Northeast Indiana auctioneers are “all shook up” over rare Elvis film

Film expected to be that of an Elvis Presley performance in 1957
Film expected to be that of an Elvis Presley performance in 1957

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Elvis was in the building, and there’s proof.

The Ellenberger Brothers auction company in northeast Indiana has been “all shook up” over a piece of history that dates back to Elvis Presley’s 1957 performance at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The business was preparing for a large auction of model toy trains to hit the block Sept. 10 when an unrelated item was brought to its attention.

The woman who will have the auction offered a small tin can to the company in addition to the trains. On top, a small piece of tape reading “Elvis 1957 Colesium,” inside the tin protected a film reel of the King’s appearance.

“Rarely do you ever see anything like this but this is just maybe a once in a lifetime thing,” auctioneer Glenn Ellenberger said. “It appears to be the full concert.”

The auctioneer said his curiosity encouraged a peek at the strip frame by frame sitting at his kitchen table.

“I couldn’t help but pull it open and look at the first few feet of it,” Ellenberger said. “I can see the coliseum. I can see people in the seats in front of it and I can see someone on the stage who I’m sure is Elvis.”

The young rock star was just 22 when he spent about 30 minutes on the coliseum stage. Few artifacts are known to exist in the area from the visit, including a couple newspaper articles seen in the microfilm archives of the Allen County Library.

Ellenberger has made arrangements with experts at Indiana University to examine the film’s condition and contents.

Until it’s in the hands of professionals, Ellenberger said the tin can holding history will stay under lock and key. Considered extremely valuable, it has been placed in a bank’s safety deposit box.

The film will be on sale in an online auction, the date for which has not been determined.

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