Blay and Kastner Acquire Cinema Group Home Video

Times Staff Writer

Andre A. Blay, a pioneer in the home video industry who most recently headed Embassy Home Entertainment, said Tuesday that he and and film producer Elliott Kastner have acquired 60% of Cinema Group’s film distribution and home video operation for undisclosed terms.

The purpose of the investment, Blay said, is “to build it into a small studio.” He added, however, that he and Kastner are not acquiring the 10-year-old company’s film investment activities or theaters.

Kastner, a former agent, is credited by the Motion Picture Almanac with financing and personally producing 23 movies in nine years. He was a co-producer on such films as “The Missouri Breaks,” “Equus,” “The Big Sleep” and “Garbo Talks.”

Blay left Embassy Home Entertainment last year after the company was sold by Coca-Cola to Nelson Entertainment Inc., and following the settlement of Blay’s lawsuit against Coca-Cola concerning his own bid for the unit.


Blay was the founder of Magnetic Video, the first video production company to license, market and distribute major motion pictures on videocassettes. His company was acquired in 1979 by 20th Century Fox, where he continued to head the operation until 1981.