General Cinema Corporation

From Audiovisual Identity Database
Descriptions by
Kris Starring, Gerald Fogg, TheMisterFree, Paperking99 and TheLogoFan2004

Editions by
zman1997, DannyTheMuppetMan, BaldiBasicsFan and Blue2000


General Cinema Corporation was founded in 1935 as a drive-in movie theater by Philip Smith, who previously owned a small chain of silent movie theaters. However, the company didn't see much growth until 1939, due to heavy sales of news printed on film. After the World War II ended, the company got into new leadership under Richard A. Smith, who closed all drive-in theaters in order to make room indoor theaters. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, GCC dabbled in financing movie productions, particularly Night of the Juggler and Foolin' Around, with Gary Busey and Annette O'Toole, which were both distributed theatrically in the US by Columbia Pictures. In April 1992, the company teamed up with Lucasfilm to create mascots for the company. This led to the creation of Popcorn Bob and the then iconic Candy Band, the band would be followed by one more mascot, Pepsi Sue. By October 2000, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and then Chapter 7 bankruptcy a year later. This lead to the company being acquired and absorbed by AMC Theatres in March 2002.

1st (known) Open (Fall 1967-1984)

Logo: On a black background is a light blue GCC logo: an abstract projector made out of the letter G, and two C's representing film reels above and below the G to the slightly aligned to the right. A jazzy drumbeat begins and the film reels (the C's) begin to rotate, as the projector begins to spool out a line of dots. A harpsichord riff briefly cuts in, and the word "GENERAL" comes out of the projector, followed by more dots. The musical trade-off repeats two more times, with the words "CINEMA" and "CORPORATION" spooling out of the projector with green dots in between. Then, after "CORPORATION," the brushes finally take it home, allowing the projector enough time to spool out an entire line of pink dots as either "COMING ATTRACTIONS" or "FEATURE PRESENTATION" appear with the final hit of the drum (The C's also stop when this happens).


  • 1970s-1977: The graphics appear on a plain purple background, and the GCC logo is gray.
  • 1977-1984: The graphics appear on a kaleidoscopic red or purple background (similar to the Family Affair intro).
  • Policy Trailer (1978-1986): We open with a camera shutter motion jumping in and back out as a series of white lights write out the text "FOR THE COMFORT AND CONVIENENCE OF OUR PATRONS" from top to bottom. A second shutter reveals a "No Smoking" sign, which shines before the words "SMOKING IS PROHIBITED" (in white) flash into place followed by a light wiping in the smaller text "IN THIS AUDITORIUM" and a byline appears underneath. The words "Your Cooperation is sincerely appreciated" fades in underneath the line. Several more shutter flashes bring forth the rest of the policy guidelines as follows:
    • Two spotlights slide across the top of the screen and around to draw a white border. Inside the words "THANKS FOR NOT SMOKING" and the American Lung Association logo fade in, then the ALA wordmark flashes in at the bottom. The logo shines once.
    • "Bargain Matinees" (slanted to left) flashes into the top left corner, sandwiched between blue and aquamarine lines. Below it, Check Local Newspaper Listings For fades in followed by Times and Prices wiping in via a yellow (gold?) light effect. Different parts of the message shine.
      • The "bargain matinees" sequence was changed in 1984 to: (slanted to left) "We've Extended Our Bargain Matinees Just For You!" (normal) "Monday thru Saturday; All Showings Before 6:00 P.M.; All Seats $2.50; Special Attractions not Included" with green bylines scattered throughout. A light shines from the top text, then "Monday thru Saturday" flashes, followed by more lights, then "Bargain Matinees" flashes. The center text then flashes and changes to "Sundays and Holidays; First Matinee Showing Only". More flashes and lights follow.
    • Against a space background, a trail of gift certificate outlines move toward the center of the screen via a trailing effect with a gray GCC certificate in the center. The text "$5.00 and $10.00" (top left); "Entertainment Gift Books" (bottom right) flash into place. After several seconds, the text flashes and changes to "Are Now Available" (top left); "At This Box Office" (bottom right). Several lights flash from the gift certificate.
    • The screen fades to live action footage of a patron disposing of their trash (popcorn bucket, candy box, and soda cup). After another shutter flash is a trash receptacle (with green oval border) with the "Pitch In" logo on the left and the text "For your convivence, TRASH CANS are located at the EXITS." (with green lines above and below the text) on the right. A final shutter changes the trash can into "Thank You!" as more light shine around the words on the right. Finally, "Thank You" shines and zooms towards the screen before fading out.

