Virgin Cinemas

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Virgin Cinemas was a cinema chain operated by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, founded in 1995 after Virgin acquired MGM Cinemas (formerly Cannon Cinemas and ABC Cinemas). During the takeover, Virgin sold 90% of MGM's smaller cinemas, which were operated under the ABC name, to Cinven. In 1999, Virgin sold the chain's UK division to UGC for £215 million; Virgin Cinemas still operated in Japan until 2002.


Logo: We fade in on a close up shot of the planet Mars, which pans across the planet's surface as a starlight begins to shine next to it. The planet then rotates as if to center itself, and we see the upper left-most text (in white) of the Virgin logo before zooming in toward a close up of the first "I"'s dot. We move inside the dot, which becomes a tunnel with the faces of various film stars flying past. From these, we enter a cavern where more celebrity faces appear scattered across the walls. From there we move left and fly through a second tunnel (this time without faces) before eventually exiting through the dot on the second "I" in "Virgin". The logo and surface then resume centering themselves while the Virgin logo flashes. Mars' surface is revealed to actually be a red circle which encases the logo, below which is the word "Cinemas" in large font. Both are surrounded by a gold border against a blueish-black background. The flash subsides as the logo becomes fully centered, and holds for a few seconds before cutting out.


  • Policy Variant: Against a blue background, the words "Welcome To" flash across the screen before flying out to reveal the Virgin Cinemas logo. The logo then flies out in turn-dissolving as it does so-and a countdown clock briefly flies out before the words "It's almost time for" flash into view. A blue-tinted Virgin Cinemas logo flies out behind the words, then another flash changes the text to read "the main feature". The countdown clock briefly reappears at the top left corner and disappears again just as quickly, then another flash changes the text to read "Please Don't Add Your Own Sound Effects" with a film soundtrack displayed to the left and various blue "crunch"'s appearing behind it. A video screen reading "Switch Off" then flies across the screen with a pair of telephones resting underneath. The words "Please Don't Add Your Own Special Effects" then wipe in, with a "No Smoking" sign visible behind the text, which stays in place as the text irises out. The sign dissolves to reveal the words "sit back" as the countdown clock again reappears. The text then flashes and changes to "relax" after which the blue background dissolves to the inside of a cinema auditorium. The text again flashes to become "see it your way" with the countdown clock now appearing underneath the text. Everything then dissolves as a brief light pattern flies through the screen until the Virgin Cinemas logo reappears, as does the blue background and clock. A white light circles around the logo as the clock completes its countdown, then the logo fades out.
  • Coming Attractions Variant: The same as the main logo from the second "I" onward, except the logo shifts up after centering itself to reveal the words "Coming Soon" in smaller text underneath the logo.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A droning synth noise which transitions into a soft string fanfare, the various movie sounds followed by a second (and louder) string piece, followed by a brief space theme ending with a majestic brass fanfare. A narrator speaks throughout the piece, saying "Welcome to a world of adventure. A world of fantasy....and magic." during the first part where we spin around Mars. He then comes back at the end while the camera moves into position, saying "Welcome to the world of Virgin Cinemas."

Music/Sounds Variants: A version exists which omits the narrator, leaving only the music. For the policy version, we hear an ambient fanfare occasionally drowned out by various sounds representing bothersome moviegoers (loud eating, cell phones, a smoker's cough, etc.)

Availability: Extinct.

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