SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – Smithfield is our fourth and final stop of our “Your Town” series and WNCN Meteorologist Alyssa Corfont visited the town and learned a lot about its rich history.
Smithfield is widely known for being the home to Ava Gardner, the famous actress who starred in movies in the 40s through the 80s and was even married to Frank Sinatra for a time.
Smithfield is also on the mountains to sea trail and has a thriving downtown.
Sarah Edwards is with the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation and says there’s something special about living in this small town.
“There’s something to be said about coming to work in a place and living in a place where you go into a restaurant and you know basically everyone that is there,” Edwards said.
The Howell Theater, which opened its doors 80 years ago, has gone through several transformations throughout the years. It began as one big theater with a balcony that could host up to 770 people. After a fire and some renovations, the building now houses four theaters, each capable of showing their own movie.
David Kirkman manages the theater and says the community has been very supportive of their business.
“Good following from the community, people like the theater, people like the idea of a discount theater and it helps the community,” Kirkman said.
And if you’re looking to grab a quick lunch in Smithfield, Cricket’s is the place to go. They serve hot dogs, chicken, burgers, steak sandwiches and fries.
“They got everything you want and everything you like to eat…chicken, hot dogs, french fries, for a good price. It’s the best food in town,” said William Mangum, born and raised in Smithfield.
Cricket’s has also been featured in “Our State” magazine for “Best roadside eats across the state.”