Technique: Cel animation, along with the kaleidoscopic background for the 1977 version. The original and 1970s versions were produced by Selame Associates of Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts, while the 1977 bumpers were produced by Pike Productions of Newport, Rhode Island. The cel animation effects are produced by Cinema Concepts.

Music/Sounds: A snazzy jazz beat established on a snare drum with brushes, occasionally interrupted on the off-beat by a catchy harpsichord riff. The drums give the feel of the sound a projector makes. A few double bass notes are also heard on the third harpsichord riff.

  • The 1978 policy trailer has a light but progressively triumphant string fanfare, with camera flash sounds heard alongside the shutter movements.

Availability: Extinct outside of film reels from collectors. It appeared only in General Cinema theaters before the start of a movie or trailers from the late '60s to the early '80s.

Legacy: The fanfare of this open would later become popular, so much so that it became a staple for General Cinema.

2nd Open (1984-June 1986)

Logo: On a background of blue spotlights, we see the GCC Projector logo from the 1st open at the left of the screen. A star traces the logo ending with a star that flashes on the projector-end of the "G". The C's begin to rotate as the G puts out a line with lens flares that travel to the right, culminating in a bright flash of light which brings forth “GENERAL CINEMA THEATRES”. A byline then fades in at the bottom of the screen (centered under the name): “A SUBSIDIARY OF GENERAL CINEMA CORPORATION”. The company name and byline fade out as a star sparkles on the projector and another line and lens flares is projected which flashes into “FEATURE PRESENTATION”. A star appears on the projector for the last time before the C's stop and a lens flare travels across “FEATURE PRESENTATION”.


  • There was also a version that replaced “FEATURE PRESENTATION” with “COMING ATTRACTIONS”.
  • On longer films, during the start of a transition from the first to the second part of the film, "INTERMISSION" appeared in place of "FEATURE PRESENTATION".

Technique: Cel animation by Pike Productions.

Music/Sounds: A funky flute/brass rendition of the first music mixed with a Rhodes piano. Chimes are heard whenever a star shines. Also, like in the first logo, the animation is supported by reverberated percussion that simulates the sound of a projector.

Availability: Less common than the previous open as it only lasted for two years. It was only used in General Cinema theaters back in the mid '80s.

3rd Open (June 1986-May 1993)

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Logo: In a dark space environment, a red General Cinema "bargain matinees" ticket zooms towards the screen and past it, revealing a belt of candy pieces, popping popcorn kernels, and a Pepsi-Cola cup. A GCC-branded "drink" cup flies out of the belt, then the screen pans to the right, going past a red/white trash can the cup enters. A "no smoking" symbol with "No Smoking Please" to the right fades in, then the screen fades to black.

The screen fades to time-lapsed clouds in the sky, reflected by a circle with the gold/bronze letters “GCC” inside (arranged like the old Projector logo but in a different, more modern typeface). The clouds fade to a starry sky, and the words “General Cinema” appear at the bottom in a gold Avant Garde font, as the color of the GCC circle becomes solid blue. The logo and company name fade out to reveal the words “Feature Presentation”.


  • Coming Attractions: After a few seconds of black, the General Cinema text appears in the distance and moves towards the top of the screen. The text then moves to the bottom to make room for the GCC circle in darker colors, which zooms away from us to settle above the text. When the circle and text are in place, the circle lights up. After a few seconds, the logo fades out to reveal the text "Coming Attractions" in the center of the screen; the words then move into a left-tilted arrangement, then fly off the screen.
  • Also Showing at This Theatre: The aforementioned words tilt and fly away in a similar fashion to the previous variant.

Trivia: General Cinema made a contest around the time the Space Candy trailer was brand-new, called the "Count the Candy" contest. As the name suggests, moviegoers had to count how many candies appear in the trailer to possibly win a season pass or a trip to Los Angeles.

Technique: Stop-motion animation in the first segment, and CGI with the clouds in live-action for the second segment, both produced by Industrial Light & Magic. The live-action daytime sky was shot from Hawaii and took the film crew six days just to get right.

Music/Sounds: In the second segment, a short ethereal synth tune that culminates into a 6-note fanfare with timpani drums and a choir, which softens when "Feature Presentation" appears/fades out with the logo.

