Elvis Presley's Memphis officially opened to public

By: Elvis Australia
Source: EPE / The Commercial Appeal
March 5, 2017

The new 'Elvis Presley's Memphis' opened today. Jack Soden, Priscilla Presley and Joel Weinshanker cut the ribbon on the new a $45 million, 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment complex across the street from Graceland Mansion.

Priscilla Presley cuts the ribbon to open 'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.
Priscilla Presley cuts the ribbon to open 'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.

March 2-5, 2017 marks the Grand Opening Celebration weekend, as Graceland welcomes visitors from around the world to its largest and most significant expansion since first opening to the public in 1982. The opening four days of Elvis Presley's Memphis will feature major celebration events each day, including live concerts that will celebrate Elvis' incredible life and career, and honor Memphis' rich musical legacy across genres, including Blues, Rockabilly, R&B, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll.

'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.
'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.

The largest entertainment complex of its kind, and exponentially bigger than Graceland's current visitor center, 'Elvis Presley's Memphis' will enable music fans, pop culture enthusiasts and Memphis visitors to follow the path that Elvis took, surround themselves with the things that he loved, and experience the sights and sounds of the city that inspired him. Guests will fully immerse themselves in his life and career like never before -- his roots, his influences and his artistry. 

Inside 'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.

While the acclaimed Graceland Mansion tour will continue to present the personal and family side of Elvis' life, 'Elvis Presley's Memphis' will tell the rest of the story, exploring the beginning of the incredible music and pop culture explosion that all started here in Memphis, with the greatest entertainer of all time. 

Inside 'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.

'For over 30 years, our fans and visitors have loved the Graceland experience, but our facilities haven't enabled us to share much more than a small piece of the story', stated Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner, Graceland Holdings, LLC. 'Now with 'Elvis Presley's Memphis', you will be able to truly experience all that Memphis offered Elvis, walk through the streets in his footsteps, see what he saw, feel what he felt, live the life of 'the king'. No one lived life bigger than Elvis -- now is the opportunity to truly experience it for yourself'.

Inside 'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.

As 'Elvis Presley's Memphis' opens, a new tour experience will also debut. The new 'Ultimate VIP' tour experience, Graceland's most exclusive tour option, will take a small group of visitors on an unprecedented journey through Elvis Presley's life story and the history of Rock 'n' Roll. Led by an expert tour guide, visitors will tour Graceland Mansion and explore all of 'Elvis Presley's Memphis', including the new Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, Elvis Discovery Exhibits, Elvis' Custom Jets and an exclusive Ultimate VIP Tour Exhibit. Guests who book this experience will also enjoy transportation for their tour in a special vehicle, access to the Ultimate Lounge at Elvis Presley's Memphis, a special photo opportunity, a special Graceland Archives 'show and tell' session, options to purchase special merchandise only available to Ultimate guests and a meal with table service at one of the new restaurants at Elvis Presley's Memphis.

Inside 'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.

The cornerstone of the 'Elvis Presley's Memphis' experience will be 'Elvis: The Entertainer', a 20,000-square-foot museum celebrating Elvis' incredible music, movie and live touring career. This museum will feature hundreds of artifacts from the extensive Graceland Archives, from Elvis' early days in Tupelo, Mississippi, through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, service in the U.S. Army, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more. 'Elvis: The Entertainer' will be the largest and most comprehensive Elvis museum in the world.

Inside 'Elvis Presley's Memphis'.

A new Elvis Presley Automobile Museum called 'Presley Motors' will showcase over 20 of Elvis' automobiles and motorized vehicles, including Elvis' iconic Pink Cadillac, and also feature a theater space showcasing Elvis movie clips focused on cars and racing.

A 20,000-square-foot 'Graceland Soundstage' will play host to a variety of live music acts during the Grand Opening Celebration, showcasing the rich music history of Memphis and the best of Memphis music today. The Soundstage will be an extraordinary venue for live music performances, movie screenings and premieres, video productions, with theater seating for up to 1,700 people. It will also be usable for private events, corporate meetings, conferences and trade show exhibitions.

'Discovery' exhibit spaces will showcase aspects of Elvis' life, career and interests in greater depth, from the music genres that influenced Elvis from his earliest days – Rhythm & Blues, Southern Gospel, Country & Western -- to today's music artists who continue to be influenced by Elvis and his body of work. 

The new facility will also feature two themed restaurants named for Elvis' parents, Gladys and Vernon. Gladys' Diner will feature classic American fare, including Elvis' favorite -- grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Vernon's Smokehouse will feature authentic Memphis BBQ, smoked in-house. A coffee bar and ice cream shop will also be located within the complex, along with new retail stores offering the most extensive collection of Elvis merchandise found anywhere in the world.

'Elvis Presley's Memphis' will also feature Elvis' two custom airplanes, the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, which continue to be a very popular part of the existing Graceland experience. The iconic planes will remain across the street from the Mansion, adjacent to the new venue.

'Elvis Presley's Memphis' is Phase 2 of the planned Graceland expansion and development. Combined with the $92 million Phase 1 project, The Guest House at Graceland 450-room resort hotel, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. is investing a total of $137 million in the Whitehaven community of Memphis to further enhance the Memphis and Graceland experience for visitors from around the world. Inspired by Elvis' personal style and the iconic Graceland Mansion, The Guest House at Graceland opened on October 27, 2016 and is the largest hotel project in Memphis in over 90 years. The resort hotel, which is situated just steps from Graceland Mansion, features 430 guest rooms and 20 specialty suites with design and décor supervised by Priscilla Presley. The hotel also features two full-service restaurants, a lobby bar, a 464-seat theater, outdoor pool and conference, event and catering facilities. Last week, the resort received the AAA Four Diamond rating, joining the exclusive ranks of top hotels and resorts in the country.

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Elvis Presley Video Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.

This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.

The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.

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