Discover Elvis Presley's Los Angeles

Celebrate the legacy of the King at key locations in L.A.
Elvis at Radio Recorders, Sept. 1, 1956 | Photo courtesy of Elvis Presley, Facebook

Born on Jan. 8, 1935, Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century, known to millions of fans around the world as “the King of Rock and Roll,” or simply, “the King.” Elvis was a transformative music figure who fused country, rhythm and blues, and elements of pop and gospel into what became the foundation of rock and roll. His extraordinary stage presence broke barriers, set the standard for all who followed, and galvanized an entire generation of youth culture. In terms of pure numbers, Elvis is unmatched - according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Elvis is the best-selling solo artist of all time, with 1 billion sales worldwide (129.5 million in the U.S.). He’s inspired a legion of impersonators, and pretenders to his throne come and go. But Elvis Presley will always be the King. 

Elvis fans can explore his legacy throughout L.A., from a historic recording studio to his favorite restaurants, hotels, and even a spiritual sanctuary near the Pacific Ocean. Read on and discover Elvis Presley’s Los Angeles.

Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel



Built in 1928, the historic Beverly Wilshire is known to millions of movie fans as the hotel where Julia Roberts stayed in Pretty Woman. Located just steps from world-famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the Beverly Wilshire has welcomed dignitaries such as President Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and the Emperor of Japan. Dashiell Hammett reportedly wrote The Thin Man at the luxury hotel, and Warren Beatty lived in the penthouse for years. In the late 1950s, Elvis Presley stayed at the hotel while filming at Paramount Studios (see below). During his separation from his wife Yoko Ono, John Lennon is said to have stayed at the Beverly Wilshire because he knew Elvis had lived there.

Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience World Tour |Photo Courtesy of:Justin Timberlake, Facebook

The Forum



Located in Inglewood a few miles east of LAX, The Forum was considered one of the premier event and sports venues in the country, home to the “Showtime”-era Lakers, the Kings led by Wayne Gretzky, and countless concerts. Affectionately known by Angelenos as the “Fabulous” Forum, the arena hosted Elvis Presley on his second tour in 1970 - the two shows set a record for ticket sales. Elvis returned for two more sold-out shows on his tenth tour in 1974. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page attended the evening performance of Presley’s second show.

Following a multi-million dollar renovation, The Forum became “Fabulous” once again with a grand reopening concert featuring The Eagles on Jan. 15, 2014. The revitalized venue features state-of-the-art technology and amenities and hosts world-class performers from a variety of genres.

The Studios at Paramount



Beginning with Love Me Tender in 1956, Elvis starred in 33 feature films, including two concert documentaries. Elvis made several films for Paramount Pictures, ranging from the drama of King Creole (his personal favorite) to lighthearted hits like Blue Hawaii. The Blue Hawaii soundtrack, which spent 20 consecutive weeks at Number One on the Billboard charts, was recorded at the legendary Radio Recorders studio in L.A. (see below).

The two-hour Paramount Pictures Studio Tour offers guests an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the Paramount legacy and iconic locations on the studio lot. The VIP Studio Tour is an in-depth, 4.5-hour insider’s experience that features even more Hollywood history and magic that’s unavailable to the general public. On weekend nights, the 2.5-hour After Dark Tour takes visitors into hidden passageways, mysterious alleys, historic theaters and original film vaults

Hollywood Gallery | Photo courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum

Petersen Automotive Museum



Elvis owned several exotic cars, including a yellow 1971 De Tomaso Pantera that he bought in 1974 for his girlfriend, Linda Thompson. According to one popular story, the couple got into an argument, and when Elvis wanted to leave, the car wouldn’t start. The exasperated King shot the Pantera three times, leaving two bullet holes in the steering wheel and one in the floor pan. Presley's handiwork, along with many more significant vehicles, are displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum, located along the Miracle Mile's famed Museum Row. Following a $125-million renovation, the Petersen reopened to the public in December 2015.

