Remembering Elvis-A-Rama

 

Every trip to Graceland now includes a visit to the new Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. Same thing for Presley Motors Automobile Museum. Everybody takes in those two during a trip to Graceland.

Presley Motors

 

Did you know that hundreds of the items displayed in these venues were featured in the Elvis-A-Rama Museum in Las Vegas fifteen years ago?

Front Elvis-A-Rama

Back in 2005, I did an ElvisBlog article on Elvis-A-Rama. This was two years before I started adding photos to the posts, so it was all text. Like this information I found on the internet:

Named one of the “Top 3 Attractions” in Las Vegas by The Travel Channel

Voted “The Best Museum” in the city by the Las Vegas Review Journal

Elvis-A-Rama has been on the cover of USA Today, People, and Forbes magazines

It contained over 2000 artifacts valued at over $6 million (in 2005 dollars)

From this you can see that Elvis-A-Rama was a large, high-quality exhibit not to be missed by Elvis fans.

 

Here are the key exhibits that were noted in the 2005 research I did.

Elvis’ 8-passenger 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood limo

The “Peacock” and “Cisco Kid” jumpsuits

Elvis-A Rama Jumpsuits

Elvis’ 1962 Glastron powerboat

A pair of blue suede shoes autographed by Elvis and valued at $1 million

Elvis Blue Suede Shoes at Elvis-A-Rama

The famous gold lame’ suit

A 1975 purple Lincoln Mark IV

Every commercially released 45, EP and LP ever recorded by Elvis

In addition, there were guitars, piano, handwritten lyrics, personal clothes, outfits from the movies, furniture, army stuff, various papers, and lots more.

Elvis Displays at Elvis-A-Rama

 

I got to see Elvis-A-Rama in April 2006. And that was good timing, because it was closing for good in a couple of months. Elvis-A-Rama had been purchased by Elvis Presley Enterprises the preceding November… and they were moving out all the stuff.

So, I kind of slid in under the wire and got to see it all. I spent half a day in there. Read every word on the plaques and other signage. Sat through a show by an ETA in a little theater. Browsed the gift shop thoroughly.

I loved my lucky visit to Elvis-A-Rama.

Welcome Elvis-A-Rama

I like their tag line: Experience the King as if He Never Left the Building.

At first I didn’t think “Elvis-A-Rama” was a very good name, sounding kind of schlocky. Then I found out it was originally the name of the largest display — a magnificent 10-foot tall, 85-foot long mural that celebrated Elvis’ life and career.

Section of Elvis-A-Rama Wall Mural

A portion of the Elvis-A-Rama mural

 

It incorporated Elvis’ music, synchronized to clips of his television appearances, scenes from his movies, and concert footage. It also contained a signature board with thousands of personal notes to Elvis, many of them by famous celebrities.

The Elvis-A-Rama mural had been created in 1979 by songwriter Mitchell Torok (If you’re old like me, you may remember his 1959 hit “Caribbean”), and it was on display for 18 years, first in Nashville, and then Branson, before being sold and moved to Las Vegas.

But there was something else factoring into that sale. The mural had a solid trademark for a name that had Elvis in it.  That meant its new owner could use it as the name for his new Las Vegas museum, and he did. Elvis-a-Rama was now the whole show, not just the mural.

More in Part 2.

 

Fans in front of Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum

I have never been to the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum. But some of you readers have. Please tell me in Comments if there is a 10 feet high, 85 feet long mural in there.

If not, do you think it’s in safe storage, waiting to be brought out to great fanfare in a few years?

I hope so.

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

10 responses to “Remembering Elvis-A-Rama

  1. Vegan Vintage Geek

    The mural is amazing! I wonder why EPE does not have the mural on display at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

  2. Karen Middleton

    Another great post Phil. Nice to learn new things. I haven’t been to any of these places. So thanks for sharing. It’s sad to say I have lived in Mississippi all my life and have never been to Tupelo or never got to go to any Elvis’ concerts when he came here. He came many times. Just nobody in my family ever cared about Elvis but me. The only reason I know he died was my sister came outside and told me. Nobody talked about it and I didn’t see anything on TV about it. I was 13 when he died. Broke my heart and I knew I would never see him live at a concert. I’m thankful my son is a Elvis fan. Both my sons said they would take me to Tupelo. Maybe I will get there one day. Now if I ever get to Memphis it’s gonna cost a lot. I want to see everything not just Graceland. If I go it better be with someone who is really a big Elvis fan. I’m not giving up on Tupelo or Graceland. I know the Lord will provide a way. Sometimes it good to get it out to real Elvis fans. You have a blessed weekend. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day tomorrow. May the luck of the Irish be with you.

    • Hi Karen. Sorry, I had to cut you message back some because of length. But your love for Elvis shows plenty. Thanks for commenting.

      Phil

  3. I was there 3 weeks after it opened, and did not see the mural sign. There was still a lot of finishing touches need and lots needed to be corrected . I loved the army display and his awards and jumpsuits. I liked his cars, boats, boy toy stuff. Guesthouse is nice, all was fairly new and many employees were sure of stuff. I misses the old Heartbreak Hotel! It seems so commercialized to me, this time.

    • Hi Pat. Thanks for telling me there is no Elvis-A-Rama mural there. Back in 1993 I stayed at the Days Inn down the street on the other side from Graceland. Definitely not very commercialized back then.

      Phil

  4. Phil,
    I love your posts and look forward to them. It seems there’s always something new about Elvis! It’s hard to believe he only lived 42 years.
    I have been to Elvis the Entertainer at Graceland. I don’t remember seeing such a mural, and it would have been pretty hard to miss. You might write Graceland. They actually do answer questions, though it usually takes awhile.
    Thanks again for your posts.
    Sharys Wheeler

    • Hi Sharys. Thanks for your nice words. I appreciate them. There will probably be some others saying they didn’t see the Elvis-A-Rama mural, either. I may take your advise and ask Graceland.

      Phil

  5. Clementine Moriarty

    Love <3 the posts & pics! Happy St. Patrick Day! Phil ….TCB

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