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“Just off I-95 Exit 95”
Review of Ava Gardner Museum

Ava Gardner Museum
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Smithfield
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
304 reviews
163 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“Just off I-95 Exit 95”
Reviewed March 30, 2013

:Great stop--a must see. We arrived a little early before they opened at 9, but the docent saw us and opened up anyway. She was very friendly and knowledgeable. There is a short film before you take the tour, it was very nicely done. Many of the dresses she wore in her films where on display, along with any of her personal items. They have a small gift shop also.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Barbara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Nice Attraction”
Reviewed March 26, 2013

I had always been a fan and decided to tour the museum on a quick overnight enroute to points North.

The intro movie was very well done.

The memorabilia was exceptional and included costumes from several of her films

Visited March 2013
Thank keith j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piney Flats, Tennessee
Level Contributor
94 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Ava Gardner”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

It has been many years since Ava was a star, but it was great learning about her and her living in Smithfield area.

Visited March 2013
Thank don452
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
253 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“A nice return to a bygone era”
Reviewed March 18, 2013

At the recommendation of friends, upon our return from a visit to Florida, we stopped by to visit the museum. We enjoyed the video and seeing the gorgeous costumes that Ava Gardner had worn. We had lunch across the street from the museum, which was visiting the old south. It was a very nice visit.

Visited February 2013
Thank HarryR37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
255 reviews
129 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Well done music”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

I have been to the Ava Gardner Museum at least four times. I went again today, Friday, January 11, 2013. The museum is very well done and very informative. I watched the film on Ava Gardner's life prior to visiting the exhibits. I enjoyed seeing the pictures, reading about her accomplishments and viewing her treasures. I'm glad to see that the museum continues to survive and hope that it can continue for several years to come.

Visited January 2013
Thank Touring16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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