Birthday celebrations fit for the King

BY M. SCOTT MORRIS

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Thursday will mark the 69th anniversary of Elvis Presley's Tupelo debut, so it's time to celebrate.

Officials at the Elvis Presley Birthplace will be handing out free tickets and free food to mark the birth date of Tupelo's favorite son.

In the evening, members of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association's E-Club will be treated to a screening of “Viva Las Vegas” at the Lyric Theatre.

Dick Guyton, executive director of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation, said the birthplace and museum will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.

“We'll be giving out complimentary tickets, just like we did last year,” Guyton said. “We're hoping people in Tupelo will turnout to see what we're about.”

Birthday cake will be served at 10:30 a.m., and barbecue sandwiches will be available at 11:30 a.m. while supplies last.

“We'll have Elvis' music playing all day,” Guyton promised.

For more information, call (662) 841-1245.

Big screen

The 6:30 p.m. “Viva Las Vegas” party and movie screening at the Lyric is limited to E-Club members.

Memberships are $150 for couples and $85 for singles, and they include tickets to the 2004 Elvis Presley Festival in June, T-shirts, parking passes, a festival poster, invitations to a pre-festival gala, Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association membership and more.

“The showing is the last event of the year for members who joined in the spring,” said Jim High, assistant director of the association. “It will be the first event for new members, who will also get to attend next year's party. We'll give them both.”

In “Viva Las Vegas,” Elvis portrays Lucky Jackson, a Grand Prix racer who falls for Rusty Martin, who's played by the sexy Ann Margret.

Two movie posters from “Viva Las Vegas” will be on display outside the theater for the performance.

“It will look just like it did when the movie was shown all those years ago at the Lyric,” High said.

For information, call (662) 841-6598.