Nelson Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Nelson Entertainment (also known as "Nelson Films, Inc.") was an American subsidiary of Nelson Holdings International, Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that was formed on August 15, 1987 from what was formerly known as "Embassy Home Entertainment" after The Coca-Cola Company, then parent-company of Columbia Pictures sold Embassy Home Entertainment in 1986 for $85 million to Nelson, owned by producer Barry Spikings and British retailer Richard Northcott. It was a film and home media company which acquired film production company Galactic Films in 1985. It forged a deal with Coca-Cola for Columbia and Nelson to co-finance four films a year for three years (Orion Pictures also released Nelson films such as Prancer, the Bill & Ted films and co-distributed the 1990 film version of Hamlet with Warner Bros. Pictures, with Carolco Pictures handling foreign sales for that movie.). Orion Home Video distributed some of Nelson's library on video, beginning in late 1989/early 1990.

In 1991, Nelson made a distribution deal with New Line Cinema and their films, as well as those by Embassy Films Associates and De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, were released by New Line Home Video (whose releases were distributed by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video at the time), and released their catalog and some others (as well as a few Warner Bros. films) on S-VHS, becoming one of the format's few pre-recorded distributors. On December 9, New Line acquired Nelson (which by then was renamed "Sultan Entertainment") and Nelson was later folded.

The Nelson catalog, including television rights to some New Line features of the period, was sold to Crédit Lyonnais Bank, to be incorporated into the Alpha library of Epic Productions, and later to PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. As for Nelson Holdings International, it was renamed to "JPY Holdings" in 1994. In 1998, Seagram and Sons acquired PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and in January 1999, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired the pre-March 31, 1996 PolyGram library (including all of PolyGram's back library) from Universal Studios for $250 million and the library was merged into the library of MGM's then-recently acquired Orion Pictures unit (as mentioned above, Orion released select films produced by Nelson). Currently, most of the Nelson films are owned by MGM, although as of 2016, television rights to some films are owned by Paramount Pictures due to a previous deal Nelson made with Viacom.

Logo (August 19, 1987-October 11, 1991)

Visuals: On a black background, a tall monument is seen inside a rectangle, all in white shadows. Slowly, everything turns in color; the background turns blue, the monument becomes a greenish-white, and the background in the rectangle turns into a time-lapse video of clouds moving. "N E L S O N" appears on top and "E N T E R T A I N M E N T" appears on the bottom, both in gold, and they shine.

Trivia: The monument is Nelson's Column, located at Trafalgar Square, Central London to commemorate the victory and subsequent death of Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.


  • At the end of Hamlet (1990), the print logo is seen. Here, the text "F I L M S" is used in the place of "E N T E R T A I N M E N T".
  • Texasville has a shortened version of this logo, fading in right before the company name fades in.

Technique: Live-action and 2D animation.

Audio: On some early video releases, a series of rising synthesized tremolo violin notes; during the last two, some fast synth-drums are heard. In most other cases, it used the opening theme of the film or was silent.

Availability: It can be found on some films and home media releases by the company between 1987 to 1991, but not all of them.

  • The most common releases with this logo were the 1988 American VHS release of The Princess Bride (plastering the 1981 20th Century Fox logo at the beginning and later appearing at the end; most subsequent video releases have an MGM logo, while television/streaming prints, as well as the 1998 MGM Family Entertainment VHS, preserve the original Fox logo), the 1991 New Line Home Video (distributed by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video) VHS release of Misery, and some older foreign releases of City Slickers (such as the 1992 British VHS from First Independent Films).
  • Also seen on Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (video/streaming prints have the MGM logo before it; late-2000s syndicated TV prints have it after the 2003 Paramount Pictures logo and the 1982 Orion Pictures logo), Winter People, Eve of Destruction, Prancer, and The Taking of Beverly Hills.
  • Some old TV prints of The Sure Thing feature this logo at the beginning and end of the film, and also makes a surprise appearance on the film's 1998 PolyGram Video VHS release (likely since they sourced it from a previous Nelson release).
  • This logo is not seen on Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, The Favor, There Goes My Baby (the latter two films released in 1994 due to Orion's bankruptcy) or recent prints of Castle Rock Entertainment films that Nelson co-produced.
  • On reprints of Embassy Films Associates catalog titles such as Hans Christian Andersen, the original Embassy Home Entertainment logo will be used instead.
  • This is also present on ThisTV's print of Cohen and Tate, preceded by the 2001 MGM logo.
Embassy Home Entertainment
Nelson Entertainment
New Line Home Entertainment