NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium is known around the world as the “mother church of country music.” But new exhibits opening Tuesday make clear the venue is much more than the longtime home of the Grand Ole Opry.
A $14 million expansion opens to the public on Tuesday. An introductory film and five new exhibits tell the story of the Ryman from its 1892 founding as the Union Gospel Tabernacle; its decades as a stop for famous acts like Enrico Caruso and Al Jolson; its 30 years as home to the Opry; and its 1994 renovation and rebirth as a premier music venue.
The expansion includes a new fast-casual restaurant and a greatly expanded gift shop.
The Ryman is open for self-guided tours every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.