Local Current Blog

Then and Now: Scenes from Purple Rain

All 'now' photos by Steven Cohen for MPR

This weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the release of Purple Rain, and we’ve been celebrating the iconic rock ‘n’ roll film in a big way. And while we’ve talked a lot about the actors that appear of the film—Prince, his leading lady Apollonia, his band the Revolution, and cast members like Morris Day and the Time—there’s another big star that deserves its own close-up: the city of Minneapolis and downtown music venue First Avenue.

As part of our ongoing Then and Now series, we’ve once again teamed up with photographer Steven Cohen to revisit some of the famous landmarks seen in the film. First Avenue is included, of course, as are exterior shots of 7th St. and 1st Ave. in downtown Minneapolis, the IDS Center’s Crystal Court, and the house in South Minneapolis where the Kid lives in the film.

Enjoy! And be sure to check out all of our Purple Rain 30th anniversary articles and audio specials to get the full purple experience.


Morris Day and Jerome stroll down 1st Ave.

A woman approaches Morris Day on 7th St.

Looking north on 7th St., where Block E is now

Prince rides up to First Avenue

First Avenue, then and now

Prince stands inside First Avenue

Apollonia and Prince visit the Crystal Court

The Kid’s South Minneapolis home

Update: Prince bought the ‘Purple Rain’ house – and much more Minnesota property