Graceland: When will they open The Bedroom?

The Commercial Appeal has a piece today on Graceland’s preparations for Elvis Week, the annual August celebration commemorating the August 16, 1977 death of the King. According to Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden, “Elvis is getting bigger all over the world. We say it, and I know it sounds like a company fight song, but it’s true.”

Well, maybe. The article notes that “tourism to Graceland was down last year to roughly 554,000 visitors from an annual average of roughly 600,000.” As noted on this blog and other places, Elvis has been surpassed on the list of top-earning dead celebrities by Kurt Cobain. The youngest teenager to have seen a first-run movie in which Elvis was an actor is now 51 years old. Graceland, as do all attractions, needs to have something new from time to time. Over the years the Elvis people have opened new rooms and exhibits, and have even given their blessing to an Elvis impersonator contest. This year, by means of a mirror, visitors will be able, for the first time, to peer into Elvis’s mother’s closet.

The big lures, the one that would make the turnstiles spin, however, are Elvis’s bedroom and the bathroom in which he died. No one other than family and, one presumes, Graceland staff have been admitted to this holy of holies. According to this William F. Buckley column from 2000, “Even Al Gore we had to say no to. Even Peter Guralnick (the renowned Presley biographer).”

The question is not if Graceland will ever open the bedroom and bathroom, but when. As wonderful as Elvis was and as timeless as his music is, his fans are aging, and it’s not clear how many of the iPod generation will want to make the pilgrimage to Memphis. To keep Graceland at the top of the list of the most-visited private homes in America, those doors will someday open.

The person who holds the key to this decision is Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’s only child and the owner of Graceland, who is now 39 years old. She has her own show business career, to be sure, and could never work another day and still remain a wealthy woman. But the pressures to open that door will build, and someday those doors will open.

My money is on Elvis Week of 2027.

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22 Responses to Graceland: When will they open The Bedroom?

  1. It’s all about making old things accesible, cool, and new.

    See LOVE, the Beatles-inspired cirque du soleil show sweeping vegas

  2. JThunders says:

    Just my opinion, but I think that closing off the upstairs to visitors is wrong. Would they close off the field in Penn. where the airline went down on Sept 11 to visitors, just because people died there? Of course not. When there is an accident on the side of the road where somebody dies, you always see a little memorial there with flowers, etc. Visitors to Graceland dont want to see the upstairs out of some morbid curiosity….they want to see it because they love Elvis and want to feel as close to him as possible. An Elvis fans heart is opened by the more they see and the more they learn about him. If these business geniuses wanted to greatly increase Gracelands yearly income, they would open the upstairs.

  3. madie says:

    hey i agree it is not right not to let Elvis fans see wear he walked talked and slept!!! It isnt fair!!!

  4. Robert says:

    Closing the 2nd floor was the smartest business move ever. But time is up and I think they need to rejuvenate Graceland and all his fans and open up the 2nd floor. They don’t even have to initially open it, if they would release clear footage of the upstairs as it is, that would be okay for many folks.

    They say that the room is actually how it was when he died – many people want to see that. They want to see the last room, the last environment that Elvis saw before he died. If they would just release footage/pictures of the room, that would be enough.

    I don’t think they should open it up for visitors to go upstairs and see. Keeping it a “mystery” is what keeps folks interested in Elvis.

  5. Marion from Hants England says:

    It was perhaps where Elvis suffered most of his unhappiest times so am not sure about wanting to see the room etc. Thank goodness we have quite a lot of film footage of his wonderful performances! Marion Eng. still to get to visit, planned this Sept but have pulled out due to flying alone.

  6. cam says:

    Well I think it’s more out of respect for his family. After all he did die there and maybe it is the last place which remains completely original? You know like people who preserve their loved ones rooms when they pass.

    It is annoying, I’ve sent letters and spoken to EPEs press secretary and Security Chairman but they wont say exactly why they’re keeping it shut, I think it has something to do with contamination, a-lot of his hair, clothing and personal items are still completely untouched.

