The Presleys weren't hoarders, but they also didn't get rid of many things they owned pre- or post-fame, including report cards, receipts and grocery store lists. Thankfully most of their collection was organized and today all of those documents, furniture, clothing and more are part of the famous Graceland Archives.
Launched during Elvis Week 2014, a fascinating new addition was made to the tour offerings at Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, and no we aren't talking about the new iPad tour which is ALSO pretty neat. The newest attraction added to the Graceland tour, the first in over 20 years since the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, is the Graceland Archives Studio Experience. After finishing the mansion tour, visitors are taken by shuttle to a new state of the art archives facility where they get a unique presentation of artifacts that are found in the vaults of the Graceland Archives.
A variety of shows have been developed to take visitors on a journey through the archives that utilize the various categories that include audio, video, documents, textiles, etc. While one show might focus on his time in the Army or his groundbreaking debut in Las Vegas with his tablecloth contract and a jumpsuit, another show may focus on his movies with a presentation of costumes, publicity photos and personal scripts.
One audience favorite show about Elvis being an early adopter and features his Zenith remote from a 1957 TV called the Space Commander 400, and of course his famous briefcase phone is included in this technology-focused entertaining show. On any given day, you don’t know what show you will see, but you can be certain that there will be two different shows presented in one day, a morning and afternoon show. For hardcore Elvis fans who arrive first thing in the morning for a tour and purchase the Platinum Tour, be sure ask the ticket agent when you arrive how you can be sure to see the afternoon show during your visit.
One of the great things about this new attraction presentation is that you can actually get up close to the artifacts, no gold ropes separating you from the cherished items, so close you could almost touch, however we advise you don’t get handsy with the artifacts. Seriously, don’t touch. Pictures are allowed, but no flash photography. It has been amazing to see faces light up just being so close to the items, and the respect and reverence people show when getting an up close encounter with an authentic Elvis artifact.
So if you have been to Graceland before, the new Graceland Archives Studio Experience is more than enough reason to come back, and the variety of shows even more reason to make a day of it and see what special shows the Archives staff has put together to excite and entertain fans from all over the world.