Gold Key Entertainment
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.
1st Logo (1971-1980)
Nicknames: "The Flipping Gold Key", "The Color Changing Key"
Logo: Up against a red background, we see a white line that "streaks in" in the middle of the screen, making a 90 degree turn to reveal the shape of a two-dimensional key. The design then turns itself into a golden key with the following gold text fading-in front of it:
A DIVISION OF
THE VIDTRONICS COMPANY, INC.
in Futura font.
Variant: The closing of the presentation would have the word "Released by" above the logo text and the byline reading as: "A DIVISION OF THE VIDTRONICS CO., INC." below. The entire text is in Century Gothic Bold font.
FX/SFX: The key turning, and the key turning gold.
Music/Sounds: 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).
Music/Sounds 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: Extremely rare. 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.
Editor's Note: It's typically rough '70s animation for the key dropping into view and turning, but the fanfare does at least gives it a grandieur feel.
2nd Logo (1980-1983)
Nickname: "The Spinning Key"
Logo: Over a black background, we see a golden key spinning counter-clockwise towards us. It then makes a stop and backs up slightly off center as the words "GOLD KEY" also in gold, slide in from underneath. The word "ENTERTAINMENT" appears right under that as the logo shines throughout.
FX/SFX: The key spinning and the words sliding in from underneath.
Music/Sounds: A triumphant horn 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: Extremely rare. 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.
Editor's Note: While the animation's rough and some might be surprised for the darkness, spinning key, and music, it's also a favorite due to the music. If the music sounds familiar, that's because it is. A slightly different version of "Endeavour" was used in the first ITC Film Distributors logo.