Our next stop is the historic Earle Theatre.
The Earle Theatre is located in downtown Mount Airy (Mayberry) NC. It's just across the street from Floyd's Barbershop and Snappy Lunch. It originally opened in 1938. It captured national attention it's inaugural year when it was selected to present the premiere of Shirley Temple's film "Just Around the Corner". It was also one of just a few theatres selected to premiere 1940's "Gone With The Wind" in the southern region. In 1958, The Earle featured their hometown boy, Andy Griffith's film, "A Face In The Crowd". I bet that was a grand night in Mount Airy! No rolling the sidewalks up that evening! The Earle continues to show movies along with hosting radio station WPAQ's bluegrass music program,"Merry Go Round", the second longest running live radio show in America (The Grand Ole Opry being the longest) since 1948 .
Our family has been visiting Mount Airy for several years since we are big fans of The Andy Griffith Show. During all of our past visits the Earle Theatre wasn't open at the times we were in town. They now have it open during the day with a small bluegrass museum (Old-Time Music Heritage Hall) in the lobby. You can also explore the theatre section as well because movies do not start until later in the evening. For just 6 dollars you can visit the Earle, The Siamese Twins exhibit and the Andy Griffith Museum. You got to grab a bargain like that!
Here are just a few images from the historic theatre section:
A lovely wall sconce.
PB taking a break in one of the balcony seats.
It's a bathroom door. But I loved it's art deco design! The women didn't get left out. They have the same cool door design. Though it may sound odd, I love to 'visit' bathrooms of older buildings. A bunch of times they are not updated and have cool fixtures and tile work. It slipped my mind to check these stalls out though!
While we were downtown we visited all of the regular spots also: Snappy Lunch, Opie's Candy Shoppe, and Floyd's Barbershop.
While this is my second round of posting about Mayberry on MHICTY, it is certainly not that we have only been twice.
This was the last time we were able to see "Floyd" Russell Hiatt sadly. He passed away May 3, 2016 at the age of 92. Mr. Hiatt and his barbershop are credited as the inspiration for the character of Floyd Lawson on The Andy Griffith Show. Mr. Hiatt used to cut Andy's hair when he was a young man.
My mom lives only a couple of hours from Mount Airy and would visit often just to see Mr. Hiatt. He was a kind man who was always happy to see you. The walls of the barber shop are covered in Polaroid snapshots of his visitors.
Here are our 2006 images on his wall.
Special to our family is that PB's first 'store bought' hair cut was given by Mr. Hiatt in 2009. Before that PB was a third generation Flo-Bee user.
We took this 'commemorative' photo of PB in 2009 with him wearing his Mayberry shirt and sitting in his Mayberry Police metal pedal car. We gave Mr. Hiatt a print of this photo which he hung up in the barbershop. Mr. Hiatt gave PB a 'Floyd's Barbershop' t-shirt during another visit. Such sweet memories.
This is our last Andy Griffith related stop on this trip but not our last in Mayberry/Mount Airy. But to keep the small town feeling going here are links to all of my Andy Griffith posts!
Andy Griffith TV Land Landmark
Crafty Andy Stuff
Andy Griffith Christmas Tree 2006
Andy Griffith Show Christmas Tree featured at ATOM 2015
Gutter Ball Gurus: Monroe's Funeral Palor and TV Repairs Bowling Team Shirts
Demented Decor: Old Man Rimshaw Halloween Display
Wallpaper Paste and Moulages
Pea Patch Pocketbooks with Mr. Goss Gravy
Andy Griffith Show The Pickle Story (Jello!)
Opies Lemonade Piedding
Briscoe Darling Larrapin Blueberry
We are now headed to the outskirts of Mount. Airy NC for some Blue Plate Specials!