Archived PBS Video of Minneapolis Circa 1981 is Blast to the Past [WATCH]
A Twin Cities PBS Original video first broadcast December 29, 1981 is today a visual time machine to perhaps one of the best eras of nightlife in Minneapolis.
"A Pop Culture Time Machine: Downtown Minneapolis, Circa 1981" follows former City Pages reporter Martin Keller as he samples "everything in sight and some things out of sight" around the Twin Cities. In this particular episode, Keller takes viewers on a tour of some "lesser-known haunts" and nightclubs in Minneapolis off the beaten path.
"Sprinkled around downtown Minneapolis are a variety of jazz joints, night clubs, restaurants and discotheques," a voicover from Keller says, accompanied by flashes of the Minneapolis strip, billboard signs flashing, groups walking downtown and people watching and smoking in various venues. "There are clubs that pour a whale of a drink, and some places that are aptly named for the spirits imbibed within" (a shot of "Cork's Disco flashes). "Whatever the clubs are called, they all spell 'nightlife.'"
Keller goes on to invite us on a tour of more "variegated bars -- places you've probably never been but have heard plenty about." His first stop is Sam's (now First Avenue), a "happy hunting ground for mostly college-age disco and rock fans who come to dance." If the bright lights and big beats are too much for you, he suggests 7th Street Entry next door. He then progresses to the original "so-called Punk Palace" -- a predominantly gay bar complete with caged go-go dancers -- Sun Disco -- another popular gay bar -- and Taste Show Lounge, a "black bar with a growing white clientele."
Last call comes early, Keller makes sure to note, comparing Minneapolis' early end to the night to New York, Chicago and even Hudson, WI "where the bars stay open until 2:00am."
Watch the blast to the past video below. Have you been to any of the venues featured?
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