Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Priscilla, The King's Horse Stables, and Blue Hawaii
Priscilla Presley was in Memphis today to meet with the media about the opening of the stables at Graceland. She gave about a 30 minute guided tour of the facility, located behind the racquetball court in the southeast corner of the property. This is the first time the stables have been opened to the public. The exhibit features two horses, video of Elvis riding, and two saddles The King used. It will remain open for tourists through Labor Day. I believe it will return annually as a summer exhibit.
There were horses on the land when Elvis purchased Graceland in 1957. He cared for these horses and started to ride. After being thrown from a horse named Flaming Star, he took a hiatus from riding before rediscovering his love for equines. Elvis bought horses for his father, members of his entourage, and their wives. It didn't matter whether you knew how to ride or even liked horses, you were getting a horse, Priscilla said.
She noted that he loved to ride horses on the property as a way to unwind. His favorite thing was to ride close to the wall at the front of the property so that people could watch him.
The horses in the stable today are Bandit and Max. Bandit is smaller with one blue eye and enjoys following Max around. Both horses are in the process of learning to bow. Bandit and Max were both rescued.
The Orpheum has enjoyed partnering with Elvis Presley Enterprises through the years. Jack Soden, President of EPE, is a former member of the Orpheum's Board of Directors. The musical ALL SHOOK UP, an EPE investment that featured Elvis hits played The Orpheum in March of 2007 and provided an opportunity for two Memphis icons to work together for a joint promotion.
This year, the Orpheum's Summer Movie Series will show the Elvis classic Blue Hawaii at 6pm on August 9 as part of the Elvis Tribute Week Festivities. There's something cool about watching Elvis on the big screen in the Orpheum where he used to come see movies(when it was MALCO's flagship) as a relative unknown in the early 1950s.