Grand Ole Opry: Opry Shops

20 Apr

By Aaron Johnson

The Grand Ole Opry is Nashville’s own piece of history, being a one-of-a-kind weekly stage and radio show since 1925. The Opry stores have been a big part of the attention the Opry gets from tourism. Though not all Nashville tourists visit the Opry itself, a good number of them visit the Opry stores around Nashville in search of souvenirs that represent the heart of county music.  The stores themselves are designed to attract customers who enjoy the look and feel of country music, and bring visitors to the Opry itself. The Opry has three main stores around Nashville which serve as a reminder to tourists to visit the cities most unique radio show and theater.

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The first store is the Opry Shop, which is located within the Opry House itself. In 1974 the Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to it’s current location at the Opry house, located next to Roy Acuff’s own house. This first store, essentially the theaters gift shop, is very influential in attracting tourists to the Opry, since they can wander the plaza located in from of the Opry house which holds frequent outdoor events open to passersby. This shop is open to the public from the outside, as well as accessible from inside the theater. In 2008 alone more than half a million guests visited this store. People shopping at the Opry Mills Mall across the street can venture over to the Opry shop and get a taste of the Opry for free. The shop also sells tickets to tour the building before and after shows, so guests can get a feel for the history of the place and learn a bit about country music before purchasing tickets to the Opry.

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Photo courtesy of Jaime Smits

    The Opryland Hotel also houses it’s own Opry gift shop within it’s massive village-like atrium. This small shop is a popular spot for tourist photos, with a pair of hillbilly horse statues next to the entrance. The hotel is located adjacent to the Opry house and guests and visitors at the hotel can walk the short distance from the gift shop to the Opry itself or take a tram.

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The Opry Originals store is located in downtown Nashville on Broadway. Opened on April 20, 2009 the Opry Originals store is the largest of the three, at 5,000 Square feet. It is in the building that was formerly the Broadway National Bank, built in 1911. The store features souvenirs, music, and it’s own clothing line, “Opry by Manuel”, which is a more modern and stylish take on country music fashion. Younger people are attracted to the modern styles and the new generation of country music, and venture into the Opry Originals store in search of the new talent, but also get a reminder of the classic country stars and the Opry House itself, which shows performances combining the new and the old.

All in all the Opry Shops are a great way to get a taste of the Opry around the city, and they add to Nashville’s theme of a dedicated music city. I highly recommend checking out one of the stores around town.

Store at the Opry House:

2804 Opryland Drive  Nashville, TN 37214

Shop inside Opryland Hotel:

2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214

Opry Originals Shop in downtown Nashville

300 Broadway Nashville, TN 37201

Sources:

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