The Pink Palace Family of Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, is a collection of historic attractions maintain by the City of Memphis in partnership with Memphis Museums, Inc. The family of museums includes the Pink Palace Museum, CTI 3D Giant Theater, AutoZone Dome at Sharpe Planetarium, Lichterman Nature Center, and two historic homes—Mallory-Neely, and Magevney Houses.

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The Pink Palace serves as the headquarters of the Pink Palace Family of Museums and was originally designed as the home for wealthy founder of Piggly Wiggly stores, Clarence Saunders in the 1920’s. The expansive mansion received its nickname from the pink Georgian façade made from marble that it was designed with. Saunders was never able to move into the home, which was left unfished due to bankruptcy and given over to the city of Memphis in the later 1920’s with the intent of being used as a museum. A new addition was added to the mansion that became the permanent museum featuring the Bodine Exhibit Hall where temporary and permanent exhibits are displayed in natural science and cultural history. The Mansion itself was closed to the public for 22 years until 1996 when it was reopened.

CTI 3D Giant Theater draws over 200,000 visitors annually and opened in March of 2014. This underground theater features state of the art equipment including a 4K single projector and RealD XLW 3D system. The theater shows educational films as well as films for entertainment value on a screen that reaches 4 stories high with new movies screening every 4 months.

AutoZone Dome at the Sharpe Planetarium can host 145 guests in the theater in the round style seating that immerses visitors in a planetary experience with a dome 50 feet in diameter, 32.5 feet high and the largest screen in Memphis. The projector places over 4 million pixels at once with software that can generate real time simulations of the universe for viewers to gaze at with space travel simulations.

Lichterman Nature Center- This 65-acre nature center was the very first accredited nature center in the US and is a wildlife sanctuary with a focus on environmental education. Visitors can enjoy 3 miles of hiking trails, a greenhouse, and educational facilities.

Coon Creek Science Center- This property found in McNairy County feature 232 acres of protected land that is one of the most important fossil sites in North America. More than 600 species of animals, some over 70 million years old, have been found fossilized at this site, including a mosasaur. These fossils are not hardened into stone and have perfectly preserved anatomical details. There are also 5 ponds, cabins, a dining hall, and study sites for educational groups and research.

Mallory-Neely House- Located at 652 Adams Avenue, this home is a 25 room Victorian era Italianate villa that was designed in 1852 and was owned by Frances Neely Mallory for 86 years until she died in 1969 when she nearly 100 years old. This home is the only historic house in Memphis that still contains original furnishings from the time and features rotating exhibits and special programing.

Magevney House- This home is located at 198 Adams Avenue where Eugene Magevney, an Irish immigrant lived in 1836. The home is a modest clapboard cottage and is the oldest example of a middle-class residence still open to the public in Memphis. The city’s first Catholic Mass was performed in this home as well as the first wedding and baptism. The home is still furnished as it would have been in the 1850’s pre-Civil War with personal possessions of the Magevney family. Visitors can also enjoy the herb garden, arbor and carriage house.

Educational Programs

Each of the Museums connected to the Pink Palace Family of Museums has its own Educational Programming. The Pink Palace Education Department offers programs related to human culture, natural sciences, technology and the universe for schools and community audiences that are aligned with State and Catholic Diocese objectives and achieved through hands-on learning.

Educational movies on rotation at the CTI Theater include:

· Flight of the Butterfly 3D

· Hidden Universe 3D

· Humpback Whales 3D

· Living in the Age of Airplanes 2D

· Journey to Space 3D

· National Parks Adventure 3D

Programs Available at the Planetarium include:

· Firefall

· One World, One Sky: Big Birds Adventure

There are also lab explorations for students in grades k-8 that can accommodate 15-32 students, Discovery Theater Explorations for up to 100 students, Private overnight visits at the Pink Palace Museum, Discovery Day Events, Homeschool Events, and Discovery Quests with Scavenger hunts that students can participate in when visiting the Pink Palace Museum. More information about educational programming can be found online.

3050 Central Avenue, Memphis Tennessee, 38111, website, Phone: 901-636-2362

Back to: Memphis, Tennessee

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