Old Log Theater to be sold

Old Log Theater to be sold
Photo courtesy the Old Log Theater

The oldest professional theater in the Twin Cities area will soon be under new ownership for the first time in nearly 70 years.

Don Stolz began working at the Old Log in 1941, directing Ned McCobb's Daughter. He did the show as a favor to one of his teachers, figuring he would stay for just the one production. Instead, he made it his life. He purchased the business in 1946, and has been a constant presence there over the last 67 years.

The Stolz family will sell the business to Greg and Marissa Frankenfield. Frankenfield was part of the group that planned to purchase the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres several years ago before the deal fell through.

In the Old Log, the Frankenfields get a theater with more than 70 years of history, along with an attached dinning room and kitchen. Stolz and his family have found a purchaser that they hope will continue the theater's longstanding legacy.

Frankenfield has been an investor in Broadway and West End productions, including Lend Me a Tenor and Peter and the Starcatcher. He has also served on local theater boards, including Mixed Blood.

Stolz has directed hundreds of shows at the Old Log and elsewhere over the past 70-plus years. His sons have continued on in the family business, directing, acting, and running the house. The theater's contributions to the Twin Cities performing-arts community have been honored numerous times, and Stolz himself earned a lifetime Ivey Award in 2008. The 96-year-old could still be found every day at the theater, greeting patrons and giving the curtain speech before each performance.

The last show produced by the Stolzes was Mahalia, about gospel singer Mahalia Jackson that closed April 28. The theater is currently dark, but the new owners promise to announce the upcoming season shows soon.

Visit online for more information. 

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Old Log Theater

5185 Meadville St.
Excelsior, MN 55331


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