MINNEAPOLIS (CelebrityAccess) First Avenue has reportedly entered into an agreement to buy the oldest active theatre in St. Paul, Minn., the Fitzgerald Theater.
The facility was built in 1910 with a production of the play “The Fourth Estate” and was a popular spot for vaudeville before it was transformed into a movie theater in 1933, according to the Pioneer Press. It was purchased by the Minnesota Public Radio in 1980, which restored the stage and was converted into the home for Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Robert Altman filmed “A Prairie Home Companion” there in 2006.
The 1,000-capacity venue was renamed the Fitzgerald Theater in 1994.
“Our goal is to bring together people with diverse interests and backgrounds, and part of that is expanding the First Avenue family to include other venues throughout the Twin Cities,” First Avenue’s owner Dayna Frank said in a news release. “We’re excited about the opportunities for more events and performances in another iconic space in this community.”
MPR will still continue to host shows at the facility, with CEO Jon McTaggart saying “We’ll still host plenty of events in St. Paul. In fact, we anticipate that MPR will continue to use the Fitz. Now, we will have even more flexibility with our events and performances.”
First Avenue recently bought Fine Line Music Cafe and the Turf Club in St. Paul and co-runs the city’s Palace Theatre with Jam Productions.