The Ryman Auditorium is formally known as the Grand Old Opry House and affectionately known as The Mother Church of country music among fans. It was used for Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from 1943- 1974, also featured in movies. It is a 2,362 seat live performance venue, built in 1843 through 1904 by Thomas Ryman. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.
Located in downtown Nashville, TN the historic Ryman Auditorium was constructed in 1892 by Thomas Ryman. It was originally called Union Gospel Tabernacle and was constructed for Reverend Sam Jones and his revivals after Ryman attended one of Jones' sermons. A stage would be constructed in 1904 for the NY Met Opera to perform. Seating capacity is over 2,000 but what makes it unique is that the seats are church pews instead of traditional chairs. In 1904, it would be re-named for Thomas Ryman after his death.
It was mainly used primarily as a venue for performances, speeches, and lectures after the death of Rev Jones. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Taft gave speeches in the auditorium. The first sold-out show was from a lecture with Helen Keller. In 1943 is when it would become the home of the Grand Ole Opry. The radio show would bring famed performances from huge names like Maybelle Carter, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and many more. It would remain the home of the famed radio show for the next 30 years. Upon the moving of the show to a new location in 1974, a circle was cut out of the stage and placed in Grand Ole Opry House to pay homage to the auditorium.
After the Grand Ole Opry left the Ryman Auditorium, it was used primarily for various other performances and shows. It was also used in filming many different variety shows and movies. It underwent several renovations in the 1990s and 2000s. It became a National Historic Landmark in 2001.