'Fabulous Ice Age' celebrates history of ice shows

Roy Blakey
Roy Blakey with some of his archive items. His life as a skater was the inspiration for a new documentary, "The Fabulous Ice Age," directed by his niece Keri Pickett. It will premiere this weekend at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.
Photo by Keri Pickett

"The Fabulous Ice Age," a documentary that chronicles the heyday of touring ice skating shows like the Ice Follies and Ice Capades, is premiering this weekend at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

The film highlights the history of this frozen form of entertainment -- which led to the World Champion and Disney-driven events we see today -- which took off in the U.S. and internationally from origins in the Twin Cities.

Roy Blakey is a man who was there almost at the start. Blakey skated professionally for 15 years, in the Holiday on Ice shows that toured internationally. He was the inspiration for "The Fabulous Ice Age," which was directed by his niece, Keri Pickett.

Blakey, now 82, has also amassed the largest collection of theatrical ice skating memorabilia in the world. The collection is housed in Minneapolis at The Icestage Archive, and is also featured in the film.

The film premieres Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

Blakey spoke with MPR's Steven John about the film and about his experiences in the ice shows.

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