WPAQ’s Merry-Go-Round, the second longest-running live radio broadcast in America, is held in the theater each Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., along with jam sessions from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. “The Voice of the Blue Ridge,” a monthly concert with a live radio format, is held every third Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Originally known as the Earle many years ago, 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 the Shirley Temple 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.

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