Gold Key Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Gold Key Entertainment was a television distribution company founded in 1970 by Harold Goldman. In 1971, Gold Key merged with the Vidtronics Company, a subsidiary of the Technicolor Corporation. On January 10, 1980, Gold Key Entertainment established Gold Key Media, a barter division to syndicate new series. In 1983, Technicolor was bought by financier Ronald Perelman's company, MacAndrews & Forbes, and Vidtronics was subsequently sold to Compact Video (which was later itself acquired by Perelman). On February 13, 1984, Four Star International acquired Gold Key Entertainment. After Compact shut down, its remaining holdings (which also included Four Star International) were folded into Perelman's Andrews Group, and eventually became part of New World Entertainment when Perelman acquired that company in 1989. Some of its library, meanwhile, was sold off to other companies; for example, its Wald-Krasna pictures, including Clash by Night, were reacquired by RKO Pictures in the late '80s and are currently part of the Warner Bros. Entertainment library.

1st Logo (1971-1980)

Visuals: On a red background, a white pole drops down from the top of the screen, then rotating 90 degrees to the left to reveal a ornate key design. The key then fades to a real golden key and then the following text fades in front of it:



All of it is in the Century Gothic font and has a black drop shadow.


  • Early releases refer the byline to as "A DIVISION OF VIDTRONICS, INC."
  • At the end of productions, the text is bolder, "Released by" is added above, and the byline now read "A DIVISION OF THE VIDTRONICS CO., INC.", which is also set lower.

Technique: A mix of camera-controlled cel and live-action.

Audio: A bombastic fanfare, sourced from the KPM library track "Fanfare (1)" composed by Neil Richardson and released on the 1970 album Scenesetters, Fanfares, and Punctuations (catalog number KPM 1057).

Audio Variants: A low-tone version exists. On at least one movie print, the first few seconds of the opening credits' music is heard instead of the fanfare (as seen on a November 17, 1984 CBN airing of "Susan Slept Here").

Availability: This appeared on '70s/'80s syndication prints of the King Features cartoon library, the syndicated Krofft Superstars (featuring H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos, Land of the Lost, and other Sid & Marty Krofft series), and various theatrical and TV movies. This currently appears on the Rhino DVD and public domain prints of Road to Nashville. An abridged version of the closing variant appears at the start of the VCI release of Once Upon a Brothers Grimm.

2nd Logo (April 1980-1983)

Visuals: On a black background, a different golden key from before, with a molded ornate design on the bow and a cross cut out of the bit, spins towards the camera counter-clockwise as a ping of light appears on the stem. It then stops while taking up a good portion of space as another ping appears on the stem, as well as on the opposite end. The logo then zooms out as the following text fades in below it, with the key shrinking to the upper center of the screen:


All of it is in a Bauhaus-esque font, with "GOLD KEY" having a beveled look to it. 3 sparkles appear across "GOLD KEY" (on the G, D, and Y, respectively), another one runs across "ENTERTAINMENT", and then a final sparkle appears on the key's stem once more.

Technique: A mix of live-action and motion-controlled computer effects.

Audio: A triumphant horn/drums fanfare - an edit of the 1978 Bruton Music track "Endeavour," composed by John A. Coleman. This edit was likely sourced from the LP Jingles Volume One, catalog number BRB 1, though it does appear on several different Bruton releases.

Availability: This appeared on various theatrical and TV movies, including The Mysterians, Latitude Zero, and The War in Space. This is still preserved (off centered) on the DVD print of Getting Wasted, starring David Caruso.

Legacy: It's a favorite due to the music, which itself is notable for being used in the first ITC Film Distributors logo.

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