Within the walls of another Memphis landmark, you will find a very unique tribute to the King of Rock & Roll.
August 16, 2018, marked the 41stanniversary of death of Elvis Presley. Forty-one years since the King of Rock-n-Roll permanently “left the building,” and yet, year after year, fans continue to flock to Memphis, Tennessee to honor his legacy. They come from around the globe, year after year, not only for the weeklong celebration of “Elvis Week” that centers on the anniversary of his death, but they come to the River City all year round. They flock through the gates of Graceland, marvel at the jungle room, or they head across town to Sun Records and see where he recorded his very first album. But did you know that there is a hidden monument of sorts that pays tribute to Elvis within the walls of another Memphis landmark?
The Orpheum Theatre is a beautiful, historic theater in the heart of downtown Memphis that plays host to the national tours of Broadway shows as they come through town, along with many other special events. In the early ‘80s a tradition sprung up from artists who wanted to leave their mark as they passed through town. “The Orpheum's crew allowed stars to autograph the walls, which was eventually termed the ‘diva door,’" Kristin Bennett, Orpheum Theatre Group’s communications manager told Southern Living. As time passed the signatures became murals dedicated to each cast and those murals have recently all adopted a common theme. Most casts that pass through paint a mural depicting their show with a distinct nod to Elvis Presley, Memphis’s favorite son. And while these murals are backstage and not where the general public can see them, the Orpheum does regularly offer tours. You can find that information here. But just scroll down, we’ll give you a sneak peak!
All Shook Up
This musical is made up of the music of Elvis Presley so of course the first national tour came through the King’s hometown to pay respects.
An American in Paris
The cast of this Gershwin classic made white jumpsuit Elvis the star of their mural
The Book of Mormon
This show is all about the slapstick jokes and they adjusted their existing show logo to include an Elvis circa Jailhouse Rock.
The first national tour for Finding Neverland painted a very cool tribute to not only Elvis but also the city of Memphis itself in silhouette.
Dora the Explorer’s Doraland
Even Dora can’t help but explore what’s inside the gates of Graceland.
Looks like those Jersey Boys traded in their suit and tie look for the more festive white jumpsuit.
The Lion King
The king of the jungle meets the king of rock & roll.
Looking sharp in those Elvis shades!
We think this new look for the magical nanny is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
This Disney movie turned Broadway musical, full of exciting dance numbers, left a blue suede tap shoe adorned to the Orpheum wall.
When the 20thanniversary tour rolled through town, their mural contained custom Elvis “show flyers” that may have adorned city blocks in the King’s hay day.
We think Shrek makes an excellent Elvis impersonator, and of course tribute artists always have a home in Memphis.
Sister Mary Clarence looks fabulous through those Elvis glasses!
This hilarious musical troupe took their tongue and cheek mascot and gave him an Elvis makeover. And of course a stroll down Beale Street.