Albert E. Marten

Theatrical and entertainment attorney

Albert E. Marten, theatrical and entertainment attorney who repped many notables and had a hand in developing motion picture completion bonding, died Sunday March 31 in Virginia Beach, Va. He was 80.

Early on, he became a prominent theatrical and entertainment attorney, representing such clients as film star Errol Flynn, author Harold Robbins, producer Edward R. Pressman and Allied Artists Distribution Co.

After World War II, he evolved the concept of motion picture completion bonding for the U.S. film industry, arranged financing for more than 150 feature films such as “Panic Button,” starring Maurice Chevalier, Jayne Mansfield, Mike Conners, Eleanor Parker and Akim Tamaroff), TV series (“Wild Bill Hickock” starring Guy Madison and Andy Devine) and Broadway productions (such as Peter Ustinov’s “Love of Four Colonels”); his fondest credit was having arranged the sale and distribution of Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” a film often cited as the worst film ever made and now a camp classic.

New Yorker earned his undergraduate degree from City College of New York, his master’s degree in social psychology from Columbia and his law degree from New York Law School.

He served in the U. S. Army during World War II, retiring as a captain in the Army Reserves in Intelligence. He was active in New York politics as a leader of the Fair Deal Democrats.

In addition to his entertainment career, he was involved diverse fields, including real estate development, oil and gas exploration, and international banking and finance.

Moving to Virginia in the early 1980s, he was a catalyst for the fledging Virginia film industry as founder and chairman of Atlantic Film Studios in Suffolk, Va., that state’s first full-service motion picture production facility, which was inaugurated in 1988.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, author Jacqueline Marten; four sons; and four grandchildren.

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