Ryman Auditorium

Nashville, United States

Ryman Auditorium

9.4

Ryman Auditorium (also known as Grand Ole Opry House and Union Gospel Tabernacle) is a 2,362-seat live-performance venue located at 116 5th Avenue North, in Nashville, Tennessee. It is best known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. It is owned and operated by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. Ryman Auditorium was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was later designated as a National Historic Landmark on June 25, 2001, for its pivotal role in the popularization of country music.

The auditorium opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. Its construction was spearheaded by Thomas Ryman (1843–1904), a Nashville businessman who owned several saloons and a fleet of riverboats. Ryman conceived the idea of the auditorium as a tabernacle for the influential revivalist Samuel Porter Jones. He had attended one of Jones' 1885 tent revivals with the intent to heckle, but was instead converted into a devout Christian who pledged to build the tabernacle so the people of Nashville could attend large-scale revivals indoors. It took seven years to complete and cost US$100,000 (equivalent to $3,015,926 in 2021). Jones held his first revival at the site on May 25, 1890, when only the building's foundation and six-foot (1.8 m) walls had been completed.

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