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The Levitt Shell is an open-air amphitheater located in Overton Park, Memphis, TN. Elvis Presley gave his first paid concert there on July 30, 1954. The Overton Park Shell was built in 1936 by the City of Memphis and the Works Progress Administration for $11,935, as part of the New Deal. Designed by architect Max Furbringer, it was modeled after similar shells in Chicago, New York, and St. Louis. The WPA built 27 band shells, the Overton Park Shell is one of only a few that still remain. During the 1930s and 1940s, the Shell was the site of Memphis Open Air Theater orchestral shows, along with various light opera and musicals. However, on July 30, 1954, Elvis Presley opened for headliner Slim Whitman, and performed what music historians call the first-ever rock and roll show. In the mid-1960s, the Shell was turned over to the Memphis Arts Center, who planned to raze it in order to build a $2 million theater. However, a campaign led by Noel Gilbert, long-time conductor of the Memphis Concert Orchestra, gathered 6,000 signatures in order to prevent its destruction.
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Memphis Farmers Market
The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange
Withers Collection Museum & Gallery
Historic photos honoring civil rights.
Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
FedExForum is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It is the home of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the NCAA Division I men’s basketball program of the University of Memphis, both of whom previously played home games at Pyramid Arena. The venue also has the capability of hosting ice hockey games, concerts, and family shows. The arena officially opened in September 2004 after much debate and also a derecho wind storm on July 22, 2003, that nearly brought down the cranes that were building it near the famed Beale Street. It was built at a cost of US$250 million and is owned by the City of Memphis; naming rights were purchased by one of Memphis’s best-known businesses, FedEx, for $92 million. FedExForum was financed using $250 million of public bonds, which were issued by the Memphis Public Building Authority.