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#TBT Arnie Malina, founder and first Board President

Arnie Malina, longtime director of The Myrna Loy (Helena), was one of the founders of MPAC in 1981 and when MPAC received it's 501(C)3 status he became the first board President. Krys Holmes, current director of the Myrna Loy, described him as "instrumental in creating MPAC as a cooperative organization for Montana presenters to block-book and share resources." And indeed, even before MPAC officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization it saved Montana presenters over $100K in performance fees through block-booking and organized tours to bring in artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, the Chinese Magic Circus, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet!

Arnie Malina grew up in New York and moved to Montana in the 70's while finishing a doctorate in English Literature and Renaissance Drama. In 1976 Arnie started Second Story Cinema to bring the art of independent film to the city of Helena. Soon after, the venue also became a home for local community arts projects, live music and theater events, and other "eclectic" cultural offerings. Arnie described the enterprise as an "intellectual adventure" in a 1997 radio interview. In the 90's, the Lewis and Clark County Jail closed and, with an astounding amount of community support, Second Story Cinema renovated the jailhouse into The Myrna Loy Center, named after Montana's "first lady of film." In 1997, Arnie moved to Burlington, Vermont and became the Artistic Director of The Flynn Theater.


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