The Grand Ole Opry House (Ryman Auditorium) in the 1940s. The auditorium first opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. It was built by Thomas Ryman. Ryman conceived of the auditorium as a tabernacle for the influential revivalist Samuel Porter Jones. After Ryman's death, the Tabernacle was renamed Ryman Auditorium in his honor. It was used for Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from 1943 until 1974, when the Opry built a larger venue just outside Nashville at the Opryland USA theme park.