A final goodbye to Dayton's;hello, ice cream

  • Article by: BARBARA FLANAGAN
  • Updated: August 6, 2006 - 8:38 PM

The Flanagan Memo -- RE: Ice cream -- again (well, it IS summer); plus, looking at the renewed Shubert Theater; and how about those Twins!

The Flanagan Memo -- RE: Ice cream -- again (well, it IS summer); plus, looking at the renewed Shubert Theater; and how about those Twins!

Making it Macy's

First of all, though, think Dayton's aka Marshall Field's. This is our great department store's final historic month before it becomes Macy's.

In Chicago, where Marshall Field's has reigned for 154 years, more than 59,000 people (including some Minnesotans) protested the name change on a petition.

For the record, let's hope the Oak Grill, the excellent and nostalgic Dayton's restaurant on the 12th floor in downtown Minneapolis, remains -- with its popovers intact.

To make a splash, Macy's might consider sponsoring something major here such as its Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Pick another day and surprise us.

Shubert stories

Waiting in the wings, so to speak, is the Shubert Theater on Hennepin Avenue. I've been holding my breath for it to reopen in its new location.

"We are closer to having all of the money," Kim Motes, director of the Minnesota Shubert Center, said of the group's fundraising efforts.

The Legislature awarded the renovation project $11 million, bringing the amount raised to about $25 million. They need a total of $37 million, and Blythe Brenden will solicit private donors for the rest.

Brenden is perfect for the part because she is "related" to the Shubert -- her grandfather, the late Ted Mann, once owned the 1910 building.

The other Minneapolitan closely tied to the Shubert is Betty Albrecht, who now lives most of the year in Naples, Fla. She is the younger sister of the late Marie Gale, who was the star-of-stars in the 1920s and '30s when her late husband, A.G. (Buzz) Bainbridge, operated a dandy theater company in the Shubert. Bainbridge, who later became mayor of Minneapolis, produced stage plays there until it became a vaudeville house named the Alvin. After that -- what else? -- burlesque.

In 1957, Mann redid the theater, renamed it the Academy and staged the Midwest premiere of Mike Todd's Oscar-winning movie, "Around the World in 80 Days." Todd, born in Minneapolis and a newsboy on Hennepin Avenue in his youth, came to town with his son Mike Jr., but his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, didn't come, sad to say.

The Shubert had another curious moment. Mann at one point leased it to evangelists Sister Fern and the Rev. Russell Olson. On the Sunday of the temple's grand opening, I was backstage with Mann, sort of holding his hand. The reason? The evangelists wanted to thank him -- with a prayer. That had never happened to Mann before, and he was nervous. May I report that it was a nice gesture.

Look for the Shubert to reopen as the dance center of the Upper Midwest in autumn 2008.

Oooh, ice cream

Since "we all scream for ice cream" and since I brought it up, I have been deluged with notes about two topics: licorice ice cream and the honest-to-goodness chocolate soda.

Sebastian Joe's, with three locations in Minneapolis, makes a white licorice ice cream they dote on.

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