Memphis, Tennessee: Coin-Operated Elvis Shrine

Drop in a quarter and Elvis is revealed, to the tune of Thus Spake Zarathustra.

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First Church of the Elvis Impersonator

In Memphis, Tennessee, the Elvis Impersonator Church was originally housed in a coffee shop called "Java Cabana". The shop was bought by one of its original patrons a few years back, and the Church has moved on.

[Judy Stacy, 11/24/1999]
First Church of the Elvis Impersonator

My now-husband and I were in Memphis, TN, in the Cooper-Young district when we happened upon the First Church of the Elvis Impersonator. It's housed in a Coffee Shop, and unfortunately the coffee shop was closed. But in the shop window was a display, of sorts -- pictures of Elvis Impersonators, turntables, all kinds of glitz and glamour that you expect to see associated with Elvis. Next to the window, my husband noticed a slot that accepted quarters. Being an adventurous spirit, he put in a quarter. Lo and behold -- lights came on, the turntables began spinning (I believe they had plastic Elvi on the spindles), and the theme from "2001, A Space Odyssey" began playing. It was an awesome sight. They had a gift shop in the coffee shop as well, we weren't able to browse, but noticed all sorts of tasteful gifts, like stick-on sideburns.

They also perform marriage ceremonies, and my husband and I really thought about getting married there...but, they didn't open until later, and we had to leave. I know the Cooper-Young district is pretty well-known, and I believe the First Church of the Elvis Impersonator was right around the corner from a cat-friendly pet store.

[Chauntelle Hardin, 03/03/1999]

Coin-Operated Elvis Shrine

Goner Records

Address:
2152 Young Ave., Memphis, TN
Directions:
Goner Records. I-240 exit 29. East on Lamar Ave./US Hwy 78 for 1.5 miles. Left on McLean Blvd, then right on Young Ave. for about a half-mile. Just past Cooper St.
Phone:
901-722-0095
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