Photo by Zabilskiphotography.com, courtesy of Canter's Deli, Facebook

Canter's Deli



An L.A. favorite since 1931, Canter’s Deli moved to its current location on Fairfax Avenue in 1953. The 24-hour deli is a veritable crossroads of pop culture, where everyone from Elvis to Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Van Halen and many more have noshed. Legendary Tuesday night jam sessions in the deli’s bar, the Kibitz Room, have featured the likes of Slash, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rick James and Joni Mitchell.

Dodger Stadium



Dodger Stadium has made numerous film appearances, from the first Naked Gun film to Transformers and Superman Returns. Elvis Presley visited Chavez Ravine on March 9-11, 1966 to film scenes for his 22nd movie, Spinout. The stadium’s parking lot stood in for the start and the finish line of the “Santa Fe Road Race.” Look closely and you’ll see the King drive past one of Dodger Stadium’s distinctive parking lot signs, an orange globe with baseball stitching.

Photo by Daniel Djang

Radio Recorders



In its prime, Radio Recorders was known as the best recording facility in Los Angeles. For decades, the famed studio at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Orange Drive welcomed music greats like Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, Bobby Darin, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, and many more. Elvis Presley recorded his second album, Elvis, at Radio Recorders on Sept. 1-3, 1956. These were the first of Presley's many sessions at Radio Recorders, which included classics like Jailhouse Rock and All Shook Up. Today, the historic site - recognized by a "Radio Recorders" street sign - is the home of a commercial production studio.

Elvis Presley at The Knickerbocker Hotel, Aug. 18, 1956 | Photo courtesy of the Elvis A Presley Fan Club of Australia, Facebook

THE KNICKERBOCKER HOTEL



Located in the heart of Hollywood, The Knickerbocker Hotel was originally built in 1925 as a luxury apartment building. The Knickerbocker then became a hotel that catered to Tinseltown’s nascent film industry. Rudolf Valentino was a regular at the hotel bar, as were Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio - the legendary couple spent part of their honeymoon at The Knickerbocker. Elvis stayed in Room 1016 while shooting his first film, Love Me Tender. Today, The Knickerbocker Hotel is a senior home known as the Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartments.

Hard Rock Cafe - Universal



Universal CityWalk Hollywood has something for everyone, featuring dozens of restaurants and shops, six nightclubs, and an outdoor concert venue. The Hard Rock Cafe has been rocking CityWalk since 1996, featuring an eye-catching Taj Mahal exterior and a giant guitar fountain. Inside, guests are immersed in two floors of authentic rock history, including a jumpsuit that Elvis wore on stage in 1970, the first of what would become a trademark of his later career.

Elvis figurines in a glass case at the Formosa Café | Photo by Daniel Djang

The Formosa Café



The historic Formosa Café had the good fortune of being located next to the Warner Hollywood studio, the sibling of the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank that is now known as The Lot. Known as the place “where the stars dine,” the Formosa interior was lined with hundreds of autographed photos of its famous patrons, a galaxy of stars that includes Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor. A glass case above a red leather booth displayed Elvis porcelain figurines that were given to the Formosa's former chef and owner, Lem Quon by Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker.

NOTE: The Formosa is currently closed for restoration and will be reopened by 1933 Group in 2018.

De Neve Square Park | Photo by Daniel Djang

De Neve Square Park



Located on Beverly Glen Boulevard just north of Sunset Boulevard, De Neve Square Park is dedicated to Felipe de Neve, founder of the pueblo of Los Angeles and a Spanish governor of Las Californias. During the 1950s and '60s, Elvis organized regular touch football times while he was in L.A. making films. The unstaffed “pocket” park is open from dawn to dusk and features sycamore trees and English-style 1920s street lamps. 

Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial at the Lake Shrine | Photo courtesy of ellenm1, Flickr

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine



Tucked away in the Pacific Palisades a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean, the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine is a lush, ten-acre site with gardens, a spring-fed lake, and a variety of flora and fauna. Founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1950, the Lake Shrine welcomes thousands of visitors each year to enjoy its scenic beauty and serenity. The Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial is a "wall-less temple" that features a thousand-year-old stone sarcophagus from China, which holds a portion of Gandhi's ashes in a brass and silver coffer. Elvis made frequent visits to the Lake Shrine and became close with Sri Daya Mata, the worldwide leader of the Self-Realization Fellowship for over 55 years.