Elvis Presley’s Memphis Turns One

Here on the Graceland Blog, we celebrate a lot of big anniversaries – 60 years of Elvis’ debut album, 55 years of Elvis’ movies, like “Wild in the Country,” 50 years of the ’68 Special, 45 years of “Elvis on Tour,” 35 years of Graceland opening to the public and so on. It’s rare that we get to celebrate a one-year anniversary, but here we are.

Graceland’s entertainment and exhibit complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis, was opened a year ago this weekend.

Hundreds of Elvis fans attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Elvis Presley's Memphis.

Hundreds of Elvis fans attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

Elvis Presley’s Memphis is a state-of-the-art entertainment and exhibit complex over 200,000-square-feet in size, and it allows fans to follow Elvis’ life path. You can surround yourself with the things he loved and experience the sights and sounds of Memphis, the city that inspired him. The complex houses two massive Elvis museums – Presley Motors, which houses his unique cars, and Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, the world’s largest Elvis museum dedicated to the king’s legendary career – as well as several Discovery exhibits.

The Discovery exhibits cover many aspects of Elvis’ life and show how he impacted the world. You can follow Elvis into the Army at the Private Presley Exhibit, peek in Elvis’ closet in the Fashion King exhibit and dig deep into the Graceland Archives in the Archives Experience. Presley Motors has its own smaller exhibit, Presley Cycles, which showcases Elvis’ motorcycles, boats and other motorized toys. Icons: The Influence of Elvis Presley is a favorite exhibit of many younger Elvis fans, as it showcases artifacts from singers, actors and other stars who were influenced by Elvis. In Icons, you’ll see items Justin Timberlake, John Lennon, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, KISS, Bruce Springsteen, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton and more. Head on down to the “Mystery Train: Celebrating Sam Phillips” exhibit to learn more about the man who helped discover Elvis Presley.

In Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, you can walk around Elvis' jumpsuits to get an up-close-and-personal look at his iconic stagewear.

In Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, you can walk around Elvis’ jumpsuits to get an up-close-and-personal look at his iconic stagewear.

 

You might be surprised by some of the singers, actors and stars whose artifacts fill Icons: The Influence of Elvis Presley exhibit.

You might be surprised by some of the singers, actors and stars whose artifacts fill Icons: The Influence of Elvis Presley exhibit.

The complex also features a Soundstage, where guests can watch Elvis movies and concerts, Graceland’s new ticket office and several food options, including restaurants named after Elvis’ parents: Gladys’ Diner and Vernon’s Smokehouse. There’s also a sweets shop named after Elvis’ grandma, Minnie Mae. At EPM, you can also stop in on the SiriusXM Elvis Radio booth and request your favorite song, play Elvis trivia or just chat with a DJ.

Priscilla Presley was on hand for the complex’s grand opening weekend. The weekend also featured performances by Memphis-area musicians and dancers. The first guests inside raved about how the complex offered so much more space to display Elvis artifacts; in fact, more items from the Graceland Archives are on display now than ever before.

Stax Music Academy Students had everyone dancing during the Elvis Presley's Memphis Grand Opening Weekend.

Stax Music Academy Students had everyone dancing during the Elvis Presley’s Memphis Grand Opening Weekend.

 

Memphis musicians Will Tucker and Griffin Rone - who would go on to star as Scotty Moore and Bill Black, respectively, in the CMT Show "Sun Records" - performed during Elvis Presley's Memphis Grand Opening Weekend. The pair returned to perform during Elvis Week 2017, too.

Memphis musicians Will Tucker and Griffin Rone – who would go on to star as Scotty Moore and Bill Black, respectively, in the CMT Show “Sun Records” – performed during Elvis Presley’s Memphis Grand Opening Weekend. The pair returned to perform during Elvis Week 2017, too.

 

 

It’s been a busy first year for Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Shortly after opening, Graceland hosted its annual Scouts Rock at Graceland, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts had a fun time exploring the new complex and making new friends.

