The Smithfield Little Theatre was organized from a group of people who had worked children's theater with the Smithfield Recreation Association. The group produced the first show " The Cat and the Canary " at the Smithfield High School in August of 1962.
From 1962 to 1966 the Theatre group produced shows at the Smithfield High School, or the Smithfield Community Hall "the present location of the Fire Department".
The old warehouse on Commerce Street, where there used to be a cotton gin, hense the name "The Cotton Gin Theatre", was leased for $1.00 a year from Howard W. Gwaltney of ITT Gwaltney. In 1973 the Cotton Gin was donated to the Smithfield Little Theatre by ITT Gwaltney Inc. thanks to the efforts of the late Howard Gwaltney Sr.
The Cotton Gin was the only building on Commerce Street not destroyed in the great fire of 1921 that burned out all of the businesses on the Pagan River, Smithfield's deep water harbour.