A giant 3-D theater and a laser-filled planetarium are part of a pink mansion that belonged to the inventor of the supermarket.
The Pink Palace Museum is a fascinating hub of exhibits on history and the sciences, its eclectic categories spanning everything from the cultural history of the Mid-South to the invention of the supermarket. With its own planetarium, the museum has many temporary exhibits on the stars and the solar system. Learn about the anthropological and natural history of Memphis as you stroll through this spectacular estate.
When you arrive, take photos of the glorious pink façade of the long manor, whose roof is green. Admire the imposing pediment and elegant colonnade of the pink Georgian marble frontage and pass through the arches to enter the museum. Chat with a docent about the history of the building, on which construction commenced in 1923. It was built for Clarence Saunders, the founder of the supermarket chain Piggly Wiggly.
Watch a film in the CTI 3-D Giant Theater or head to the 145-seat planetarium, which has a laser system able to project mesmerizing images onto the domed ceiling.
Look around the various temporary exhibits, which cover varied topics such as chemistry, archaeology and the development of Memphis. See the replica of the first Piggly Wiggly store from 1916, credited with being a huge influence on the supermarkets of today. Appreciate 15th-century Native American ceramics and pre-Columbian works of art.
There is a fee to enter the museum, which opens Wednesday to Sunday from morning until late afternoon. Ask for discounts for seniors and children. The Museum Store has a range of souvenirs and a restaurant serves snacks and drinks.
The Pink Palace Museum is between Old Binghampton and Lundee in East Memphis. From the city center, drive east for 7 miles (11 kilometers) to get here in about 15 minutes. You can also take a bus to a stop just outside the museum. While in this part of the city, head to nearby sights such as the Memphis Zoo, the Memphis Botanical Garden and the Children’s Museum of Memphis.