Michael Rothbard, IMAC co-founder, dead at 63
Michael Rothbard, a former child psychologist who became one of
Long Island's leading music impresarios, died yesterday morning at Huntington
Rothbard was co-founder with
his partner, Kathie Bodily, of the
In a 1995 interview
with Newsday, Rothbard explained why IMAC, which
moved around the
His career was a long winding road, starting with a stint as a psychologist working with troubled kids in Manhattan, where he met Bodily, then a dental assistant. Their first arts collaboration was a 1970 multimedia festival at Hofstra University.
A grant from the New York State Council for
the Arts gave IMAC its start in 1974 as a video production studio in Halesite. Rothbard and Bodily
soon moved to Bayville,
where IMAC's first live concerts were presented. When
the couple returned to
The 600-seat nonprofit
center survived, if never quite thriving financially,
and even managed to improve the physical conditions of its near-derelict
interior. But rising costs, diminishing public financing and the emergence of
other performing arts centers across the
Bob Stanford, co-owner
of Soundtraks Limited, a CD and DVD shop two doors
from IMAC, said Friday, "Michael was an integral part of
"Ours was a beautiful and unusual partnership," Bodily said. "This was what we were destined to do."
In addition to Bodily, whom he called his "perfect mate," Rothbard is survived by his sister, Lynn Carr, and niece, Melody. Services are planned for Monday; details will be posted on imactheater.org.