Logo descriptions by Jason Jones and James Fabiano
Logo captures by Eric S., Logophile, Mr.Logo, naxo-ole, and Gilblitz112
Additional edits by Eric S., V of Doom, Logophile, CBS/FoxKid999, Chowchillah, Shadeed A. Kelly, bmasters9, Lee Cremeans and PluMGMK
Video captures courtesy of KidCairbre, JeicetheWarrior, RetroVideoFan, diegovs95, LogicSmash, ColumbiaPictures21, bigdan2337, