jump to navigation

Michael Rothbard passes away November 1, 2009

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, News, Pets, Theatre.

11/4 UPDATE: Michael’s dog Cleo passed away today.  IMAC’s statement is at the bottom of this post.

Early Friday evening, I had been alerted that Michael Rothbard, Executive Director of IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington, New York, had passed away in the morning.  It was a shocking, sudden, and sad loss.

The following was posted on the IMAC website:

Executive Director and guiding light Michael Rothbard passes away
Oct 30 2009

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of IMAC Theater’s Executive Director and guiding light Michael Rothbard.

*Service Information*
Please join us for a celebration of the life of Michael Rothbard on:
Monday November 2nd, 2009
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington (UUFH)
109 Browns Rd.
Huntington NY 11743

(631) 427-9547

Internment will follow immediately at Huntington Rural Cemetery
555 New York Ave
Huntington, NY 11743-4215

In lieu of flowers & gifts, Kathie [Bodily] wishes donations to be made:
The Michael Rothbard Young Musicians Scholarship
Checks  & money-orders made payable to:
32 Crescent Drive
Huntington, NY 11743

If you would like to pay your condolences to Kathie & the family, please feel free to stop by:
Tuesday November 3rd   2-4pm, 7-9pm
Wednesday November 4th  2-4pm, 7-9pm
Thursday November 5th  2-4pm, 7-9pm
32 Crescent Drive, Huntington, NY 11743

Michael Rothbard, co-founder of the Inter Media Art Center (IMAC) in 1974 with Kathie Bodily and a dynamic force in the cultural life of Long Island for the past 34 years, passed away suddenly this morning (Oct. 30th) at Huntington Hospital.

Born in Brooklyn in 1946, Michael was an independent video producer before pursuing his vision of establishing a space where artists in all media could create and showcase their work. This vision evolved from a small media access center in the basement of a home in Halesite to an abandoned movie theater on New York Avenue in Huntington Village that became the premiere concert venue on Long Island.

Before closing its doors this past June, IMAC had inspired many imitators, but none could reproduce the spirit that made IMAC so special. That spirit was Michael, whose enthusiasm, generosity, ingenuity and indomitable energy embraced IMAC’s crew, audience, performers and especially Kathie, his loving partner.

Michael is survived by his perfect mate, Kathie Bodily, Cleo, their Golden Retriever, his sister, Lynn Carr and his niece, Melody Carr.

I’ll miss Michael very much.  I know everyone else that knew him feels the same way.

11/4 UPDATE, also posted on IMAC website:

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
(Will Rogers)

On November 4th, 2009 beloved dog of Michael Rothbard and Kathie Bodily, Cleo, joined Michael in the loving embrace of the cosmos. She lived a full life, in her last days surrounded by family and friends- a joy to the end. She will rest in peace with Michael…faithful companions on a journey together.

1/26/11 UPDATE: If anyone reading this post knows where Kathie can be contacted, please pass that information along in the comment thread below.  Thank you.



1. Susan - November 4, 2009

Beloved dog Cleo died November 4th…so sad…www.imactheater.org

2. Mike Chimeri - November 4, 2009

Yes. I updated the post to include her.

3. Judy Glass - February 24, 2010

No longer living in Huntington, I did not know of Michael’s passing till February. I had had a long talk with him shortly before IMAC closed, and he was, as always, a source of knowledge, wisdom, and love – for the arts, his family, and all of the musicians and fans that came to IMAC. We met when he and Kathy opened the doors of IMAC and I was assigned to do an article about them for the New York Times, Long Island section. I knew they would be a major force in the cultural arts of Huntington, and they were. If Kathy is reading this, please know how sad this news makes me and how much I wish you all the best going forward. I hope that you find a way to continue the tradition of excellence you both invested so much in.
Judy Glass
Jersey City, NJ

4. Marc Gilman - January 21, 2011

I was an IMAC staffer in the 1990’s for about 5 years, and have very fond memories of Mike and Kathy, working hard at what they did but having fun all the way. I was shocked and saddened on New Years Eve when my friend Joe, also a former staffer, told me Mike had passed. Saddened even further to know that Cleo followed right behind Mike. Just like mans best friend. I know they are playing together all the time now. Mike – rest in peace, Kathy you have my deepest sympathies and my thoughts are with you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: