The sun is setting on Don Stolz's ownership of the Old Log Theater.
The deal that had been percolating for a couple of years is nearing completion. The Stolz family announced Friday that it had signed a purchase agreeement with Excelsior Entertainment, LLC, which is headed by software developer Greg Frankenfield and his wife, Marissa.
Don Stolz started as an actor at the Old Log in 1941 and bought the theater five years later. At 95, he has continued to direct shows and keep tabs on the daily operations. His sons have also spent most of their working lives at the Old Log.
"This theater has given our family and the community great joy...but we finally came to the conclusion that it's time to pass the torch on to a new generation of leadership," said Don Stolz in a statement released by the theater.
Frankenfield got interested in the Old Log two years ago. He previously had signed a purchase agreement to take over Chanhassen Dinner Theatre but that deal fell apart. Frankenfield always has indicated he intends to keep the theater running in its current building, which is undergoing rehabilitation.
"Our only interest has ever been to ensure that the Old Log remains a vibrant regional and artistic community asset," Frankenfield said in the Old Log's statement.
The Old Log, located on 10 acres near Lake Minnetonka in Greenwood, is one of the oldest theaters in the country. The 600-seat theater building includes a restaurant.
Frankenfield is cofounder and CEO of Magenic Technologies. He and Marissa are theater enthusiasts who have supported Mu Performing Arts and Mixed Blood Theatre among others. He has also invested in a London production of "Lend Me a Tenor" and in the Broadway staging of "Peter and the Starcatcher."