January 8, 2009 was the date for the celebrations to begin with the 70th Anniversary of Graceland, a National Historic Landmark, and the Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration - which promises new surprises this year. Following the kick off of celebration for the 70th Anniversary, three major other exhibits will open this spring: Elvis in Hollywood, Elvis Lives: the King and Pop Culture and new exhibits in the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum.
The following highlights are some of the details on the four different exhibits for the 2009 calendar:
• Graceland’s 70th Anniversary Celebration/VIP Tour Exhibit – open January 2009: The colonial style mansion was built in 1939 by a prominent Memphis family that later sold the historic home and surrounding 13 acres to Elvis Presley in 1957. The 70th Anniversary exhibit, included as part of the VIP Tour package, features the original architectural drawings of Graceland, a signed check from Elvis for the down payment ($102,000) on the home, the deed to Graceland and a video presentation that includes memories from those who lived there, including the first family to call Graceland home.
• Elvis in Hollywood – slated for March 2009: With 31 films to his name and box office smashes such as Love Me Tender and Jailhouse Rock, this new exhibit focuses on Elvis’ years in Tinsel Town and his success on the big screen. The exhibit tells the story of how Elvis transitioned from singer to on screen star and how he took Hollywood by storm to become its highest paid actor. Also part of the exhibit will be memorabilia from his career on the silver screen including his wardrobe (from Viva Las Vegas, Charro and Jailhouse Rock), personal scripts (featuring his own handwritten notes), rare behind the scenes photos, personal copies of his own feature films, original movie and a variety of other Elvis movie memorabilia.
• Elvis Lives: The King and Pop Culture – slated for March 2009: This interactive exhibit showcases Elvis in action as he entertains crowds in a stunning video presentation. Visitors can also retrace Elvis’ impact on pop culture by taking a trip down an Elvis time line, test their knowledge at an Elvis trivia kiosk and explore Elvis’ music through listening stations that features classics from the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Also included is a display of Elvis collectibles from the 50s to some of today’s must have memorabilia.
• Elvis Presley Automobile Museum – slated for March 2009: This Graceland exhibit celebrates new additions with a special display featuring both of Elvis' Rolls Royce sedans and his 6-door Mercedes Benz limousine featured in the movie Elvis on Tour.