The Historic Earle Theatre
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
39 reviews
Excellent
21
Very good
14
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
0

MAComm
Philadelphia, PA6 contributions
Jun 2015 • Family
Well, we had car trouble and had to stay close to Mount Airy, NC. What to do on a Thursday night? The town - main street - shuts down with the exception of Pandowdy's and the Wine Bar.
A really nice Nat'l Park Ranger on the Blue Ridge Pkwy told us that there are free concerts Thursday evenings at the Earle Theater. So, we went.
I would travel back to the tiny hick/hillbilly town of Mt. Airy just to sit in the Earle Theatre on a Thursday night. What a delight! Real Appalachian/country music...by real people. Locals gather to play and perform. They were all ages and worked together to back up whoever took the lead on the piece being played. Banjos, base fiddle, fiddle, guitar, drums etc.
NO question...hands down... from all 3 of us this was the highlight of our 12 day trip from Philly to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry to Ashville and exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Make time for this experience...it's a jewel in the fabric of American culture!
Written June 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KoldBeer
Mount Airy, NC10 contributions
Dec 2014 • Family
The Earle is an excellent, circa 1920, downtown theater experience. Not many towns still have a downtown movie theater in operation, much less one this authentic. They have a great price for second run movies and their concessions are affordble, particularly for young families. The Earle also stages some excellent bands, particularly bluegrass and old time bands from the region. Stop in on a Saturday morning for a broadcast of the Merry-Go-Round, one of the longest continuously broadcast radio programs in America. You will see some great jam sessions outside the Earle before the broadcast as well.
Written January 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FancyFree55
Florida7,559 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
Stepping inside the Historic Earle Theatre is being transported back to 1938, when it was built. As you enter the lobby, the smell of fresh popped corn sends taste buds into orbit. A helpful gentleman behind the counter explains what you'll see and how to best experience it. Visitors receive an audio tour device - press a button and hear the history of local music icons who graced The Earle with their presence in bygone years.

As a musician, I was impressed to learn that Surry County is the birthplace of a particular sound of strings music called Round Peak tradition - an intense bluesy blend of fiddlin and banjo strummin. Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham and friends gave rise to this style in the 1930s. Fred played a fretless banjo to create a more unique sound, and his banjo is now on display at the Smithsonian.

The Earle was also instrumental in the creation of a radio audience for Round Peak music. In 1948, local Ralph Epperson built the first radio station in Surry County, WPAQ-AM, broadcasting via a 10,000 watt antenna constructed on a nearby mountain top. Much of the content was broadcast live from The Earle Theatre, and today The Earle is still home to the second-longest-running live radio show in the country. For a $5 fee, locals can participate on Saturday mornings in the Merry-Go-Round show, with a live jam session afterward.

Heritage Hall is open daily for tours until 3:00. Every Thursday night The Earle hosts a free bluegrass jam session. Visitors can watch a video and learn how to dance the Surry County version of a country two-step.

I didn't see a parking lot, but street parking is free. We didn't pay separate admission to visit the theatre because our visit was part of a package deal including the Andy Griffith Museum.

Music lovers won't want to miss this.
Written June 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Myscha T
95 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
Great old building you can tour throughout the week, but the $8 tickets to the weekend live radio broadcasts are a great value and also let you into the Andy Griffith Museum.
Written September 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lori H
Millsboro, DE228 contributions
Apr 2017
Although they show fairly current movies here, it was more fun to sit in on a live radio show of bluegrass music on Saturday afternoon. Check out who's slated to play on a Saturday night for a cheap date! Bring your dancing shoes and spoons!
Written May 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ron E
4 contributions
Sep 2016
When movies had $1-$2 admission, it was a novelty and worth attending.Started charging for music on Saturdays; don't attend anymore. Use to go frequently.
Written September 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

unknowndiner
Lansing, IL343 contributions
Sep 2014 • Family
Went to the 25th Anniversary of Mayberry Days and really enjoyed the movies and entertainment at the Earle Theatre. Saw a movie, comedienne Karen Knotts daughter of Don Knotts and the VW Boys bluegrass group. Very enjoyable time. The Historic Earle Theatre is just beautiful!
Written October 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Margaret F
Alabama249 contributions
Jul 2014 • Couples
Housed in a wonderful, old, refurbished 1938 theater, the Earle Theatre presents local old timey musicians who developed the Mountain Music sound. Presented via artifacts, sound bites, and a wonderful PBS documentary that is really worth the time (20 minutes), visitors can grasp these musician's contributions to Americana music.
The theatre itself is the site of the second longest running live radio broadcast-WPAQ 740 am-in the nation-second only to The Grand Ol' Opry. The live broadcast "Merry-Go-Round" features live music on the stage, followed by live picking and jamming both inside the theatre as well as outside on the street.
Traveling Travis, the young man manning the theater was pleasant, educated, and informative.
Take the time to do this fun excursion on Main Street, Mt. Airy.
Written July 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

garyb36350
Waterford, MI143 contributions
Sep 2019 • Friends
Watched the Karen Knott show there today. Very informative about her father and family. It was not her Vegas show but you won’t find a Vegas style show anywhere in Nt. Airy. Ever.
Written September 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CLW
Macon, GA424 contributions
Aug 2019 • Couples
Ended up staying in Mt. Airy for the night and enjoyed this historic theater and local talent! Pretty little theater. Very laidback. Worth the trip!
Written August 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Historic Earle Theatre (Mount Airy) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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