Seymour Borde, longtime theatrical distribution executive, died Saturday of natural causes in Palm Springs. He was 88.

A Chicago native and semi-pro baseball player, Borde began his career as a booker for RKO in the Midwest territory when he was offered a job by the studio if he would agree to play baseball for the company team.

He subsequently worked for the Walt Disney Co. and J. Arthur Rank. Following his relocation to Los Angeles, Borde started one of the first independent theatrical distribution companies, Seymour Borde and Associates.

The company, which proved to be one of the more successful sub-distribution companies on the West Coast, represented independent and studio product for the 13 Western states including MGM and Avco Embassy.

In 1979, Borde began to exec produce films with partner Dan Sonney and Borde’s producer-distributor son Mark. Following a 60-year career, Borde retired in 1990.

In addition to his son, Borde is survived by his wife, Jeanne and four other children.

Services were held Wednesday at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Burbank. Family suggests donations in Borde’s name be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Los Angeles, or the City of Hope.

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