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First Avenue: Ceiling repairs underway, Saturday show moved to State Theatre


First Avenue found itself with a sold-out show but no ceiling.

So they're getting some help from the State. The State Theatre, that is.

The theater a few blocks away from the venerable Minneapolis nightclub has agreed to host First Avenue's Saturday night show by Miguel.

Meanwhile, work is underway at First Avenue to repair the ceiling that partially collapsed Wednesday night.

All gigs for Thursday and Friday were canceled after chunks of ceiling fell to the floor of the club's Mainroom during a Theory of a Deadman show.

KARE 11 reports that Minneapolis building inspectors began working at the site at 7 a.m. Thursday, issuing permits to take down the remainder of the ceiling so that work can get started installing a new one.

Building inspector spokesman Patrick Higgins said he believes the ceiling is the same one installed when the building was constructed in 1936 – adding that they still haven't discovered what caused the collapse.

Only after repairs to the performance area have been completed to the satisfaction of inspectors and fire officials will the venue be allowed to re-open, with the Star Tribune's Nicole Norfleet noting this means a race against time ahead of Saturday's performance by Miguel.

"Miguel is going to be happening," the venue's general manager told the reporter. "I'm not sure if that will be at First Avenue or elsewhere."

Norfleet adds that there is no timeline as of yet on the repairs, adding that before demolishing the old ceiling inspectors have had to carry out asbestos testing due to its age.

KARE notes that the new ceiling does not necessarily have to be installed in order for the building to be up to fire code, but it must have a sprinkler system installed.

Theory of a Deadman issued a statement on its Instagram page Thursday afternoon, saying crowd safety is its first priority at its concerts, and added: "We wish First Avenue a quick turnaround in re-opening the doors of the legendary venue.

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