|Andy Griffith Museum Recently Renovated|
|The Andy Griffith Museum has reopened following a renovation of more than half a million dollars that touched on every aspect of the popular attraction. |
The revamped visitor experience takes guests on a stroll with Andy through various stages of his life. Exhibits, built in the form of storefronts, memorialize a particular aspect of Griffith's long-reaching career. And each exhibit is populated from a trove of more than 1,000 pieces of memorabilia collected by the late Emmett Forrest, a life-long friend of Griffith.
The museum closed for the project on April 7 and reopened to the public on June 29. Tanya Jones of the Surry Arts Council led the drive to build the museum in 2009. She said the plan was always to renovate with professional exhibits once the museum was established.
“The concept is strolling through Mayberry and various phases of Andy's life,” Jones says. “You begin with the Snappy Lunch showcasing his early years, then you move to the Earle Theatre featuring is movie clips. Next is Floyd's Barber Shop, followed by Emmett's Fix-It Shop. The Mayberry Courthouse & Jail is the centerpiece. There's also a Hollywood display, musical recordings and a Matlock exhibit.
“Many people don't realize the depth of his career – he was a comedian, Grammy-winning musician, Broadway actor, and a movie star from the 1950s until just prior to his death in 2012.”
Although the museum focuses on Griffith's entire life and not just The Andy Griffith Show, there are plenty of items from the famous television series. Folks can see Andy's sheriff shirt, the gavel and eagle from his desk, both sets of jail cell keys, Barney Fife's salt-and-pepper suit worn on dates with Thelma Lou, the suit of town drunk Otis, and Goober Pyle's bronzed beanie.
The newest item on display is a neatly pressed white suit worn by Griffith in Brad Paisley's “Waitin’ on a Woman” video in 2008.
Exhibit designer was Mark Meagher of Nashville, while another Nashville resident, Jim Clark, president of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club, conceptualized the design and handled content. Studio Displays Inc. in Charlotte built the displays and LKC Creative of Raleigh did the audio/visual stations.
“Our goal is to preserve Andy's legacy with a quality experience and this renovation achieves that,” Jones said. “Emmett would love this. This exceeds his dream, no question.”
For museum information, call 336-786-7998, or go to: www.andygriffithmuseum.com.
|If you want the real Mayberry experience, visit these attractions when you come to Mount Airy. Fans of the Andy Griffith show will love the fun, family-friendly, nostalgic sites. |
Andy Griffith Museum and Playhouse
218 Rockford Street | (336) 786-7998
The Andy Griffith Museum provides a permanent place for the world’s largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia. The museum is adjacent to the playhouse along with the TV Land landmark statue of Andy and Opie.
711 E. Haymore Street | (336) 789-5999
Stay in the Mount Airy home where Andy Griffith lived during his adolescence until his high school graduation. Andy’s boyhood home is available for nightly rentals and is within walking distance from downtown Mount Airy.
Aunt Bee’s Room
501 Andy Griffith Parkway North | (336) 786-4109
The late Frances Bavier, better know as “Aunt Bee,” has a room dedicated to her memory at the Mayberry Motor Inn. You can enjoy the exhibit through a window view inside the inn.
Floyd’s Barber Shop
129 N. Main Street | (336) 786-2346
Similar to Floyd’s Barber Shop in the beloved town of Mayberry, Floyd’s City Barber Shop has been a staple among the attractions of downtown Mount Airy. A collection of thousands of pictures line the wall on the “Wall of Fame.”
Mayberry Replica Courthouse
625 S. Main Street | (336) 786-6066
There are many tips of the hat to the fictional town of Mayberry. The Mayberry Courthouse is a replica of the courthouse that appeared in “The Andy Griffith Show” during the 1960s.
Mayberry Squad Car Tours
625 S. Main Street | (336) 789-6743
Remember Sheriff Taylor’s police car? The one you saw in every episode? In Mount Airy, you can tour all of the sites in a Mayberry squad car. Each tour starts at Wally’s Service Station, then it will travel up and down the streets of Mount Airy.
125 N. Main Street | (336) 786-4931
Opened on the 1920s to serve snappy lunches to workers of Mount Airy, Snappy Lunch hasn’t changed much as visitors will find the same diner that Andy Griffith ate at as a young boy while growing up in Mount Airy. In an early episode of “The Andy Griffith Show,” Andy suggested to Barney that they go to the Snappy Lunch, and Andy also mentioned the Snappy Lunch in his version of the song “Silhouettes.”
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