Famous Grand Ole Opry Circle To Be Saved
May 10, 2010 at 7:04 AM (PT)
It looks like the GRAND OLE OPRY HOUSE will get a new stage, but the circle will be saved. The famous six-foot circle of oak was originally on the stage of the RYMAN AUDITORIUM, and later cut from that stage and inserted into the GRAND OLE OPRY HOUSE stage. The OPRY stage became submerged in two feet of water during the recent flooding in NASHVILLE, and will have to be trashed—but the circle will live on.
GRAND OLE OPRY Pres. STEVE BUCHANAN said: “It is in remarkably good condition. We will ultimately need to replace the stage, but we do that every few years. But the circle will be saved, and it will be center stage when we open back up.”
BUCHANAN declined to specify other individual OPRY HOUSE items that made it through last weekend’s storms. It is estimated that it should take three to four weeks to clean the mud off, after which the process of assessing and repairing damage will begin. THURSDAY (5/6), workers removed items from hallway lockers that had been flooded.
CEO of the OPRY’s parent company GAYLORD ENTERTAINMENT COLIN REED said: “We were very happy with the amount of stuff that got saved.” As far as what was damaged, he said: “There were instruments. JIMMY DICKENS had a few of his suits . . . we hope they haven’t shrunk. If we didn’t make light of it, we would be in perpetual tears.”
OPRY member MARTY STUART said: “It’s a profound loss. The good news is that the House can be replaced. But there were treasures in there, and some of them cannot be replaced. In my dressing room, there was a tapestry on the wall that was made from what was to be PORTER WAGONER’s last suit. It was made for him and he died before he could wear it. I don’t know if that tapestry made it through or not. There was also a lot of stuff at the GRAND OLE OPRY MUSEUM that I want to know about: There’s the ROY ACUFF instrument collection, MARTY ROBBINS’ costumes and other things. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around all of it.”
BUCHANAN and REED expect the GRAND OLE OPRY HOUSE will reopen well before the OPRYLAND HOTEL, and that both will be open for business by the end of the year.
In the meantime, the show will continue and make visits to three NASHVILLE venues in its schedule through JUNE 4th. Venue locations for the shows include the RYMAN AUDITORIUM, THE WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM and TWO RIVERS BAPTIST CHURCH.
The RYMAN is the OPRY’s most famous former home, having hosted the show 1943-1974. The WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM played host to the OPRY 1939-1943 and again for a OPRY performance MAY 4th, when the OPRY HOUSE was flooded. TWO RIVERS BAPTIST CHURCH, the OPRY HOUSE’s neighbor at 2800 McGavock Pike, has never before hosted an ORPY performance.
Performances will be held at TWO RIVERS BAPTIST CHUCH on MAY 14th, 15th and 18th. WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM will hold the OPRY on MAY 22nd and JUNE 1st. All other performances through JUNE 4th will take place at the RYMAN. Continuous updates on venues for OPRY performances until the show returns to the OPRY HOUSE and ticket information can be found on www.opry.com.
RCA/NASHVILLE artist MARTINA McBRIDE has added her name to the list of artists scheduled to perform in the upcoming weeks, with her performance scheduled for MAY 11th.