Astro Daters and Grindhouse Bumpers

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Background

This is a fan nickname given to probably the most well-known set of theatre snipes ever made, created by the National Screen Service in the late 1960s.

(1960s-1970s)

Bumper: On a multi-colored psychedelic screen, one of the following snipes appears from all sides and corners, merging at the center:

  • Our Feature Presentation
  • Prevues of Coming Attractions
  • Intermission
  • Coming Soon
  • Our Next Attraction
  • Starts Friday
  • Starts Saturday
  • Starts Sunday
  • Starts Monday
  • Starts Tuesday
  • Starts Wednesday
  • Starts Thursday
  • Friday Saturday
  • Friday Saturday Sunday
  • Saturday-Sunday Matinee
  • Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
  • Also
  • And
  • Also Selected Short Subjects
  • Late Show Friday & Saturday
  • Children's Matinee
  • No Smoking in This Theatre

Variants:

  • Sometimes, the snipes would demerge and return the way they came.
  • The merge is faster on some snipes.

Technique: Camera-controlled animation.

Music/Sounds: An abridged version of the 1968 go-go-like tune called "Funky Fanfare" by Keith Mansfield. Sometimes it's silent.

Availability: Various, ranging from uncommon (Our Feature Presentation and Prevues of Coming Attractions) to extinct (several of the lesser-known Daters). Used at drive-in theaters by various companies in the 1960s and 1970s. Made a surprise reappearance on certain Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino films Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), Machete Kills (2013), and their 2007 double feature Grindhouse (Planet Terror/Death Proof).

Legacy: This is a cult classic among moviegoers.

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