The Grand Ole Opry unveiled its new daytime backstage tour, including a new immersive film in a custom-built theater, The Circle Room. The film is hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, the film experience takes fans on an emotional, heartfelt journey through the eyes of the artists who play the world-famous stage and features priceless archival footage of over 100 artists, country’s most iconic songs, and concert-like special effects.
Throughout the film, Brooks and Yearwood stand in the Opry’s famous circle which moved with the Opry from the historic Ryman Auditorium to the Opry House more than 40 years ago and reflect on their first memories of the Opry, their Opry debuts, member invitations and inductions, and lives as members of the Opry family.
Here are seven things to know about The Circle Room.
1. The Circle Room is the capstone of a $12 million Opry House expansion
The expansion and renovation project aimed at enhancing the Opry guest experience. In addition to the new VIP room and film, the renovation also included a new retail store, enhanced food and beverage options, a new parking area, and additional Plaza upgrades, which were completed in late 2018.
The Circle Room is equipped with a custom 23.1 surround sound audio system with hidden speakers in the ceiling, walls and set pieces that allow the audio engineers and designers to place sound anywhere in the show space.
The Circle Room is approximately 1,500 square feet with multiple projectors covering a unique silvered string material that allows for one-of-a-kind stunning imagery. These immersive projection surfaces have the added benefit of becoming transparent on demand to reveal sets and concert lighting effects.
Similar to a live concert, The Circle Room houses a theatrical LED lighting system that allows for precise control of millions of colors. As one of the most dynamic moving light packages in Nashville, this robust system can harmoniously display any color or accent at any given time in the show. This technology allows The Circle Room to seamlessly transform from an emotional daytime show into a beautiful lounge space in seconds.
5. Show Control
The Circle Room is run by a unique control system that allows the space to be operated by only one host. After multiple years of development, this system controls and syncs every piece of equipment while also informing the maintenance staff of any issues well before they impact the show for guests.
6. Room Flexibility and Transformation
By day, The Circle Room experience serves as the lead-off to Opry tours. At night, the Circle Room transforms into a VIP lounge or even a small, live performance space. With just a push of a button the lighting changes, the drapes open and leaded crystal chandeliers magically lower from the ceiling, giving the lounge an intimate and exclusive feel. These magical touches, mixed with a variety of plush seating, provide each guest with a comfortable place to relax before the show (and maybe even be part of a visit from an Opry star!)
To ensure that guests with disabilities can enjoy the experience, the Circle Room and the new lobby show utilize a new-to-market handheld closed-captioning system. This system allows any guest to carry an Opry-provided tablet which displays descriptive closed captioning and lyrics. This new technology, previously only seen at major theme parks, keeps in sync with the experience no matter what area of the room the guests are in and ensures everyone has the same immersive experience.