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Ava Gardner Museum

325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
Review Highlights
very nice

We had a friend in town and took him by to see this. Its a very nice little museum, nice movie... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Clayton, North Carolina
Had to learn about our local starlett

Went with my mom and sisters once, and again with my hubby. His grandmother has old letters from... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Benson, North Carolina
Read all 131 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good29%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“minute film” (12 reviews)
“frank sinatra” (11 reviews)
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Hours Today: 14:00 - 17:00
325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
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Reviews (131)
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1 - 10 of 131 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

We had a friend in town and took him by to see this. Its a very nice little museum, nice movie about Ava. Warning. Be careful about parking on the street if you have a full size truck, a lot of mirrors get taken off....More

Thank firebear1961
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Went with my mom and sisters once, and again with my hubby. His grandmother has old letters from Ava as well as an invitation to her funeral. I learned a lot about what films she was in and she had high city taste, for sure!

1  Thank pirategirl122017
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This iconic actress was born just outside of Smithfield. Many of her family members spent their entire lives here. Ava is buried locally with other members of her family. The museum is very well laid out with many displays of personal effects and photographs telling...More

1  Thank Jim4249541
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A great story of a local girl making it. Story start with birth and go to death with all good and bad thing in her life. The collection of things was very good.

1  Thank William G
Reviewed 7 June 2017

There are lots of exhibits and mostly her clothing. This was when movie stars where mostly respectable people...

2  Thank Lorene W
Reviewed 25 May 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We have lived in NC for 20 years and had heard about this museum but were never much interested in Ava Gardner. But, I'm glad we decided to stop by. The museum was wonderful. As mentioned, plenty of free parking...More

1  Thank GmaSandra
Reviewed 7 May 2017

We visited this museum on May 6th. There is parking in the street. It does not seem to be a big museum on first sight, but there are a lot of little histories behind every item. Every year they put other items in display. That...More

3  Thank AmarilisVos
Reviewed 4 May 2017

The 18 minute video was really interesting that communicates several events in Ava's life. She was a farm country girl who became a famous actress. She led a very interesting life and you see it through the public's eyes at her museum. The memorabilia is...More

1  Thank judygustafson
Reviewed 2 May 2017

My husband confessed he really wasn’t expecting much out of this small museum. But while it may be small, it packs a big punch. There are all types of memorabilia including paintings, clothing, jewelry, handwritten letters, movie posters and scrap books. There is about a...More

1  Thank PhoenixRobin
Reviewed 20 April 2017 via mobile

I've been a fan for years, so had to stop. I found the real Ava as intriguing as the Hollywood Ava. The 18 minute movie and interpretive panels describe her life, her loves and her heartbreaks. I loved the original movie posters. The portraits by...More

1  Thank wilson59604
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Questions & Answers
Jeanette M
25 June 2017|
Answer Show all 6 answers
Response from AllenVirginiaBeach | Reviewed this property |
Open Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm Sunday 2pm - 5pm All you had to do was type in Ava Gardner museum and it gives you the times, just like I did for you. Glad I could do your leg work for you!