Music/Sounds Variants: For the "Coming Attractions" variant, it starts out with the drumbeat from the first logo; a low synth chord then starts up, followed by an orchestra hit with warbling synth notes and a bass chord. When the GCC circle lights up, a shorter version of the main logo's 6-note fanfare plays, along with a timpani drumroll. The last note ends with an ascending synth sound as the words tilt, and another orchestra hit as they fly away. For the "Also Showing" variant, it has a similar drumroll and hit to the end of the "Coming Attractions" variant, but in a different pitch.

Availability: Easier to find than the previous open, but only appeared in theaters at that time, unless you have film reels (though there are some accounts that this logo, but with the next logo's "Candy Band" policy trailer instead of this logo's "Space Candy" policy trailer, showed up in some theaters as late as 1995).

Legacy: General Cinema estimated this opening was ran nearly 700 million times before it was retired.

4th Open (May 1993-1996)

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Logo: It is a two-part opening:

  • For the first part, a CGI-animated short film consisting of various anthropomorphic movie concessions attending a GCC theater-turned jazz club, with the first version of the now-famous "Candy Band" as the performers. Notably included is the first appearance of soon-to-be GCC mascot Popcorn Bob on double bass.
  • For the second part, we zoom out from the ground as streaks of light fly by. We then see a horizon at night, and the light rays are streaking towards a “sun” that rises and splits into three spotlights. The spotlights project the letters “GCC” into the sky, then onto a moon which comes from the top-left. The moon turns into the GCC logo, which slowly rotates to the right, and “General Cinema” appears at the bottom in the same font as the previous logo, followed by “Feature Presentation.”

Trivia: Popcorn Bob, and the rest of the General Cinema mascots were designed by Lucasfilm.


  • Coming Attractions: Here, it starts with a closeup of the spotlights turning on, and we slowly revolve around them, and as we pan up the beams of light, we see the "GCC" letters shimmering (formed out of light streaks). The lights turn off, and the letters stop shimmering and arrange themselves like before, with the moon sphere fading in behind it, along with the name; after a few seconds, the GCC letters flash, the name and moon disappear, and the GCC letters dissipate and turn into a lot of streaking comets, which turn themselves into the text "Coming Attractions", with lots of stars moving around in the background.
  • Also Showing at This Theatre: Just the comets forming the text.

Technique: CGI animation by Industrial Light and Magic.

Music/Sounds: A dreamy synth tune combined with a slight choir, a few backwards-played "whoosh" noises, and a cymbal hit when the searchlights activate, followed by a fanfare with four chime-like sounds when the "GCC" letters are projected, and finally a fast electronic drum beat.

Music/Sounds Variant: For the "Coming Attractions" variant, it has a different arrangement without the electronic drumbeat; a cymbal hit also sounds when the logo flashes, followed by "swirling" sounds and a soft synth chord as the "Coming Attractions" text appears. For the "Also Showing" version, it is just the choir and the "swirling" noises are present.

Availability: Extinct. Only appeared in General Cinema theaters back in the mid '90s.

Legacy: A much simpler logo compared to most others, though is is the debut of the mascots for the company.

5th Open (1996-2002)

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Logo: We fly out from some shrubs on a mountain at night (transitioning out from Popcorn Bob in the preceding "Candy Band" trailer-which is another jazz performance not unlike the previous logo, but this time it's from Popcorn Bob and Pepsi Sue's perspective. Specifically, the main plot involves Bob heading to the concession stand to buy candy for Sue.) to see an aerial view of a city very much like LA illuminated with lights. In the center of the city there are some searchlights moving back and forth, at some sort of circular structure, which we fly towards. We pan upwards to see the searchlights merge into a glowing blue, smoky circle over a cloudy night sky. The spotlights fade out leaving a blue circle with the General Cinema logo from before, in white. "General Cinema" fades in underneath in gold for a brief moment, followed the words "Feature Presentation" which are in gold as well.

Variant: Coming Attractions: We see Popcorn Bob (the former mascot of General Cinema), standing outside of a General Cinema at night. He looks at his hand clock, and looks around. After he puts his clock away, his girlfriend, Pepsi Sue, walks up next to him. The two walk into the General Cinema, which has "Now Showing! The Candy Band" on the movie sign. The camera zooms in on the General Cinema logo on top of the building. The General Cinema text fade in beneath the logo, while the building fades out, leaving the logo on a starry background. The logo fads out via a glitter effect, and a group of stars come together to form the text "Coming Attractions".

