The Surry Arts Council - Mount Airy, NC The Surry Arts Council - Mount Airy, NC The Surry Arts Council - Mount Airy, NC The Surry Arts Council - Mount Airy, NC
Surry Arts Council

Historic Earle Theatre Events



Admission $6 plus tax

Monday & Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
Friday at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. Dec-Feb)
Saturday 4:00 p.m., & 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. Dec-Feb)
Sunday 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 pm

Call the Information Line at 336.786.2222 or visit our Facebook page for current and upcoming movies

Free Monthly Movie Rated G or PG
3rd Thursday 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.


Admission $6 plus tax
(includes Andy Griffith Museum and Siamese Twins Exhibit )

Exhibits are open
Monday - Friday at 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday at 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday at 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.


Free ~ Weekly ~ Year-Round
Every Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

Bring your instrument or dancing shoes and join us!



Merry-Go-Round at 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (Doors open at 10:30 am)

Admission $6 or Merry-Go-Round Annual Pass $20
or Current SAC Season Pass


Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm
with The Marshall Brothers

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm
with Rich in Tradition

Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm
with guest band TBA

Admission $7 plus tax or Surry Arts Council Season Pass

Get more details here.


Every Thursday, Year-Round
5:30 p.m. Fiddle
6:15 p.m. Guitar

Jimmy Vipperman, Instructor





The theater was built in 1938 by Earl Q. Benbow and Percy A. Boone who also owned the Grand Theater across the street. The cinema gained considerable national attention when it was selected to present the premiere of Shirley Temple's film "Just Around the Corner" in 1938. On March 22, 1940, the cinema hosted one of the southern premieres of "Gone With The Wind." In 1958, the premiere of "A Face in the Crowd," Andy Griffith's first movie, was featured at the Earle.

The theater eventually became part of Stewart and Everett Theatres and later Carmike Cinemas. It closed its doors in 1985 and was donated by Carmike to the Surry Arts Council in 1990. After considerable renovations, the Arts Council began showing movies again in 1994.

The use of the original name is part of the Surry Arts Council's vision for further expanding the cinema. The theater will house exhibits and artifacts from the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall, which is moving from its former space on the lower level of the Andy Griffith Museum.

WPAQ's Merry-Go-Round, the second longest-running live radio broadcast in America, will continue to be held in the theater each Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The Voice of the Blue Ridge, a concert with a live radio format, is held on Saturday of select months at 7:30 p.m.

Movies will still be a big part of the theater with showings each week, and school programs and community events will continue to take place there.

The Surry Arts Council also oversees programs at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Andy Griffith Museum, and Blackmon Amphitheatre.


The Old-Time Music Heritage Hall moves to the Historic Earle Theatre at 142 N. Main St. in Mount Airy, formerly known as the Downtown Cinema Theatre.

The Old-Time Music Heritage Hall opened in 2010 in the lower level of the Andy Griffith Museum with exhibit space, audio guides, and a documentary film of Surry County's most notable musicians.

The new move fits with the theater's recognition as a nationally known "Mecca" for old-time music. Every Saturday morning beginning at eleven, radio station WPAQ airs the Merry-Go-Round, the second-longest running broadcast of live traditional music in the nation behind The Grand Ole Opry. Through its broadcasts and archives, WPAQ has greatly contributed to the preservation of American music history.

The Surry Arts Council realized that moving the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall would be a natural fit with the traditional music events already hosted at the Earle Theatre. The Arts Council will focus on centralizing its old-time music and other traditional music events around the theatre, moving its Thursday night clogging lessons, Thursday night jam sessions, and monthly old-time dances to the venue.

The new venue for the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall will be equipped with audio guides that will allow visitors to hear the biographies of various oldtime artists whose pictures adorn the theater walls. The lobby will house items and artifacts from Surry County's musical heritage. These additions will be funded in part by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. The Old-Time Heritage Hall will be open Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $6 per person. Tickets also include admission to the Andy Griffith Museum and The Siamese Twins Exhibit. Those visiting the Andy Griffith Museum first will have free admission to the new exhibits.

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