where the writers are

Plans are underway at the Ava Gardner Museum to host the annual Ava Gardner Festival, October 4th-6th in historic downtown Smithfield, North Carolina.  This year the museum board of directors has chosen to showcase the award-winning film, The Night of the Iguana. Many critics felt this film to be one of Ava’s best performances, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe.  Ava went on to win the Best Foreign Actress Film Award (BAFTA) and Best Actress at the San Sabastian Film Festival for her role as Maxine Faulk.


The Night of the Iguana (1964) is an MGM film based on the 1961 play of the same name written by Tennessee Williams. Directed by John Huston and produced by Ray Stark, it featured Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, and Sue Lyon.

The theme of the festival will be Mad About Ava and the cast of Mad Men, the television show, are all being invited. Other invitees include Anjelica Huston, daughter of Iguana director John Huston, and Debbie Reynolds –both of whom have memoirs hitting the shelves this year.

Here are the tentative plans:


Friday, October 4    Mad About Ava - Party

7pm-10pm     It’s a pub crawl and a gala event in the museum, including a 1960s costume contest and a raffle drawing for a trip to Puerto Vallarta and Mismaloya, where parts of the set are available to tour.  There will be specialty drinks at nearby wineries, breweries and restaurants, and visitors can show off their 60s costume. The museum will have live entertainment, new exhibits related to the film, specialty drinks and hors d’ oeuvres, concluding with cash prizes for best 60s costume, door prizes, and the grand prize drawing. 

Saturday, October 5   Festival Day Activities

9am-6pm     The museum will be open for tours of the new exhibits, heritage tours to Ava’s birthplace, the teacherage and other points of interest along the Ava Gardner Heritage Trail, and there will be FREE film screenings of The Night of the Iguana in the museum’s theatre.

Sunday, October 6     Festival Day Activities

1pm-6pm     The museum will have special hours on Sunday for tours of the new exhibits and a FREE film screening.


The Ava Gardner Museum is at 325 Market St., Smithfield, North Carolina. For more info, click on the link below:



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