Ava Gardner Museum

Museum
325 E Market St., Smithfield, NC 27577 325 E Market St., Smithfield Directions
+19199345830
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100% of 21 customers recommended

Tips

250
Verified
Report | 2 months ago
Take the time to see it all. It's amazing!
Verified
Report | 10 months ago
One tip is that they prefer if you have the groupon printed out instead of showing the groupon on your smart phone. I didn't have it printed out, but they still accepted it from my phone. We were told that it is more work for them to do at the end of the day when you don't have the printout.
Verified
Report | 11 months ago
Nice little museum
Verified
Report | 11 months ago
This place was wonderful! This is a great place to remember and honor Ava.
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Report | a year ago
Street parking for the museum is limited. Great for people who like old time movies and actors.
Verified
Report | a year ago
a good 2-3 hour visit. small but very informative
Verified
Report | 2 years ago
The Ava Gardner Museum was a very positive, enlightening experience regarding the achievements of one of the movie industry's great personalities. It is a worthwhile effort to gaining insight in the life of a remarkable actress.
Verified
Report | 2 years ago
It was interesting, but I don't think I would have paid full price for what there is.
Verified
Report | 2 years ago
For an enchanting walk down memory lane with a beautiful and talented actress, visit Ava and find out what kind of lady she was. Hers is a true and real Cinderella story. If you love Old Hollywood, run, don't walk to the Ava Gardner museum! Entertainment history surrounds!
Verified
Report | 2 years ago
It's a small museum but it's really worth the visit. My wife and I are close to 50 so we had never seen an Ave Gardner movie or even knew who she was. The two things we easily took away from our visit was a desire to watch Ava's movies and the fact that Ave was absolutely beautiful. Ave had a beauty that spans the decades. Btw, watching Ava's movies is a treat, she was a wonderful actress and they made us nostalgic for an era we had not even lived in.

From Our Editors

Ava Gardner was studying to be a secretary at the Atlantic Christian College when 12-year-old Thomas Banks met her while playing at the school's campus in 1940. A year later, the young boy learned his friend had signed a movie contract with MGM to become a movie star. From then on, he collected newspaper clippings and memorabilia tracing her film career, from her breakout role in 1946's The Killers to her lauded work in 1953's Mogambo with Clark Gable. Tom and Ava remained friends over the years, and, at her request, he unveiled his collection—more than 50 years in the making—in 1979 in Smithfield, her birthplace and eventual resting place.

Tom amassed more than 20,000 artifacts from Ava's career and private life, which now, among other pieces, fill the 6,400-square-foot Ava Gardner Museum. Among movie posters and awards stand the silk satin cape that Ava wore in publicity shots for The Barefoot Contessa and the black dress she donned in The Great Sinner. Her personal items include china, jewelry, 40 portraits of her by Bert Pfeiffer, and the engraved watch she gave to her third husband, Frank Sinatra. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum celebrates the starlet with its annual Ava Gardner Festival, which includes screenings of her classic films and heritage tours.

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