Friday, June 13th, 2008
Elvis (Jr.) has left the building
By Nancy Allen
Elvis Jr. and his museum have left the building on state Route 703 and owner Steve Schleeter is reopening it as an auction hall and banquet/entertainment facility.
Schleeter, St. Marys, said Elvis Aaron Presley Jr., the self-proclaimed son of Elvis Presley, packed up his show and $6 million assemblage of the King's cars, jewelry, clothes, furniture, autographed Elvis Presley photos and Hollywood props and left shortly before Memorial Day.
Schleeter would not discuss details of the split, but said he is anxious to again start holding auctions in the 60-feet by 80-feet building at 3965 Celina Road in St. Marys.
He also plans to rent it out for weddings, auctions and other events and is calling it the Nifty 50s Event Center.
"We're going to start doing our grocery auctions the first Friday of every month, some consignment auctions and other auction businesses can lease it too," he said Thursday. "I also want to do shows there and have local bands and other entertainment like country bands, Beatles review bands and stuff like that."
Schleeter bought the building about 20 years ago and until the museum opened there almost two years ago, he held regular auctions at the facility then called Schleeter's Auction Barn.
Schleeter said the formerly black interior has been repainted a country white and tan and the ceiling and floor have been redone too. People renting the facility for weddings or other events needing food can have food catered onsite from the nearby Nifty 50s Old Time Cafe. People also can bring their own food or caterer, he said.
Clients also can do their own decorating, or Schleeter has an event planner on staff who can arrange decorating, a photographer and flowers at additional charge. The $395 basic hall rental cost includes the use of tables, chairs and a dumpster to clean up afterward, he said.
Schleeter said he misses the auctions and said many of the people he and his wife, Joan, met and saw regularly became like family. Many contacted the family to express concern over Schleeter's wife, who suffered a fall recently in the building while getting it ready. She is recovering at home.
When Schleeter stopped holding auctions at the building to accommodate the museum, he continued to hold them at the local fairgrounds, but it wasn't the same, he said.
"We're going to do different things, but I didn't want to give up the auctions. We love the people and missed it after a year and a half off.
Elvis Aaron Presley Jr. continues to perform in the area and has a show booked in the banquet room at the newly opened Lost in the '50s Diner and Gasoline Alley Collector Museum, at 1533 Celina Road, St. Marys on Saturday night.