In a ceremony held yesterday on stage at Ryman Auditorium, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry issued a proclamation celebrating May 10, 2017 as Ryman Auditorium Day in honor of the iconic venue’s 125th anniversary.
“From its beginnings as a church to its years as the home of the Grand Ole Opry to its revival as the coolest concert venue in the world, the Ryman has a story like no other building – anywhere,” Mayor Barry said. “I’m grateful for everything the Ryman means to Nashville, and I’m excited to celebrate its first 125 years while looking forward to many more.”
Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryman Auditorium’s parent company, Ryman Hospitality Properties and Opry Member Vince Gill joined Mayor Barry onstage to celebrate Ryman Auditorium Day, which is also the 132nd anniversary of the meeting between Captain Thomas Ryman and Reverend Sam Jones that inspired Ryman to construct a grand tabernacle for the people of Nashville.
“As the owners of this Nashville treasure, we view ourselves as both the stewards and protectors of its rich and storied legacy,” said Reed. “We are thankful that Mayor Barry has chosen to recognize not only the historical significance of the Ryman but also its continued influence on Nashville’s thriving music and tourism industries.”
“If you think about it, music has had a great history here, but the real purpose of this building was to save people… and 125 years later it’s still saving people,” expressed Gill. “This place just has spirit that you can’t even put into words. It really is a magical place. The very first time I ever sang in this building it was just me and a guitar, and it was one of the most majestic experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I really felt that spirit move through me. This place more than any place I’ve been…I really felt that spirit. Whether I play here with a seven-piece band or a bluegrass band… no matter what you throw at this place it takes it and elevates it.”
A National Historic Landmark, Ryman Auditorium was built as a tabernacle by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892, served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74 and was completely renovated in 1994. The Ryman is open for tours during the day and at night offers a wide variety of entertainment performances, just as it has for over 125 years. The venue was voted the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Pollstar Theatre of the Year and recently took home its fifth-consecutive CMA Venue of the Year Award. Ryman Auditorium is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), a Nashville-based REIT that also owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry, and 650 AM WSM. For more information, visit ryman.com.