Technique: More CGI from Industrial Light and Magic in what would become their last collaboration with the company. A little bit reminiscent of the Showtime feature presentation bumper from the early '80s.

Music/Sounds: An orchestral piece as we take flight, a whoosh as the smoky circle forms, three timpani and bass drum hits when the words "Feature Presentation" appear, and a low string/bass clarinet crescendo before the logo fades out.

Music/Sounds Variant: For the Coming Attractions variant, we hear some calming orchestral music, which is a variant of both the 1964 theme, and the 1996 theme.

Availability: Extinct, seeing that it was only used in theaters. This opening was used alongside the "Candy Band" trailers that advertised General Cinema's concession stands.

Legacy: An upgraded version of the previous open, with much better animation and catchier music, and is a favorite among those that went to General Cinema theaters at the time.

6th Open (2001-2002)

Logo: On a black background, we see the General Cinema logo in silver. The logo starts spinning to the right, and the camera pans down to reveal that the logo is actually a film canister, with another canister underneath it. The canister underneath has movie tickets with the General Cinema logo on them. The tickets spin around to reveal tickets that spell out "General Cinema". The tickets then continue to spin, while the camera pans down to reveal another film canister, this time with small people made out of Twizzlers holding each other, and lifting their legs while moving around in a circle. To the left, Popcorn Bob is walking on a filmstrip while carrying a cane in one hand, and a top hat in the other. We then cut to Bob in front of yet another film canister. He presents all of the dancing concessions on the canister, which consists of candy, pretzels, hot dogs, ice cream bars, and cups with the Coca-Cola script and bottle cap on them. We then cut to a cell phone on the canister moving side to side. The phone starts to ring, causing the concessions to stop dancing, and the canisters to stop moving. Bob then gets angry, looks down at his feet, and notices that the filmstrip he was walking on is coming to a stop. He then jumps to the end of the filmstrip, which causes him to drop the hat and cane. He then takes out a megaphone, and whistles through it. A clapperboard with the General Cinema logo on it pushes it's way through the concessions, and pushes the phone off of the canister. The clapperboard then turns around, to reveal text on it that says "Take 2". It then turns around again to reveal text on it that says "Please shut off all cell phones and pagers". The canister starts to move again, and the concessions start to dance again. Bob then starts to walk the other way on the filmstrip. His hat lands in front of him on the filmstrip. The clapperboard approaches the hat, sniffs it, barks, and jumps behind Bob. Bob slips on the hat, and lands on the filmstrip, causing the clapperboard to fly away, and all of the concessions and canisters to come crashing down. Before falling, one of the canisters reads, "Please throw trash away". Bob and the concessions fall, and they create a pile of concessions and tickets. Bob breaks through the center, and smiles. The clapperboard, which now reads "Enjoy the show!" with the "O" in "show" replaced with the General Cinema logo, falls into Bob's hands. Bob brings the clapperboard close to the screen, and claps it as the screen cuts to black.

Trivia: Because General Cinema switched beverage providers in 2001, Coca-Cola appears in this opening instead of Pepsi.

Variant: An alternate variant had Bob emerging from a rectangular frame made out of the concessions near the end.

Technique: Stop-motion animation with overlaid digital cel animation, produced by Cinema Concepts.

Music/Sounds: A jazzy arrangement of the theme from the 1st opening, combined with the sounds of running filmstrips. The music starts to slow down, and decrease in pitch when the phone start ringing. A whistle is heard when Bob speaks through the megaphone, a growl is heard from the clapperboard when it pushes the phone off, and a high pitched sound is heard when the phone is falling. The music starts to get out of control when everything is falling. Finally, we hear 5 final notes, and a clap from the clapperboard.

Availability: Extinct. This was the final opening General Cinema used before AMC Theaters bought the chain after its crippling bankruptcy in 2000. It was also seen on Cinema Concepts' Trailer Park website page until the page shut down. Used in tandem with the previous open around this time since most locations still used Pepsi products instead of Coke products at the time.

Legacy: This is the only policy opening to have Popcorn Bob in 2D animation instead of CGI. Due to its short lifespan, it ended up becoming obscure until uploaded on YouTube in 2015.

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