithfield, NC. There is street parking as well as a large public parking lot in the back. When you enter the museum, you are warmly greeted and then told a little about Ava Gardner before watching an 18 minute film to give you... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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Additional Information about Ava Gardner Museum

Address: 325 E. Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone Number: 1-919-934-5830
Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Smithfield
Open Hours:
Sunday 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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