    • Kelly says:

      In response to cam’s post

      According to linkydinky.com basically support cams’ reasoning. This follows with pictures of the second floor. I think Youtube still has an “outtake” from “This Is Elivs.” I say “outtake” because when the docudrama was originally released, it was included. It has been edited out of following editions released. Enjoy.

      http://www.linkydinky.com/graceland/

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  8. PAUL ONEAL says:

    I think they should just build a museum that is a replica of the upstairs part of graceland…

  9. Melanie says:

    I have blue prints of Graceland, I think that is enough. The upstairs is the only place Elvis could get away from the public and I think it should stay that way. Don’t get me wrong…..I would be the first person to see it if it was opened up but I think it should remain private.

  10. mary says:

    I think they should allow us fans upstairs We love and cared for elvis so what are they hiding…Im sure If Elvis was alive He would want us to see upstairs All or nothing

  11. mary says:

    Please Lisa Let us see daddys room

  12. Tija Syzdek says:

    I just visited graceland fathers day weekend of 2011. They said they wont open up the upstairs in general due to the respect of privacy for elvis and others.

  13. James Heckel says:

    No; too soon. Priscilla and Lisa Marie are still alive, and I suspect they need that special connection to their Elvis. Now when both those ladies are dead and gone, then go ahead and open the second floor – but not until. It’s called respect for the dead and the ones still living who mourn.

  14. Truly Unbelievable says:

    OMG ! EP was an entertainer for cryin’ out loud … not a God or a Saint ! What is it that makes someone so star struck ? What is it that makes someone who acts well … or sings well a Star ? Why aren’t inventors, scientists or healers Stars ? Elvis was an entertainer … THAT’s IT !!! You guys just crack me up !

  15. Brantley says:

    Lets say the upstairs is opened to fans…Then what??Let me tell you folks something that want “more”.Elvis Presley gave every penny he had in his pockets most of the time when he saw someone in need,he gave multi millions(of his own money) to charities,he gave several hundred brand new cars to stranded motorists,and to people walking because they had no car at all,and thousands of other things.If you’re so sad,or mad about his ONLY private place?GET OVER IT,AND BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU ARE ABLE VISIT!!!!Would you open YOUR homes to the world RIGHT NOW?…I would not,and the little pissed off folks probably wouldn’t either.So quit your crying,and settle for 99.8% of the King”s life.Leave his last wishes alone… *R.I.P ELVIS*

  16. JOHN MULVANEY says:

    I belive wholeheartly that if there were ever time that graceland started to loose money they should consider opening the up stairs to the public, I know for a fact that if they did open the upstairs, EVERY ELVIS FAN that has been there would book the trip and go again, can you just imagine every person who has ever been there goes again, the profits would be in the billions!!! listen i’am a huge elvis fan, he’s been gone along time now, I say it’s time to open the damn thing up, before lisa marie goes and sells everything to supplement her failing singing career. LETS BE REAL HE FOLKS WHAT WOULD HURT NOW, WE ALL KNOW MOST ALL OF HIS SECRETS. WHATS THE BIG DEAL NOW, I SAY ASK THE MEMPHIS MAFIA SEE WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY, THEY KNOW WHAT ELVIS WOULD HAVE WANTED.

  17. Edna Wilson says:

    It would be really nice and the overall experience to see the upstairs. After all most of the fans are getting up in age and I don’t see the younger generation being so overly joyous with the experience to go there. If they just opened the house and put up glass walls like a maze to walk around up there so you could see it all, would be great. Just saying, if you give us a little bit for a fee, then what’s wrong with giving it all to us for a larger fee. I know personally I would still respect and probably have even more feelings to preserve his memory for myself. My grandkids don’t even know but one or two songs of his, and that’s only because I’ve made them listen to them in the car when driving when they were younger.

  18. Paul O'Neal says:

    I wonder if anything is left upstairs or if it is just a few empty rooms.

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