Longtime owner of Old Log Theater appears poised to sell venue


The owner of the oldest professional theater company in Minnesota appears to be ready to sell the venue after 67 years of operation, the Star Tribune reports.

Old Log Theater owner Don Stoltz said Wednesday that he and his sons are considering an offer from one of four potential buyers for the Excelsior venue, the paper says.

Stoltz, 95, began work at the theater in 1941 and purchased it in 1946. The Old Log, which includes a restaurant, sits on 11 acres near Lake Minnetonka.

Nick Nolte, Loni Anderson and Steve Zahn are among the notable actors to have played the Old Log Stage early in their careers. The space has also featured plays starring such local personalities as WCCO-TV's Dave Moore, Allan Lotsberg and Bill Carlson, as well as Carlson's wife, Nancy Nelson, who starred in shows opposite Nolte.

Although Stoltz wouldn't disclose whose offer he's considering out of fairness to the other buyers, the Star Tribune says people close to the deal that Twin Cities software developer Greg Frankenfield has the inside track.

The Star Tribune says that Frankenfield has indicated that he'd like the Old Log to continue operating as a theater.

Frankenfield, the CEO of St. Louis Park-based Magenic, is described by the Star Tribune as a "theater enthusiast" who has served on the board of the Mixed Blood Theater. He reportedly made an unsuccessful bid to buy the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in 2009.

The Old Log is closing its run of "Mahalia" this Sunday, and the theater will undergo renovations for a month before opening for its next production.

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