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IMAC closing…for now? July 3, 2009

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, Theatre.
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IMACMarquee
An exterior shot of IMAC that I took in July 2006 following a David Benoit concert.

I’m late in posting this, but here goes.  The IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) is leaving its location of 26 years in Huntington, New York.  IMAC’s future is unknown, but as a semi-regular there for four years, I hope very much that it is reborn at another address.  We’ll see.

IMAC executive director Michael Rothbard released this statement:

IMAC leaves the Huntington Theater

First, Kathie, our staff, Cleo and I want to thank the many patrons who have enjoyed so many of their favorite artists at the IMAC Theater over the years.

An old, decaying building with too many flaws to continue to manage, exponentially raising costs and declining support have brought us to the conclusion that it is time to move out of the building that have been renting for 26 years and pursue a new mission.

IMAC has been a pioneering organization since its inception 36 years ago when we became one of the 13 original Media Art Centers. Our mission was to establish a professional video production facility to serve Artists, non-profit organizations and independent producers from Long Island in an attempt to facilitate a whole new range of television productions that never existed before.

In 1983, IMAC was the first on Long Island to turn an abandoned theater into a non-profit performing arts center whose mission was to present a wide range of music not normally found on Long Island. In the last few years, a number of townships have revitalized their abandoned theater “eye-sores” into successful venues and a number of universities are regularly presenting programming echoing the IMAC model. Now the music and artists that we first brought to Long Island can be found at many of the new venues and we feel we are not pioneering any longer.

IMAC has decided to broaden its mission and return to its pioneering roots in a number of ways. One of our new directions will involve using electronic media to better connect audiences with venues in ways that will help increase revenues to venues and connect patrons to venues in new and easy ways. Additionally, IMAC will be available for a wide variety of arts consulting projects.

Huntington has been revered as a cultural Mecca for well over two hundred years. It’s obvious that a world class town like Huntington, being the “Little Apple”, needs a world class theater. Toward that end IMAC and the Huntington Town Supervisor, Frank Petrone will explore the possibilities of bringing back a state of the art performing arts center to Huntington.

Please stay in touch. Visit our site from time to time to see what’s going on and feel free to email us at info@imactheater.org.

Musically yours,
Michael, Kathie, Cleo and the staff

Further reading:
Newsday: Influential music hall closes in Huntington
Newsday op-ed: IMAC’s closing marks the end of the mom-and-pop music hall era
Newsday column: What’s next for Inter-Media Art Center’s founders?
Long Island Press: Exit Stage Left
Times Beacon Record: Curtain down on a quarter century

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