Graceland’s $130 million expansion of its visitor experience has been completed with the opening of Elvis Presley’s Memphis.
The opening of the new 40-acre, state-of-the-art entertainment complex was marked with a four-day event.
Priscilla Presley joined Graceland Holdings Managing Partner, Joel Weinshanker, and Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO, Jack Soden, at the official ribbon cutting.
Reportedly the largest entertainment complex of its kind, “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” charts the King’s roots, his influences and his artistry. Fans will be able to see a wealth of personal objects and immerse themselves in the the sights and sounds of the city that inspired him.
“Since opening in 1982, we wanted to share more of the thousands of artefacts we have in the Graceland Archives, but we never had a proper space to showcase them,” explained Priscilla Presley.
“This new exhibit and entertainment complex finally provides the right venue to make the Graceland visitor experience even greater.”
Elvis:The Entertainer – Museum
While the Graceland Mansion tour will continue as a window on the personal and family side of Elvis’ life, “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” focuses on his music. Guests will learn about the pivotal role Memphis has played in the history of popular music. What’s more, they will also discover how the city inspired arguably its most famous son.
The centrepiece of the new experience will be “Elvis: The Entertainer”. The 20,000-square-foot museum celebrates Elvis’ music, movie and live touring career. The museum will showcase hundreds of artefacts including the singer’s collection of gold and platinum records and his signature jumpsuits.
The visitor journey will explore Elvis’ early days in Tupelo, Mississippi, his first recording session in Memphis, through his film career in Hollywood and sell-out shows in Las Vegas.
New additions to the Graceland visitor experience
- The new Presley Motors Automobile Museum displays over 20 of his cars and other vehicles, including Elvis’ iconic Pink Cadillac. It also houses a theatre space showing Elvis movie clips focused on cars and racing.
- Presley Cycles centres on the singer’s motorcycles, ski boat and some of his other favourite ‘toys’.
- ICONS: The Influence of Elvis Presley Exhibit In cooperation with over 25 music artists and entertainers influenced by Elvis Presley, this celebrates Elvis’ status as a music pioneer. It includes objects from Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, James Brown, Billy Joel and many more.
- Fashion King Exhibit explores the fashion trends set by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll with his own unique style and custom-made clothing.
- Private Presley: Elvis in the Army Exhibit showcases Elvis’ service in the U.S. Army with photos and artefacts from his induction to basic training in Fort Hood to being stationed in Germany.
- Elvis’ Tupelo Exhibit features the city Elvis first called home through childhood photos and rare artefacts.
- The Fairgrounds takes guests back in time to the 1956 Mississippi-Alabama Fair.
- The 20,000-square-foot Graceland Soundstage A will play Elvis movies and concerts on the big screen. It will also host live performances throughout the year.
Two additional exhibits are set to debut later this month:
- The Country Road to Rock Exhibit chronicles the history of country music.
- Mystery Train: The Sam Phillips Exhibit, in partnership with the Phillips family. It boasts rare artefacts from the Phillips family collection. The exhibits presents the story of music visionary and legendary record producer Sam Phillips.
Images courtesy Graceland