What They Do At Hatch Show Print
The print shop produces restrikes (handcarved woodblock signs) and reprints of everything from film posters to circus ads to any order its customers dream of, all made in shop by hand using traditional methods.
They are particularly well-known for their long-standing relationships with Grand Ole Opry stars and the Ryman Auditorium. As a result their work has spread across the country and over seas in the form of concert posters used by touring musicians. Many of these can be seen today in the Hatch Show Print Museum, part of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The History Behind Hatch Show Print
In 1875 print shop owner William Hatch moved with his family from Prescott, Wisconsin to Nashville. Four years later his sons, Charles and Herbert, founded a print shop of their own in their new hometown.
The Hatch brothers had been schooled in the printing craft by their father and so were able to produce high-quality prints from the off. From their first order- a handbill announcing an appearance by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher- on they were a hit.
They produced posters for barns, buildings and billboards throughout the country and their adverts became known for filling seats at all manner of shows.
The Glory Years of Hatch Show Print
Charles' son William took over the business in the 20th century and under his management, between the 1920s-50s, it went from thriving business to truly flourishing institution.
He created prints and posters for many of the great country and jazz musicians of the era, including Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong. At the same time he worked on smaller projects for movie theaters, grocery stores, filling stations and all manner of small businesses.
Hatch Show Print into the Modern Day
Many traditional print shops struggled to compete with the faster offset printing that emerged during the latter half of the century. Hatch Show's regular customers remained faithful however and, thanks to its good reputation, it even bucked the trend and earned new clients.
Not even the development of digital design could keep Hatch Show down, nor could it make them stray from their 19th century methods. They continued to produce 500-600 posters annually, alongside many other projects, into the 21st century. And their traditional methods helped them stand out from the crowd, many businesses actively seeking out the distinct look and texture of Hatch Show Print.
Today the shop receives over 100,000 visitors annually. They continue to look forward to a bright future of combining the old with the new.
Visiting Hatch Show Print
The print shop is open from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, and the museum and gift shop is open from 9.30am-5.30pm, Monday-Sunday.
It is located in the Rep. John Lewis Way lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame, having moved from its former location to a larger space so as to be able to keep up with the high volume of orders it still receives. This is right in the city center not far from Riverside Transit Stop and right next to Convention Center Bus Stop (lines 52, 55, 6).
Tours range from $22 for adults and $17 for children to $72 for adults and $57 for children.
Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our CityDays Scavenger Hunts - untangle cryptic clues as a team as you discover the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of Nashville and beyond.