LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Elvis Presley is back in the building, returning to the Las Vegas hotel where he performed more than 600 times, in a new permanent exhibition about his life.
“Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition”, which opened last week, features more than 300 artifacts never before displayed outside of his Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee.
The display looks at his early days as a recording artist, his stint in the U.S. army, his films and shows.
The singer began a Las Vegas performance residency in 1969 that went on to break box office attendance for the city.
“Elvis is synonymous with the city of Las Vegas, and now he is back on the ground,” Graceland’s director of communications Kevin Kern told Reuters in Los Angeles.
Presley’s widow, Priscilla, and daughter Lisa Marie cut the ribbon at the exhibition’s opening at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, previously known as the International Hotel, where the singer performed between 1969 and 1976.
“This is where his home was, he loved coming here,” Priscilla said. “He was very fond of Vegas and I think that, if not touring, still coming to Vegas (is) what he loved best.”
Among the items displayed is a jewel-studded belt, with the word “Elvis” spelled out in diamonds, that he was given by the hotel.
“Elvis broke all box office records in Las Vegas in terms of attendance and really set the stage for a revolution for live entertainment in Las Vegas,” Kern said.
The “Aloha from Hawaii” cape that Elvis wore on stage in Las Vegas, a replica of the cape he wore at a special show in Hawaii in 1973, is also on display. The white cape is adorned with an eagle and stars.
Reporting By Reuters Television; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Kevin Liffey