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Graceland Exhibition Center opens Saturday with exhibits on Ali, Earth and motorcycles

By Updated: May 23, 2019 1:56 PM CT | Published: May 23, 2019 12:51 PM CT
<strong>The new Graceland Exhibition Center opens Saturday, May 25&nbsp;with exhibits on Muhammad Ali, Planet Earth and American motorcycles. </strong>(Courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

The new Graceland Exhibition Center opens Saturday, May 25 with exhibits on Muhammad Ali, Planet Earth and American motorcycles. (Courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Graceland’s new exhibition center will open Saturday with exhibits on Muhammad Ali, Planet Earth and American motorcycles.

The Graceland Exhibition Center is the latest addition to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, more than 200,000 square feet of entertainment, exhibit and dining space across Elvis Presley Boulevard from the late entertainer’s mansion.

Inaugural exhibits are:

  • “National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers,” May 25-Sept. 9
  • “Muhammad Ali: Greatest of All Time,” May 25-Sept. 15
  • “Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum Presents: A Century of the American Motorcycle,” May 25-Nov. 23

Next up is “Space: An Out-Of-Gravity Experience,” Oct. 11-Jan. 5, 2020.

“We are thrilled to be opening the new Exhibition Center that will be a fun and educational experience for Memphians and their families to enjoy,” said Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, in a release.

“We designed the center with the local community top of mind. Each rotating exhibit will offer Memphians and Graceland visitors an opportunity to explore new worlds,” Weinshanker said.

“We will also work closely with Whitehaven and all Shelby County schools to ensure students have the chance to use the center as a learning tool,” Weinshanker said.

Graceland’s new offerings bring to mind the Memphis exhibitions that began with “Ramses The Great” in 1987 and continued with Wonders: The Memphis International Cultural Series, starting in 1989.

Weinshanker said the exhibition hall combined Graceland’s need for more space with ambitions to continue “these amazing exhibitions” of 20-plus years ago.

“We have a desire for more space, but we wanted to bring world class exhibitions to Memphis, a lot of which have an educational element,” he said.

The 80,000-square-foot exhibition center will be open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tickets for each exhibit cost $16 for adults, $14.40 for seniors and students, $8 for children 7-12, $5 for children 3-6 and free for 2 and under. Tickets are available online, at the exhibition center or Graceland Ticketing Plaza.

Discounts are available to guests who are touring Graceland, those who want to see more than one exhibit and for family groups.

Exhibit visitors will have access to dining options in the TCB Food Hall and The Jungle Room Bar.

The exhibition is part of a $40 million continuation of a master plan for Graceland redevelopment that Weinshanker has led since 2013, aided by public incentives including a tourism development zone and tax increment financing.

Previous phases have included the $95 million Guest House at Graceland hotel and a $45 million Elvis Presley’s Memphis complex to house exhibits on Elvis and related topics.

Bill Dries contributed to this story.

Topics

Graceland Elvis Presley Enterprises Joel Weinshanker Muhammad Ali Graceland Exhibition Center
Wayne Risher

Wayne Risher

Business news reporter, 42-year veteran of print journalism, 34-year resident of Memphis, University of Georgia alumnus and proud father and spouse of University of Memphis graduates.


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