opry-oldThe Kentucky Opry had a very humble beginning at the junction of Highway 68 and 641 in Draffenville on April 25th, 1988.

Clay Campbell, the Kentucky Opry founder, played guitar sang with Lee Mace and the Ozark Opry in 1964, then formed his own band and played on the road until 1980. By 1987, Clay, his wife Barbie and their 3 young sons had been to Branson, Missouri many times. They saw the great shows there and brought that same music show concept to Kentucky Lake.

Crowds were quite small at first. Many nights there were 20 -25 customers in the audience.

Crowds grew because of word-of-mouth advertising. By the end of 1988, the little Quonset building was overflowing. Plans started being laid to build a bigger building. In the fall of the next year, 1989, a new 520-seat theatre was started, and the first show was performed in the new building on New Year’s Eve, 1989, with over 600 in attendance.

New bathrooms and more seats were added in 2007 increasing seating capacity to 570.           New wider, more comfortable  seats were added in 2014. Seating 537.

opry_building_sm   opry-building_002New-Seats

For additional info, please read Clay’s book.