Andre Blay, a home video pioneer who founded the Magnetic Video Corporation in 1969 and ten years later became the first president and CEO of Twentieth Century Home Video, died August 24 in Bonita Springs, Florida. His death was announced by his son Robert.
Blay co-founded Stereodyne Inc. in 1966, an eight-track and cassette duplication company, according to his biography with Central Michigan University’s College of Business Administration. Three years later he founded Magnetic, which, according to the alumni bio, was the first marketer of prerecorded videocassettes. In 1979, he sold Magnetic to Twentieth Century Fox and was named president and CEO of Twentieth Century Home Video.
From 1982 to 1986, he was chairman and CEO of Embassy Home Entertainment, then formed Palisades Entertainment Group. At Embassy, Blay greenlighted films including Hope and Glory and Sid and Nancy. He was an executive producer on 1987’s Prince of Darkness and 1988’s The Blob, among others.
Among Blay’s many awards and honors were induction into the Video Hall of Fame and Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and MSU Business Alumni of Year. He was the author of the memoir Pre-Recorded History.
His family said that, in retirement, Blay shared his “passionate business spirit” by speaking to MSU M.B.A. students, UCLA law students, Central Michigan University Business School, High Point University entrepreneur students, and Florida Gulf Coast University students.
Blay is survived by Nancy, his wife of 60 years, son Robert, daughter Cynthia and other family.