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The National Civil Rights Museum Moves Reopening to July 1, 2020

Museum errs on the side of caution while maintaining guidelines required for guest safety

Memphis, June 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel announced it will move its reopening date to welcome back visitors to July 1 after area health officials delayed Phase III of its reopening plan. Guests are still required to purchase timed tickets online prior to visiting the Museum to maintain social distancing and capacity guidelines provided by health officials.  

Safety Measures

Staff and guests are required to wear face masks inside the Museum with masks provided for guests who arrive without them. Staff will undergo daily temperature checks. Additional hand sanitizer dispensers and regular disinfection are part of the Museum’s plan to protect everyone’s health. Throughout the Museum, signage and floor markings will help visitors maintain social distancing six feet apart. Water fountains will be disabled. There will be frequent sanitization of high touch areas daily.

Museum Hours and Admission

Initially, Museum hours are adjusted to Monday 9:00am to 6:00pm with Free Period for Tennesse residents from 3:00pm-6:00pm, and Wednesday through Saturday 9:00-5:00pm. The Museum will remain closed on Tuesdays and temporarily on Sundays. Admission pricing remains the same, and tickets can be purchased at civilrightsmuseum.org starting Thursday, June 18 for tickets for July 1 and after.  Timed ticketing is scheduled every 20 minutes three times each hour to regulate capacity and social distancing. Use of credit or debit cards instead of cash is encouraged in the Museum Store.


As outlined in the City of Memphis’ Phase III Reopening Plan, the museum initially will maintain 30% capacity, with a maximum flow of 25 guests every 20 minutes. Enclosed areas like restrooms and elevators have a maximum of three people at a time.

Experience Modifications

At least for the first few weeks of reopening, guided tours are limited, and the Boarding House will remain closed.  Interpretive talks will be staged outdoors in the museum courtyard, weather permitting.  Staff also will be strategically placed within exhibits for gallery tours and to assists visitors.

“The National Civil Rights Museum experience will remain world class. And given the nation’s current realization that racism is alive and well, a walk through history has more relevance than ever,” said Museum President, Terri Lee Freeman. “Our guests will not be disappointed!”

The museum will continue monitoring updates by health officials to ensure the safety of its employees and guests.  Museum events and programs are cancelled or hosted virtually until further notice. For more information, visit civilrightsmuseum.org.


About the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from slavery to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 90,000 student visits annually. The Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights.  It educates and serves as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change.

A Smithsonian Affiliate and an internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum is recognized as a 2019 National Medal Award recipient by the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the top national honor for museums and libraries.  It is a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top 5% U.S. Museum, USA Today's Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC's Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Business Journal.

Connie Dyson
National Civil Rights Museum