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Ava Gardner Museum

325 E. Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
1-919-934-5830
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Ranked #1 of 9 Attractions in Smithfield
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: History Museums, Specialty Museums
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Owner description: 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... more » Owner description: 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. « less
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63 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

For those traversing I-95 through Johnston County, NC it is well worth the "rest stop" to exit in Smithfield and visit the downtown Smithfield area. There are several quaint shops and eateries however, the real gem is the Ava Gardner Museum. For fans of this screen legend as well as those who enjoyed those by gone days of quality films,... More

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Bishopville, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
5 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

very nostalgic, lots of interesting items on display very interesting, well kept . Lots of items that make you want to return again and again, very convenient to find.

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Cedar Key, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

Quaint, inexpensive and educational with plenty of Ava's history and costumes that are stunning, which match her career !

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Chesterfield, Virginia
Top Contributor
222 reviews 222 reviews
11 attraction reviews
194 helpful votes 194 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

A wonderful tribute to a great actress from the area. They just don't come as beautiful as Ava Gardner anymore - she was such a natural beauty...and wonderful actress. The museum is small, but it's a great tribute to this local celebrity. Worth a visit!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Shannon, Ireland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

We saw the sign on our way down to SC and decided to check it out on our way home. My 86 year old mother was more familiar with Ava, but I knew enough to be enthralled with the small museum. It was well worth the $8.00 admission fee.

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Henderson, Ky
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

Ava Gardner had an 18 inch waist. Who knew? Very nice small museum in her honor. Short 18 minute movie about her life. Lots of pictures and clothing and jewelry. Many books about her life. My hubby loves her so we enjoyed seeing this.

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Roxboro NC
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
21 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

This is a very well done museum. More than worth the admission price which is very low - $6 for Senior Citizens; You can see the pride the area has in Ava Gardner due to the artifacts and collection in the museum. Very friendly staff. So glad we took the time to do this.

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Herlong, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Start with a short film about Ava Gardner and then get glimpses of her life from the displays. The museum is small, but done well. Many things I did not know about this beautiful actress and her untimely death. I noticed that the younger people seemed more intrigued than some of the older visitors. The museum is supported mostly with... More

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Havelock, North Carolina
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
41 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

My husband and I were on a day trip and happened to drive through Smithfield, NC where we drove by the Ava Gardner Museum. Even though she was before our time, we had seen her in a few old movies and decided to tour the museum. What a wonderful surprise in this small town. After paying our admission ($8 for... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
28 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

This was such a wonderful museum to visit. When you enter you are ushered into a room to watch a movie about her and the staff member tells you more about her and some of the artwork that is currently in the room. The video last about 15 min, if you have small children it could be hard for them... More

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