Giving Up the Memorabilia, but Not the Belief: Elvis Lives

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

WRIGHT CITY, Mo., Nov. 6 — The 16-foot-tall likeness of Elvis Presley that stands sentry here at the Elvis Is Alive Museum, a fading outpost of Americana, has seen better days.

White paint is peeling from the plywood cutout. The wood at Elvis’s left hip is starting to rot, and many faded blue and yellow poker chips that once formed his bejeweled belt have vanished in the dust of 18-wheelers passing through this town 45 miles west of St. Louis.

For 17 years, Bill Beeny — museum curator, real estate salesman, Baptist minister — has used the wooden cutout to lure travelers to his museum, a cramped 400-square-foot shrine to all things Elvis, but especially to its owner’s theory that the King never actually left the building.

Now, Mr. Beeny, 81, wants to convert the museum into a food bank and is auctioning its contents on eBay. T

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