Columbia Night at the Movies

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Columbia Night at the Movies (originally called Embassy Night at the Movies) was a television movie package program that aired in syndication with movies from Columbia Pictures and Embassy Films Associates, and later TriStar Pictures and New Line Cinema.

Embassy Night at the Movies

Logo (1983-1988)

Visuals: The 1982 Embassy Television logo plays, but freezes before the text can show up. Right after, the logo zooms out to reveal a filmstrip on a cloudy sky background as the filmstrip, which is at the bottom-left of the screen, then goes up to the top-right. The filmstrip also carries the words "EMBASSY", "NIGHT", "AT THE" and "MOVIES", all stacked on top of each other. As the filmstrip finishes going up, the cloudy sky turns into a black background with some light shining on the floor, which has a red grid texture on it. The filmstrip now creates a circle from left to right, and now shows a bunch of still photos of the starring actors from the movie that is about to air appears. After the announcer finishes mentioning the actors, the filmstrip switches to other stills from the movie as the movie's logo appears in the top then positions itself in the center.

Technique: CGI, with a live-action, time-lapsed cloud background.

Audio: A big triumphant fanfare plays throughout the entire logo as Chuck Riley says "Tonight, Embassy Night at the Movies presents the commercial television premiere of *movie title*. Starring *more than one or just one featuring actor*. Tonight's feature presentation of *movie title* will begin in a moment." Starting in 1983, a different, energetic rock tune plays; this tune would be used for the next logo.

Availability: Seen on syndicated prints of Columbia and Embassy movies at the time, like Carnal Knowledge, An Eye for an Eye, Zapped! and Fright Night.

Columbia Night at the Movies

Logo (1988-1994?)

Visuals: The opening starts with the 1981 Columbia Pictures logo. A bright flash then emits from the torch, and gives the Torch Lady a neon blue aura, complete with a neon gold Sunburst, and the background changes to the front of a city skyscraper on top of what appears to be the roof of a theater. The screen then zooms out from the Torch Lady, and there is a marquee with neon red edging lights on top, bottom and sides (the lights on the sides are pulsating), and flowing lights below the neon on top, and above the neon on bottom. As the camera moves down from the Torch Lady, six gold stars scroll by on the marquee from right to left, and then "Columbia" (in its trademark Souvenir font) scrolls in from the right and stops in the middle of the marquee. Below, as the camera moves further down, "Night at the", in red and the Souvenir font, appears on a lined whiteboard that lights up. "Movies" is in neon blue-green in an unknown font, in letters that light up one-by-one. Those two parts are bracketed by two tall neon red lights on the sides, with a thin gold neon squiggly line above. Still further down, the word "Presents" is in another unknown font, this one being neon green; pulsating arrow-shaped lights come from each side of it; it has a thick gold neon squiggly line below. Finally, below all the lights is a moving filmstrip bracketed by a neon red line and flowing lights above, and a blue triangular neon light setup below, bracketed by more neon and flowing lights. The filmstrip has the name of the film in a generic font on a dark blue background in one of its frames, and what seems to be scenes from the feature (or scenes from other Columbia Pictures films) on the others. The filmstrip then zooms out to the top of the screen (with the name of the film on another whiteboard below).

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The tune used on Embassy Night at the Movies from 1983-1988, but with another announcer, John Leader. His opening announcement is the following: "Tonight, Columbia Night at the Movies presents the world television premiere of *name of the film being presented, as well the stars, and a short description of plot*." When the filmstrip zooms out, Leader says "Our presentation of *name of the film* will begin in a moment." Don LaFontaine would also be the announcer for certain films airing at the time.

Availability: Seen on syndicated prints of Columbia films and selected Tri-Star and New Line Cinema films.

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