First Avenue and 7th Street Entry are two music venues housed in the same building in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The names are derived from the building's location: the corner of First Avenue and 7th Street in downtown Minneapolis. Locally, First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry are respectively referred to as The Mainroom and The Entry. They are considered to be a cornerstone of the Midwest music scene, and serve as a landmark of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States. The building is marked by the 531 stars stenciled on its exterior along the First Avenue and Seventh Street sides.
The club was initially named The Depot because it was originally a Greyhound bus station. Built in 1937 as a Greyhound bus station, the building was noted for its art deco style and amenities of air conditioning, shower rooms, and public telephones. The floor inside was a checkered terrazzo, while the sidewalk was made of shiny blue bricks with white trim. The club got its start when the twenty-five year old owner, Allan Fingerhut opened the doors for the very first time on April 3, 1970 to showcase a two set evening with Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen. In July of 1972, during the height of disco music, the venue was renamed Uncle Sam's and was part of a national franchise of the American Events Company. Along with Allan Fingerhut, Steve McClellan, Dan Lessard and Jack Meyers, the club's financial manager, took control in 1979, shortening the club's name to Sam's. With progressive rock making way of disco, the club was changed to First Avenue on New Years Eve in 1981. 
The name change to First Avenue did not affect the club's growing popularity. During the 80's time period the local artist Prince (musician) helped put this place on the forefront of music venues in Minneapolis. Prince made First Avenue his main stage for performances, the place for him to try out new material, and for the set of many scenes in his movie Purple Rain. Already mentioned in Newsweek in 1986, when the club turned the ripe age of twenty in the 90's it started to get national recognition with mentions in magazines like the Rolling Stone and Time. Around this time there was an increased interest in DJ house music and the VIP lounge was unveiled.
The club was shut down by then owner Allan Fingerhut in the late fall of 2004 for financial reasons, causing protest from music fans in Minnesota and elsewhere. The issues were quickly resolved (even the judge presiding in the bankruptcy case noted, "I gather there is some urgency about this"), and the club was reopened by owners Meyers, McClellan, and long time business manager Byron Frank, resuming shows after only one week. Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak promised to do a stage dive at the first show after reopening, but ended up dropping the idea when he discovered that the show would feature the heavy metal band GWAR. Rybak had previously crowd surfed at a "Rock for Democracy" event earlier in the year.
McClellan ended his 32 year stint at First Avenue in 2005 and formed the non-profit Diverse Emerging Music Organization. He still serves as an outside consultant to the venue. After McLellan's departure from the veunue as the General Manager, Jack Meyers was appointed the position and would continue to be the General Manager until 2009 when Nathan Kranz took over.
The nightclub has been the starting point for virtually every single band to come out of the Twin Cities, including The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Prince, Soul Asylum, Semisonic, American Head Charge, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Dillinger Four, Dosh, The Jayhawks, Curtiss A, and many others. Bands and artists have performed at the nightclub and influenced the Minneapolis music scene from 1970 onward, as exemplified by the silver stars that adorn the black building's exterior (every star has the name of an artist who has played at First Avenue or 7th Street Entry). First Avenue also appeared in Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain. U2 wrote part of October at First Avenue during sound check. Grammy Award winning Alt-Country star Lucinda Williams was married on stage following her performance at First Avenue in 2009. 
The 7th Street Entry is a smaller venue (capacity 250) attached to the side of the historic First Avenue (capacity 1500) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This space was once used as a restaurant area in the bus station as well as a coat room before it became the music venue that is known today as "The Entry" among the locals.  Formally the Greyhound Cafe, "The Entry" opened its door in March of 1980 under the club Sam's as a venue that catered to more local bands.  The 7th Street Entry is a venue where smaller and lesser known bands will play (more popular bands play the First Avenue mainroom). Several recordings have been recorded live at the Entry, including Hüsker Dü's first album Land Speed Record, the song "Cables" on Big Black's Atomizer album, Rifle Sport's live album Live at the Entry, Dead at the Exit, and Motion City Soundtrack's Commit This to Memory live DVD.
In November of 2005 First Avenue released its first ever compilation CD celebrating 35 years of history. The 16 track CD, Bootlegs Volume 1, is a compilation of songs all recorded in First Avenue’s Mainroom or at 7th Street Entry. Most of the songs on the CD were “bootlegged” thus forming the title of the CD. . Bootlegs was produced by Karrie Vrabel with the liner notes being written by Steve McLellan. . All the proceeds of the CD go to McLellan’s non-profit organization DEMO, Diverse Emerging Music Organization. . The goals of his organization are "to support musicians while promoting gender equity, diversity of music style and genre, diversity of musicians from local communities, careers in all stages of establishment, and the staging of performances with high production value." 
In addition to producing a CD, First Avenue and 7th Street Entry published a promotional book in 2000 called First Avenue & 7th Street Entry : Your Downtown Danceteria Since 1970. The book was written, edited and designed by Rebecca Noran and contains information on the history of the club.  Furthermore, the club also published a magazine titled In House Magazine for a brief time in 2001.
It is also home to F1RST Wrestling. A local professional wrestling company currently owned by professional wrestler Arik Cannon. It showcases Minnesota's top professional wrestling talent and brings some bigger names in as well including Sean Waltman, Jerry Lynn, Tyler Black, Mike Quakenbush and others.