Elvis: Trailer for new Baz Luhrmann biopic on King of Rock
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When Elvis Presley wasn’t shooting movies or touring, the star would enjoy his own playground at home at Graceland. Being a night owl, The King and his inner circle would head out into Memphis after dark to avoid fans, renting out huge venues in the early hours of the morning, including movie theatres. Now the star’s step-brother Billy Stanley has shared precious memories of Elvis’ final visit to the cinema with Lisa Marie and Ginger Alden, just four days before he died.
On August 12, 1977, Elvis planned to get a copy of the new sci-fi hit Star Wars to watch with his nine-year-old daughter.
Unable to get one, The King asked his Memphis Mafia to track down the new James Bond movie for him.
He then drove Lisa Marie and his last girlfriend Ginger to the Southbrook Theatre, just south of Graceland, to see Roger Moore’s third 007 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.
His step-brother Billy, the son of Vernon Presley’s second wife Dee Stanley, was in attendance as one of hi inner circle and shared his memories of seeing movies with the star there.
In a new video with Elvis expert Spa Guy, Billy shared how he would get film copies of the movies at The King’s request.
The star’s half-brother remembered: “All the movies we saw weren’t actually in the theatres at the time. They were just in transit around all over and Memphis had a big hub going to all these cities and I would go and pick them up and take them back.”
Elvis would come in the back entrance of the cinema and be met by his Memphis Mafia who had prepared his snacks and seat for him ahead of time.
Billy shared: “He didn’t like sitting on the side, even if it wasn’t that much. He wanted to be dead centre in the middle of the room. When he came in there would be his water, Pepsi, popcorn, sweet tarts. He would take Pepsi and put sweet tarts in it and so when you get finished with it, at the bottom they would be laying there and it’d be really soft, so you don’t have to really chew on them that much. They were good!”
All this, including peanut butter fingers which he loved, were served on a silver tray to Elvis.
The star even had a stand up ashtray, just like one located in The Jungle Room, so he could smoke his cigars or cigarillos.
Billy remembered: “He would talk sometimes during the movie, but when the action parts come he’d get quiet. But if it was slow he would talk a little bit.”
Elvis’ half-brother and the other Memphis Mafia members would sit behind their boss, ready to fetch him anything else he wanted from the lobby at his beck and call.
After seeing The Spy Who Loved Me on August 12, Elvis drove Lisa Marie and Ginger home to Graceland.
His daughter sat on his girlfriend’s lap, eating the remaining popcorn as they were captured in a photo at the gates. This would be Elvis’ final photo with Lisa Marie.
Elvis: Graceland upstairs – Item King left on shelf preserved today [GRACELAND]
Elvis Presley: The book King was reading when he died on the toilet [LAST BOOK]
Elvis: Did he want more kids after Lisa Marie? Priscilla on boy’s name [LISA MARIE]
Aside from the Southbrook Theatre, Elvis’ favourite cinema in Tennessee was The Memphian.
The King would frequently see a movie every night for a week or more at a time.
Graceland record that in May 1963, Elvis enjoyed an eclectic choice of movies from Village of the Damned and The List of Adrian Messenger to Harold Lloyd’s World of Comedy and The Nutty Professor.
The latter original, long before the Eddie Murphy remake, he saw three times over the course of just 10 days.
In August 1963, Elvis saw the Oscar-winning documentary The Sky Above, The Mud Below, Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson’s The Terror, plus Hootenanny Hoot helmed by his Kissing’ Cousins director Gene Nelson.
The following summer, The King watched one of his favourite movies, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove, five times and the biblical epic King of Kings.
Then in December 1965, he caught Dr Strangelove again, plus Cleopatra and Sean Connery Bond movies Dr No and Thunderball.
In the New Year, he celebrated his 31st birthday by seeing the comedy It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World at The Memphian.
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