Ryman Auditorium has hosted the biggest names in country music, as well as performers such as Mae West, Rudolph Valentino and W.C. Fields.
The historic building first opened in 1892 and is perhaps best known for hosting the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974. The Opry moved in 1974 to its current home near the Opryland Hotel and left the Ryman vacant, and it was not until 1994 that the Ryman was restored to be the national showplace it is today.
When the Grand Ole Opry House opened in 1974, a circle approximately 5 feet in diameter was removed from the Ryman stage's original floor and inlaid into the stage floor in the new Opry House. It remains there today behind the lead singer's microphone.
As for today’s Ryman, the 2,362-seat live performance venue still hosts several concerts each year, plus the Opry currently returns to the auditorium annually for a run from November through February. The Ryman has also been featured in several movies, and a number of tourism associations claim that the venue has the second-best acoustics in the United States, behind only the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City.
Ryman Auditorium is open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for public tours.
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