Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium (formally Grand Old Opry House and Union Gospel Tabernacle) is a 2,362-seat live performance venue, located at 115 5th Avenue North, in Nashville, Tennessee and is best-known as the historic home of the Grand Ole Opry .

The auditorium first opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. It was built by Thomas Ryman (1843”“1904), a riverboat captain and Nashville businessman who owned several saloons. Ryman conceived of the auditorium as a tabernacle for the influential revivalist Samuel Porter Jones. After Ryman's death, the Tabernacle was renamed Ryman Auditorium in his honor. Famous builder "Mark Ludwig" designed the structure. It was used for Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from 1943 until 1974, when the Opry built a larger venue just outside Nashville at the Opryland USA theme park. The Ryman then sat mostly vacant and fell into disrepair until 1992 when Emmylou Harris and her band, the Nash Ramblers, performed a series of concerts there (the results of which appeared on her album At the Ryman ). The Harris concerts renewed interest in restoring the Ryman, and it was reopened as an intimate performance venue and museum in 1994. Audiences at the Ryman find themselves sitting in pews, the 1994 renovation notwithstanding. The seating is a reminder of the auditorium's origins as a house of worship, hence giving it the nickname "The Mother Church of Country Music". The Ryman Auditorium was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and was further designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001.

Notable events
The venue hosts alternative rock, bluegrass, blues, country, classical, folk, gospel, jazz, pop and rock concerts, as well as musical theater and stand-up comedy shows. Also in 1999, Bill Gaither recorded The Cathedrals' Farewell Celebration video and album there, with various other artists, such as The Statler Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Guy Penrod and Sandi Patti. On January 30, 2003, Patty Griffin recorded her live album, A Kiss in Time , at the Ryman. In 2005, Neil Young recorded the movie "Heart of Gold", with Jonathan Demme, at the Ryman. In April 2006, Josh Turner recorded a live album at the Ryman . In May 2006, English band Erasure recorded their live album (both on CD and DVD), titled On The Road To Nashville. Nickel Creek planned to record a live DVD at the Ryman, in late 2007 ; however, the plans were scrapped. Coldplay released a limited edition autographed poster from a performance at the Ryman.

  • Ryman Auditorium has been featured in several movies, including Robert Altman's Nashville ( 1975) starring David Arkin, Barbara Baxley, Ned Beatty, and Karen Black; W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings ( 1975) starring Burt Reynolds, Jerry Reed, Ned Beatty, Don Williams, Mel Tillis, and Art Carney; Coal Miner's Daughter ( 1980) starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones; Clint Eastwood's Honkytonk Man ( 1982) ; and Sweet Dreams ( 1985) starring Jessica Lange and Ed Harris. Neil Young used the venue in his 2006 film Neil Young: Heart of Gold .
  • The Denishawn Dance Company appeared at the Ryman on December 14, 1923, with Martha Graham, Louise Brooks, and Nashville native Doris Humphrey among their performers.
  • The Ryman Auditorium was the venue for The Johnny Cash Show, which ran on the ABC network from 1969 to 1971.
  • The Ryman Auditorium was named Pollstar Magazine's National Theatre of the Year for both 2003 and 2004, beating out such venues as New York's Radio City Music Hall and Hollywood's Gibson Universal Amphitheater.
  • Each dressing room behind the stage is dedicated to a legendary performer such as Johnny Cash and Minnie Pearl.
  • The visitor tour claims that the Ryman Auditorium has been rated as having the second best acoustics in the world (after the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's home, the Salt Lake Tabernacle).
  • When the Grand Ole Opry House opened in 1974, a circle approximately five feet in diameter was removed from the Ryman stage's original floor and inlaid into the stage floor in the new Opry House where it remains today behind the lead singer's microphone.
  • The Grand Ole Opry currently returns to the Ryman Auditorium annually for a run from November through February.
  • Because of the 2010 flooding of the Cumberland River that rendered the current Grand Ole Opry House temporarily unusable, the Ryman Auditorium was the primary venue for the Grand Ole Opry when it was available. This arrangement continued until the restored Opry House reopened on September 28, 2010. Because of its location away from the river, the Ryman Auditorium was unaffected by the flooding.
  • A Prairie Home Companion ’s website dubbed the Ryman “God’s Own Listening Room” in the week leading up to a March 26, 2011 show at the venue.