Check Out These Photos of First Ave Before it was a Music Venue
First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis may be known today as one of the top music venues in the world, but it wasn't always.
(If photo above doesn't show, click here) According to First Avenue's website, before the rock club was born in 1970, it was a highly-acclaimed bus depot noted for its "distinctively curved black building on the corner of First Avenue and Seventh Street."
Called one of the most "modernistic" and beautiful travel centers in America, the bus depot boasted such luxuries as public phones, shower rooms, and air conditioning. The décor included huge chromium trimmed chandeliers and a checkered terrazzo floor (which still exists in the First Avenue Mainroom).
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When the original bus depot relocated in 1968, a 25-year old Minneapolis native named Allan Fingerhut bought it out when he saw the potential to turn the building into a rock club. Two years later on April 3, 1970, First Avenue opened as a music venue. Acts through the first decade included Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, Ike & Tina Turner, Iggy & the Stooges, Chubby Checker, The Kinks, The Allman Brothers, B.B. King, Rod Stewart, The Small Faces, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, Dwight Twilley Band, Chris Osgood of The Suicide Commandos, Peter Jesperson, Pat Benetar, The Ramones, and U2.
Today, First Avenue books over 1,000 shows annually for its Mainroom and additional venues like 7th St. Entry, Turf Club, Fine Line, Triple Rock, Cedar Cultural Center, and larger historical theatres such as the State, Pantages, and Orpheum.