North Minneapolis Theater Showcases Prince's Early Days

April 20, 2018 06:36 AM

The Capri Theater was once one of 13 venues in North Minneapolis.

Now, it is the only auditorium left in the area.

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It sits on Broadway Avenue - a monument of a long-gone time.

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But on Jan. 5, 1979, Prince chose the Capri to play his first show as a solo artist.

And in the two years since his death, the theater has been overwhelmed with visitors.

So on the second anniversary of his passing, they decided to open the doors.

"What do I see? I see a young kid really trying to make (it)," Karen Allen said.

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Allen traveled from Australia not only to celebrate Prince's life, but also to see where his career began. She was joined by Marni Long, who traveled from Houston.  

"We get to experience the friendship and the love from all the people around," Long said.

The theater has dubbed the experience the "Prince Legacy Tour."

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The tours are simple. Visitors see an exhibit of photos from Prince's show at the Capri, and the auditorium and stage where it all began.

Kevin West is an artistic associate with the theater.

He said the tours give him an opportunity to tell people about future plans for the site

"We're about to close for one year and renovate the entire space," he said. "What we're going to do is add three dressing rooms, a green room, a seam shop - things that we don't have right now."

The plans also include adding a 2,000-square-foot community hall.

The project is slated to cost over $9 million. So far, $5 million has been raised.

West said the building is owned by the Plymouth Christian Youth Center, and they plan to break ground this fall.

TIMELINE: Prince's Death

Allen said the first anniversary of Prince's death last year was a coming-to-terms situation.

But this year ...

"This year is more about celebrating his life," she said.

Credits

Todd Wilson

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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