Industry vet was senior VP at Magnolia Pictures

Veteran distribution exec Jay Peckos, who most recently served as senior VP of distribution at Magnolia Pictures, died May 24 in Los Angeles. He was 58.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Landmark Theaters, 10850 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.

Born in Boston, Peckos started his career in 1972 as a film buyer in Boston with General Cinema Theaters before joining Columbia Pictures in 1975. He went on to become a branch manager for Columbia and then Warner Bros. In 1984, he was recruited by MGM. During his tenure as senior VP of Sales he oversaw the releases of “Rainman,” “A Fish Called Wanda” and “Moonstruck.”

He stayed with the company until he joined Orion Pictures in 1991 and there, as senior VP/co-general sales manager, Peckos guided the releases of films including “Silence of the Lambs” and “Dances With Wolves.”

“Jay was a distribution executive who passionately loved movies and a guy who would do all he could to help a friend,” said Bob Berney, president of Picturehouse. “He hired me at Orion Pictures when I really needed a break and I will always be grateful to him.”

After Orion shuttered in 1997, Peckos went on to hold positions at Trimark, Lions Gate and Landmark Theaters.

Landmark CEO Ted Mundorff added, “I will miss discussing movies, business and books with Jay. He was a great teacher.”

Joining Magnolia in 2004, Peckos worked on the distribution of the Academy Award-nominated documentaries “Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room” and “Capturing the Friedmans” as well as indies such as Steven Soderbergh’s “Bubble.”

He is survived by three daughters and sisters MJ, a distribution exec, Patty and Betty.

Inquiries about donations to the college fund for Peckos’s daughters may be made by emailing mjpeckos@sbcglobal.net.

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