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Elvis Presley introduced Priscilla Beaulieu to his favorite hobby while she visited Memphis over Christmas. He took her to do things every night, but this was one hobby he didn’t want her to join in on. She quickly learned why he felt this way. The activity was so rough that she knew she’d get hurt trying to participate.

Priscilla Presley learned that Elvis roller skated as a hobby

During Priscilla’s Christmas visit to Graceland, Elvis often spoke of how much he enjoyed roller skating. He rented out the Rainbow Skating Rink several nights during her trip. While she already knew how to roller skate, she realized this was beyond her skill level.

“I got the message real fast when a box of knee pads was passed around,” she wrote in her book Elvis and Me. “This was not your ordinary around-the-rink-to-organ-music skating. The idea here was to keep your bones intact.”

A black and white picture of Priscilla Presley and Elvis standing together near the open door of an airplane.
Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

She watched the high-speed activity from the sidelines.

“About twenty-five skaters locked hands, forming what they called a whip,” she wrote. “Skating abreast, they began circling the rink, building up speed. The object of the game was to remain unscathed at speeds of over ten miles per hour. It could be very dangerous if you were to lose your balance or if you were at the tail end, when, by turning quickly, the all ‘cracked the whip.'”

Priscilla said people fell hard, but nobody was seriously injured. She said that this was what Elvis liked about it. 

“It was rough, but as Elvis put it, ‘If you’re man enough to get out there, then you better be man enough to take the licks.'”

Elvis told Priscilla that she shouldn’t adopt the hobby as one of her own

Priscilla stepped off the rink when she saw the “determined looks on the other skaters’ faces.” There was also little chance that Elvis would have let her join in. As she made her way off the rink, he told her where to go, not asking if she wanted to participate.

“Then Elvis skated into their midst, calling out, ‘Okay, everybody. Y’all clear the way on the sidelines. I don’t want anybody hurt over there. Honey, why don’t you get on the other side there with Louise [Gene Smith’s wife]. The rest of you, get your a**es somewhere else.’ They all started laughing, and he said, ‘Okay, let’s go!'”

Elvis was protective over Priscilla and wouldn’t have let her put herself in a position where she could get hurt.

The musician rented out entire venues for his favorite activities

Elvis’ popularity meant that he couldn’t go to roller rinks, movie theaters, or, really, anywhere at regular hours. Instead, he visited his favorite places late at night. He typically rented them out for his entourage. 

Elvis Presley wears a leather jacket and strums a guitar in front of a microphone.
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Beyond the Rainbow Skating Rink, one of Elvis’ favorite places was the movie theater. He went at every chance he had.

“The movie theater was Elvis’ home away from home,” according to the Official Blog of Graceland. “He loved just about every genre of film. Long before the days of DVDs and BluRays, the only way to see a film was in the theater, so Elvis often watched some of his favorite movies multiple times in a theater. He visited several theaters in Memphis, but the Memphian was a favorite.”