Prince’s Pais­ley Park to open, but only for some

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Prince’s closely-guarded stu­dio com­plex in Min­nesota has de­layed plans to wel­come le­gions of fans, with of­fi­cials grant­ing only tem­po­rary per­mits on three dates start­ing to­day. The late “Pur­ple Rain” star’s state-of-the-art stu­dio was set to open with tours this week, but lo­cal of­fi­cials in Chan­has­sen, a sub­urb of Min­neapo­lis, de­layed their ap­proval for turn­ing the com­plex into a mu­seum.

In a meet­ing that lasted more than three hours on Tues­day, some lo­cal res­i­dents said they were con­cerned that the es­ti­mated 600,000 fans ex­pected to visit the stu­dio-turned-mu­seum each year would cre­ate traf­fic jams and con­ges­tion in the town of 24,000. “That’s some­thing we need to talk about as a com­mu­nity: do we want to be a tourist town?” said Chan­has­sen City Coun­cil­woman Bethany Tjorn­hom. Mem­bers of the coun­cil asked the Bre­mer Trust, which con­trols Pais­ley Park on be­half of Prince’s es­tate, to come up with a more de­tailed plan for ad­dress­ing the im­pact of a ma­jor tourism draw.

The trust an­nounced a com­pro­mise with the coun­cil for fans who had been look­ing for­ward to en­ter­ing the com­plex this week. The stu­dio will now open on Thurs­day, Satur­day and the fol­low­ing Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 14. Ticket-hold­ers sched­uled for tours on dates up to Oc­to­ber 15 were en­cour­aged to come on the three avail­able days in­stead, or re­ceive a re­fund. “Pais­ley Park is also in dis­cus­sions with the Mall of Amer­ica to host an ex­hi­bi­tion of Prince ar­ti­facts and wardrobe, which we an­tic­i­pate open­ing by early next week. This ex­hi­bi­tion will be avail­able to all ticket hold­ers,” a state­ment said, re­fer­ring to the large shop­ping com­plex near Min­neapo­lis.

Prince’s stu­dio has held a myth­i­cal sta­tus for fans, who have had only lim­ited ac­cess to parts of it dur­ing the pop le­gend’s life. A lucky few hun­dred are said to have toured it. Prince died on April 21 from an over­dose of painkillers. He was 57.

‘Our gen­er­a­tion’s Grace­land’

The changes this week are sure to frus­trate fans who made travel ar­range­ments and bought $40 or $100 tick­ets for tours. “It’s our gen­er­a­tion’s Grace­land,” said fan Sab­rina Miller, 48, of Chicago, speak­ing of Elvis Pres­ley’s ex­pan­sive es­tate in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee. She plans on be­ing one of the lucky ones mak­ing it in­side Pais­ley Park. “For me, it will be a way for me to once again pay my re­spects to him,” she said. For Min­neapo­lis-area lo­cals, Pais­ley Park has also been the sub­ject of great spec­u­la­tion and folk­lore-among them, that Prince kept live doves in the atrium of the com­plex. At the De­pot, a Min­neapo­lis bar at­tached to the club where much of Prince’s famed “Pur­ple Rain” movie was filmed, bar­tender Steve Beavers had been look­ing for­ward to en­ter­ing the com­plex to learn if some of that folk­lore was true. Now, he’s not sure he will get in.

“Like with ev­ery­thing else it seems with Prince, ev­ery­thing is al­ways very ten­ta­tive,” he said. “That was part of his mys­tique.” The 55,000-square-foot (5,100-squareme­ter) com­plex will open one week be­fore fans de­scend on Prince’s Min­nesota home­town for a memo­rial tribute con­cert.


Prince’s star is seen on a wall out­side First Av­enue in down­town Min­neapo­lis, the club fea­tured in Prince’s famed ‘Pur­ple Rain’ film yes­ter­day.

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