Sidney P. Solow, the retired head of Consolidated Film Industries and an executive known in the industry for his willingness to help financially strapped young producers, has died of a heart attack in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Solow, 74, who died Wednesday, was a chemist who entered the film industry in 1932, two years after he graduated from New York University.
He joined Consolidated, one of the nation's largest film processors, in New Jersey and came to Los Angeles in 1936 as chief chemist.
In 1942 he was named general manager and in 1954, while maintaining his CFI affiliation, also was named a vice president of Republic Pictures. He became CFI president in 1964 and chairman of the executive committee in 1977. He retired in 1982.
Over the years he won many industry honors for his technical achievements in rapid film development, an important matter for an industry that requires overnight service on the previous day's work. He steered Consolidated into the forefront of processing film for television's first motion pictures.
Many of his clients in the early days were unable to immediately pay their bills and Solow was known as a "soft touch," said Charles Champlin, The Times' arts editor.
David Wolper, the veteran film producer who was in charge of the pageantry at last year's Los Angeles Olympic Games, recalled when Solow was responsible for helping him with a loan "some 25 or 30 years ago."
"The arrangement was that I would stay with his lab for two years," Wolper said. "I stayed for 30."
Most recently Solow had been a technical representative for Fuji Photo Film, U.S.A., while continuing to teach at USC.
He is survived by his wife, Davida, two sons, Gregory and Jeffrey, a daughter, Benida Solow Grant,and a granddaughter.