Priscilla Presley Reflects on 40th Anniversary of Graceland Opening: ‘His Legacy Remains’

by Leanne Stahulak

Priscilla Presley, the wife of the late King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley, celebrated the 40th anniversary of Graceland opening today.

Graceland is the name of Elvis Presley’s mansion, which he lived in from 1957 until his death in 1977. He left the mansion for his father, grandmother, and child Lisa Marie Presley. But Lisa was only nine years old when he died, and Elvis’s father and grandmother died in 1979 and 1980, respectively.

So, come 1981, the property fell into Priscilla Presley’s hands, along with a few co-trustees. For financial purposes, they decided to open Graceland to the public to start improving the cash flow of the estate.

Priscilla Presley commemorated the opening of the mansion in an Instagram post earlier today. She posted a collage of photos from her announcement in 1982.

“Forty years ago today Graceland was opened to the public,” Priscilla began in her caption. “We thank all of you who have visited Graceland, revisited, made life long friends at Graceland, and have brought your families to Graceland. His legacy remains and will always remain with your dedication and support.”

Later, Priscilla Presley added in a comment, “We opened Graceland on June 7th but we announced it today 40 years ago.”

There’s no doubt that Elvis Presley’s legacy does remain and endure through institutions like Graceland. In one place, you can see evidence of the incredible work he achieved. And the lives he changed on a personal level. Not to mention the cultural changes he implemented through his style and behavior. Walking into Graceland is like stepping right back into Elvis Presley’s life during its peak moments.

Priscilla Presley Praises Austin Butler’s Performance in New Biopic ‘Elvis’

On June 24, a new biopic about the life and legacy of Elvis Presley will hit theaters. Austin Butler stars as the titular “Elvis,” and Priscilla Presley has already praised his performance.

“For those curious about the new film ELVIS, Baz Luhrmann, the director, provided a private screening for me and Jerry Schilling at Warner studios recently,” Priscilla Presley wrote in a recent Facebook post. “This story is about Elvis and Colonel Parker’s relationship. It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered.”

She added, “Austin Butler, who played Elvis, is outstanding. Halfway through the film Jerry [Schilling] and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him…he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this part. I can only imagine.”

Priscilla also took the time to compliment Tom Hanks for his role as Parker. “Tom Hanks was Col Parker in this film. What a character he was. There were two sides to Colonel, Jerry and I witnessed both.”

She concluded, “The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending. But I think you will understand a little bit more of Elvis’ journey, penned by a director who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film.”