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Hoosiers remember Elvis Presley amid new movie buzz

Since his last concert on June 26, 1977, the legacy of "The King of Rock and Roll" lives on in the hearts and through the speakers of Hoosiers.

INDIANAPOLIS — It's been 45 years since Elvis Presley performed his final concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.

Since June 26, 1977, the legacy of "The King of Rock and Roll" lives on in the hearts and through the speakers of Hoosiers.

"I've been an Elvis fan for a long, long time," said Justin Clark, director of the Indiana Historical Bureau, which is a division of the Indiana State Library.

David and Danny Morton on the city's southside are also Elvis fanatics. Scott Swan visited the brothers and toured their home.

A new movie, which opened in theaters June 24, is now reviving the city's passion for the music icon. "Elvis" has made more than $155 million in ticket sales worldwide.

RELATED: 'Elvis' is king, alone, of box office after final tallies

"Yeah, there has definitely been a buzz," Clark said. "People are excited about it, and hopefully that will get people interested in Elvis' music and maybe even the music that inspired Elvis."

Clark recalled that last concert at Market Square Arena was a mix of Elvis' hits and songs he wanted to sing.

"A lot of times, songs like 'Jail House Rock' and 'Hound Dog,' he would get through those in like, a minute or 90 seconds to just move on," Clark said, "because he was much more interested in singing ballads."

That night, approximately 18,000 people filled Market Square Arena, which was torn down in 2001.

Hoosiers in line had to wait even longer for the show to start, according to Clark. That's because Elvis was notorious for starting late. 

"The concert officially began at like 8:30 p.m.," Clark said, "but he didn't hit the stage until 10."

After about 80 minutes of performance, Clark said Elvis exited the stage with the words: "We'll meet you again. God Bless. Adios."

Elvis Presley died six weeks after that final concert.

More than four decades later, a memorial plaque sits at the corner of Market and Alabama streets in downtown Indianapolis.

Credit: WTHR
Elvis Presley memorial plaque on the former site of Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.

It is complete with photos, facts and even a ticket from the concert.

RELATED: Elvis' final concert plaque to be rededicated Tuesday

"I also do love the fact that, on the plaque, you still have the 'Taking Care of Business' symbol at the bottom," Clark said, "which was his whole thing and that everything he wore."

Clark said recognizing the site with an official state historical marker in the future isn't off the discussion table. 

"The fact that people are still interested in Elvis, that he still has this pull in our culture, speaks, I think, to his singular talent and his charisma," Clark said.

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