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Magician celebrates time in Hot Springs

Blade hits 25 years,has no plans to stop by TANNER NEWTON THE SENTINEL-RECORD | August 23, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

HOT SPRINGS — Twenty-five years ago last Wednesday, magician Maxwell Blade first performed at the Mal-co Theatre in Hot Springs, where he continues to entertain today with more plans to expand. “It’s been incredible, it’s been a challenge, it’s been rewarding,” Blade said on reaching the anniversary.

Blade said he started his act as a traveling show in 1994.

“We were on the road for a lot of time before deciding to get off the road,” he said.

The cast of the show had gotten so large that Blade said they decided “we wanted our own theater somewhere in the United States.” After looking at around 10 different cities around the country, Blade said he picked Hot Springs.

“We felt like Hot Springs could use another theater,” Blade said, and it was “a perfect fit for us at that time.” “We took a gamble and it worked out,” Blade said. Having grown up in Fort Smith, Blade said he likes that his family members live in the state.

When asked why he has stayed for so long, Blade said, “we love Hot Springs, the people here plus lots of tourists.” He said they have had opportunities to leave and he could have taken his show to Las Vegas, but decided to stay in Hot Springs.

Blade, who has three daughters, noted he has also stayed in town because he is raising a family here.

“I love the city and I love what I do,” he said.

After moving to Hot Springs in 1995, Blade renovated and began performing at the Malco Theatre in August 1996. After regaining control of the historic movie theater and 14 months of renovation, Blade reopened at the Malco in 2017, the newspaper reported in December of that year.

Blade said he gives 10% of the money he makes from merchandise sold at the Malco to Jackson House to be used specifically to help the homeless.

“In our backyards and city streets, we find people we know, people we never dreamed could end up in such a cold place in life. Yet it happens much more than I think we wish to acknowledge. My passion for the homeless runs deep. I am so blessed. To be able to help a human being have a meal is huge,” Blade said.

Janie Smith, director of Jackson House accepted the donation. Smith said Jackson House relies on donations to continue to help those in need in the community.

“We depend on our community,” she said.

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