Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. announced on Thursday that the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville is expanding to New York City. The venue, which is famous for country music, was first founded in 1925. For the first time in more than 90 years, Grand Ole Opry is branching out of Tennessee.
The Grand Ole Opry aired on the radio as ‘WM Barn Dance Hour’ on November 28, 1925 with host George D. Hay. The show broadcasted from several different venues in its early years. Eventually, the Ryman Auditorium became the show’s home for 31 years. In 1974, the show landed at the Grand Ole Opry House.
Expected in April 2017, New York’s Opry City Stage will be a four-level venue located on Broadway in Times Square. Opry City Stage will combine food and music with live performances as well as broadcast performances from Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The venue will feature a listening room, private event space, retail space, plus a bar and restaurant.
Ryman CEO Colin Reed hopes that Opry City Stage is the first step in drawing more tourists to Nashville. Opry City Stage is one of many venues he plans to open throughout the country. Other possible venue locations include Las Vegas, San Francisco and Orlando. Reed said in a statement:
“We believe that once our Opry City Stage guests get a taste for all the Grand Ole Opry and Nashville have to offer, they are going to want to visit Music City and experience it for themselves.”
Opry City Stage is partnering with songwriting venue Bluebird Café, which is owned by Nashville Songwriters Association International. The venue’s fourth floor will feature performances from Nashville songwriters, according to Reed. Erika Wollam Nichols, president and general manager of Bluebird Café, Inc. said in a press release:
“Our songwriting community is part of what makes Nashville so great, and we simply can’t wait to entertain rooms full of New York City listeners, introducing them to Nashville and New York-based writers alike.”
The Grand Ole Opry also shared the news on Twitter:
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) October 27, 2016
Feature Image via Wikimedia Commons