To celebrate its 125th Anniversary, the Ryman Auditorium will welcome Tennessee residents to a free daytime tour experience on Sunday, March 26. The Ryman Auditorium’s Community Appreciation Day is sponsored by Ryman Partners and SunTrust Bank.
Complimentary self-guided tours will be available from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. with presentation of a valid Tennessee state ID at the Ryman box office. No reservations are necessary.
The Ryman’s self-guided tour includes admission to the “Soul of Nashville” theater experience, which traces the Ryman’s history, from its origination as a tabernacle built by a riverboat captain 125 years ago to becoming Nashville’s largest venue for civic gatherings and evolving into one of the world’s top concert halls. The multi-dimensional film brings to life historic performances by artists such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams, Sr. and culminates with a new collaboration featuring Darius Rucker, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill.
“Soul of Nashville” also includes five new exhibits honoring the Ryman’s 125th anniversary: “Workin’ on a Building,” “Showplace of the South,” “Mother Church of Country Music,” “125 Years of Inspired Performances” and “Ryman Renaissance.”
The “125 Years of Inspired Performance” exhibit showcases stage attire from Johnny Cash, Jimmy Dickens and Little Big Town; guitars played by Jack White and Vince Gill; long-time Ryman manager Lula Naff’s collection of playbills. One of the highlights of the exhibit include the bible used on May 10, 1885 by Rev. Sam Jones. It was a tent revival on that date where Ryman namesake Captain Tom Ryman first became inspired to build the Union Gospel Tabernacle. The name of the tabernacle was changed to Ryman Auditorium in 1904 at Captain Ryman’s funeral.
Additionally, there will be Community Day specials at Cafe Lula and the Ryman Gift Shop. Cafe Lula, open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will offer a “buy one, get one for $1.25” special on all entrees. The Ryman Gift Shop will offer 20 percent off on merchandise including the Little Big Town at the Mother Church product lines and every purchase will include a free Ryman tote bag. The Ryman gift shop is open daily until 7:00 p.m. (Discount offer excludes media items.)
Nissan and SunTrust Bank will also partner with 650 WSM-AM to provide free live music on the Ryman plaza outside Cafe Lula, where visitors will also have the opportunity to view several Nissan cars on display, including a GT-R similar to the one featured in The Fast and the Furious.
“The community takes great pride in the Ryman so it’s fitting that they’re part of our celebration,” said Sally Williams, senior vice president, Opry Entertainment Group. “We’re grateful to Nissan and SunTrust for providing Tennesseans the opportunity to experience ‘Soul of Nashville’ and our newest exhibit ‘Inspired: 125 Years of Performance’.”
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About the AuthorJessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]
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