50 Years on the West Bank!

Theatre in the Round Players was already 16 years old when it was forced to move from its second home at 1308 Stevens Avenue (now the site of Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis). Company members finally chose an abandoned, turn-of-the century building in the West Bank. They worked thousands of hours creating the stage, set and costume shops, rehearsal space, and more, opening the new TRP in 1969.

The area developed with businesses and stores, restaurants (such as Sgt. Preston’s, The Haberdashery and Grandma’s), and a major hotel opening in 1984 to complement the new nearby domed stadium. With Mixed Blood (1976), Southern (1979), and other theatres joining TRP and Dudley Riggs, the City officially designated the area the “West Bank Theater District” in 1985. Three years later, TRP purchased its building and property to make its home permanent.

Now in its 50th year on Cedar Avenue, Theatre in the Round Players has established itself as one of the longest-running businesses in the West Bank, helping support local bars and restaurants, shops, and other theaters in bringing thousands of audience and artists to the home of the oldest theatre in Minneapolis.

.

TRP moved into the fire-damaged boarded-up Bimbo’s Pizza Parlor and Dance Emporium…

photo courtesy of John Briggs and the Hennepin History Museum

…and opened it’s 16th season in 1969

 

This was the view across Cedar Avenue from TRP’s new home. The site of the Band Box hamburger restaurant is now a parking lot.

 

The Scholar adjoined TRP’s building (in later years, Omar’s Oasis and Nostalgia restaurants). A 3-alarm fire destroyed the building entirely in 1999.

 

TRP as it appeared from the early 1970’s until…

 

1985, when it celebrated it’s 35th season…

 

…and the look today, as we celebrate our 68th season!