Wedding chapels in Las Vegas have lost the right to perform Elvis themed ceremonies after the licensing company that owns The King’s name and likeness began cracking down on its use.
Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which licenses the likeness and estates of stars like Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali, issued cease-and-desist letters in early May, to a number of “Sin City” chapels.
Any chapel using The King’s name or image in their branding, or offering specialised Elvis themed wedding packages, received the letter.
As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, ABG is demanding the Las Vegas chapels stop the unauthorised use of “Elvis Presley’s name, likeness, voice image, and other elements of Elvis Presley’s persona in advertisements, merchandise, and otherwise.” This includes the use of trademarks “Elvis, “Elvis Presley,” “and “The King of Rock and Roll”.
Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya, who markets Las Vegas as a wedding destination, says ABG’s decision to revoke the use of Elvis will do severe damage to the wedding industry.
“This couldn’t hit at a worse time. It’s not a good thing. It might destroy a portion of our wedding industry. A number of people might lose their livelihood,” Goya said.
With the industry just beginning to recover from the pandemic, the president of Vegas Weddings and Viva Las Vegas Weddings Melody Willis-Williams, says the Las Vegas wedding industry “keeps Elvis alive”.
“This could be very damaging to our industry,” Williams said.
“Most of us are small businesses, and we’re up against a superpower with a lot of money. It could kill us in lawyer fees to fight this.
“Elvis weddings are synonymous with Las Vegas. We keep Elvis alive.”
Th move from ABG comes as the much anticipated biographic film Elvis, directed by Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, is about to be released, hitting Australian cinemas on June 23, 2022.
“I’m gonna show you what the real Elvis is like tonight.”
— Elvis Movie (@ElvisMovie) May 23, 2022
The biopic explores the life and music of Elvis Presley, through his relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Spanning over 20 years, the film covers Elvis’ rise to fame and the important people in his life, such as his wife Priscilla Presley.
The film features a star-studded cast, including Austin Butler as Elvis, Tom Hanks as his infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker and Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla.
Elvis debuted at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, receiving a 12-minute standing ovation from the audience.
I’m just returning from the Cannes Film Festival. Baz Luhrmann’s Film, Elvis received a 12 minute standing ovation. There was not an empty seat in the large theatre. It was the longest ovation ever received for a film. Actor Austin Butler’s performance as Elvis was mesmerizing. pic.twitter.com/SpNx2AERv6
— Priscilla Presley (@Cilla_Presley) May 30, 2022
Luhrmann said Presley loved the representation of her husband, saying her praise was “the greatest review”.
“No review would ever mean the most to us than the woman who was married to Elvis Presley,” Luhrmann said.