Graceland® celebrated Elvis’™ birthday as construction continues on schedule for the new, state-of-the-art “Elvis Presley’s Memphis” entertainment complex across the street from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s™ Memphis mansion. Graceland guests, fans from around the world, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell officially celebrated with a proclamation of “Elvis Presley Day” on the front lawn of Graceland and by cutting the largest birthday cake in Graceland history. Other birthday events included concerts and panel discussions, with special guests including “Follow That Dream” movie co-stars Robin and Gavin Koon and award-winning filmmaker Andrew Solt, who made a number of acclaimed films and television specials about Elvis Presley. For the first time ever, birthday celebration events were hosted at Graceland’s new AAA Four Diamond-rated resort hotel, The Guest House at Graceland™. The birthday celebrations kick off the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing.
A highlight of the celebration was The Auction at Graceland held in The Guest House Theater on January 7. Elvis fans and pop culture enthusiasts gathered to bid on memorabilia from Elvis’ personal life, all consigned by third-party collectors and expertly authenticated by Graceland Authenticated. Highlights included a Gold and Diamond Lion Head Ring Elvis owned and gave to Charlie Hodge, one of the Memphis Mafia. It was estimated to sell for $10,000 – $15,000 and went for $37,500.00. Elvis’ Colt “Police Positive Special” .32 Caliber Pistol which he gave to bodyguard Richard Grob sold for $10,625.00 on an estimate of $4,000 – $6,000. Over 160 items were sold in the auction.
All of the prices realized include a 25% buyer’s premium. For a complete list of all items and final sale prices visit auction.graceland.com/catalog.aspx.
It was also announced today that Priscilla Presley will be attending the Grand Opening Celebration of “Elvis Presley’s Memphis,” an entertainment and exhibit complex over 200,000-square-feet in size across the street from Graceland Mansion, opening on March 2, 2017. 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. The new complex is phase II of the greatest expansion in Graceland’s history, totaling nearly $140 million of investment in the Whitehaven community of Memphis.
The acclaimed Graceland Mansion tour will continue to present the personal and family side of Elvis’ life, and will soon include a full restoration of Elvis’ racquetball court, so that it once again looks exactly as it did when Elvis was last in the Racquetball Building. “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.
The March 2-5 Grand Opening Celebration will feature live concerts and events celebrating Elvis’ life and career and honoring Memphis’ rich musical legacy across a variety of genres. The opening weekend will include the unveiling of “Presley Motors,” the new Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, “Elvis: The Entertainer” career museum, the Graceland Soundstage for live music performances and movie screenings, Elvis “Discovery” spaces showcasing aspects of Elvis’ life and career, and two themed restaurants named for Elvis’ parents: Vernon’s Smokehouse and Gladys’ Diner. New retail stores will offer a broad variety of Elvis merchandise.
For more information on the Grand Opening Celebration March 2-5, 2017, visit Graceland.com. For information on The Guest House at Graceland hotel packages for the Grand Opening weekend that include tickets to tour Graceland Mansion and Elvis Presley’s Memphis, visit GuestHouseGraceland.com or call 901-332-3322 (toll-free at 800-238-2000).
The next Elvis Auction at Graceland will take place during the opening weekend of Elvis Presley’s Memphis on March 4. To have an artifact considered for inclusion in future Graceland Auctions, please email [email protected]. For more information about how to submit items for authentication by Graceland Authenticated, visit http://www.gracelandauthenticated.com.