Career included exhibition, sales, production

Veteran international film distribution exec Sandy Cobe died Feb. 20 in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 79.

Cobe’s varied film career included work in exhibition, international sales, and production. Active in the development of the independent film industry, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Film Marketing Association (now, Independent Film & Television Alliance).

Born in New York, Cobe was the son of cinematographer Mark Cobe. He followed his father behind the camera, becoming a photographer for the New York Daily News and later a news cameraman for local New York City TV stations. He then served as a combat photographer during the Korean War and was wounded in action.

Cobe earned his B.A. from Tulane U and returned to New York, where he managed movie theatres in the Bronx and worked as a producer at Artmark Pictures. Moving into distribution, he became executive VP, distribution for first New York General Studios and then First Cinema Releasing Corporation.

In the late 1960s he started his own company, Sandy Cobe Productions which both produced feature films and packaged European films for U.S. theatrical and television release. In 1974 he became president of Intercontinental Releasing Corp., later becoming chairman and CEO. He remained with the company until his retirement in 1994. During these years, his producing credits included “Open House,” “Terminal Entry” and “Terror Tour.”

Cobe is survived by his wife, Sharyon, and two daughters, Donna Cobe, an entertainment attorney and Lori Cobe-Ross, a casting director.

Donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans, Gift Processing, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.

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