The Grand Strand’s first live music theater remains its most popular as The Carolina Opry continues to play before packed houses more than three decades since its debut.
Located near Restaurant Row on the northern end of Myrtle Beach, the 2,200-seat, state-of-the-art theater offers family friendly musical, dance and theatrical performances nightly, as well as occasional concerts, matinees and special events. Over the years the format has expanded from its country and gospel roots to include pop, rock and more musical genres.
The brain child of former Grand Ole Opry member Calvin Gilmore, The Carolina Opry’s award-winning lineup features a talented cast of singers, dancers, comedians, magicians and more unique entertainers and productions. Among the many popular concert performers to grace the stage are country music songstresses Tanya Tucker and Rhonda Vincent and pop-rock acts Abba and America.
The Carolina Opry’s self-titled show is one of the longest running shows on the Grand Strand, delivering top-notch vocalists, dancers and musicians in a variety-style showcase. The annual Christmas in the South is a holiday tradition, bringing visitors back year after year to experience a taste of Christmas cheer at the beach.
Other regularly appearing shows include Thunder & Lightning (featuring the dance troop Stomp from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”), “Time Warp” (a trip back to the golden age of rock), Pure Magic (starring the magical duo The Wagsters), and LIGHT (a high-tech laser display set to the music of rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix).
The Carolina Opry features a spacious and decorative main lobby with a gift shop, concession area and ticket window. Performers routinely hold meet-and-greets in the lobby before or after shows to give visitors a chance to get an autograph or pose for a souvenir photo. Most shows are two hours in duration separated by a brief intermission.
The Carolina Opry has been voted “Best of the Beach” for local theaters, as voted by readers of The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News. The Carolina Opry has gained national acclaim outside the Grand Strand as well. Over the years, the theater has been featured in major media outlets like The New York Times, USA Today, CNN and NBC Nightly News.