In August, fans from around the word gathered at the complex for the first Elvis Week to take place at the Soundstage. Many events sold out quickly, including the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist events and the gospel concert.

Elvis Week events were previously held in an air conditioned tent - but now they take place in the Soundstage, which has more room for Elvis fans!

Elvis Week events were previously held in an air conditioned tent – but now they take place in the Soundstage, which has more room for Elvis fans!

History was made again at the Soundstage in December, as Graceland hosted its first-ever Holiday Concert Weekend. The sold-out concerts featured an orchestra, local choirs and dancers, as Elvis’ Christmas, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll hits were celebrated.

Elvis Presley’s Memphis has also been home to a few private parties and receptions. The extra space makes it a perfect place for large groups, and besides, how cool is it to network, mingle and party while checking out Elvis’ Pink Cadillac or his personal wardrobe?

The Memphis Flyer hosted its annual Best of Memphis party at Elvis Presley's Memphis.

The Memphis Flyer hosted its annual Best of Memphis party at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

A few celebrity visitors stopped by Graceland and Elvis Presley’s Memphis this year, too. A few of the celebrities who were wowed by EPM include singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey, “Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown, “Hamilton” star Mandy Gonzalez, Mike Love of The Beach Boys, singer-songwriter Niall Horan, pop star Kesha, “The Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus, singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc and Drake Milligan, who starred as Elvis in the CMT show “Sun Records” (you can walk through the “Sun Records” set at Elvis Presley’s Memphis newest exhibit, Hollywood Backlot!). Marty Stuart has also stopped by to check out “The Country Road to Rock,” an exhibit at Elvis Presley’s Memphis which features items from his vast country music collection.

Check out Marty Stuart's "The Country Road to Rock" exhibit to see how colorful country stars inspired Elvis - and how Elvis continues to inspire country stars of today.

Check out Marty Stuart’s “The Country Road to Rock” exhibit to see how colorful country stars inspired Elvis – and how Elvis continues to inspire country stars of today.

As 2018 continues, we’ll celebrate more special events at Elvis Presley’s Memphis, including the 60th anniversary of Elvis’ induction into the Army, Scouts Rock 2018, Graceland’s first-ever Performing Arts Camp, Elvis Week 2018 and much more.

Speaking of Elvis’ Army anniversary, we’re celebrating that anniversary by expanding the Private Presley museum at Elvis Presley’s Memphis. And because Elvis was inducted into the Army on March 24, 1958, and on March 24, 2018, we’re offering free tickets to Elvis Presley’s Memphis for active duty military, veterans, first responders, firefighters and U.S. law enforcement. Learn more about this special offer at graceland.com/military.

One of our greatest joys at Graceland is seeing our guests enjoy exploring the mansion, checking out the exhibits and museums at EPM, and finding joy in learning about and celebrating the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Check out a few of our favorite selfies that guests have taken at EPM in its first year.

We love this welcoming shot from Instagrammer kmurph30!

We love this welcoming shot from Instagrammer kmurph30!

 

The light-up ELVIS sign in the Elvis: The Entertainer gift shop is the perfect place for a photo! We love this shot by jawnmurray.

The light-up ELVIS sign in the Elvis: The Entertainer gift shop is the perfect place for a photo! We love this shot by jawnmurray.

 

We're in awe, too. Photo by Instagrammer michimochi1104.

We’re in awe, too. Photo by Instagrammer michimochi1104.

 

We support barbiepinkpepper's fashion choices.

We support barbiepinkpepper’s fashion choices.

If you’ve visited Elvis Presley’s Memphis, tell us all about it! Share your favorite memories in the comments.

If you haven’t visited yet, experience Elvis Presley’s Memphis for yourself! Make your plans to visit Graceland now.


2 Comments

  1. matt goodrich

    KNEWW SIGHTING ON THE WAY !! RBI

  2. Why has Elvis FB likes stayed at the figure it has for as long as it has??… I believe he has had far many more?

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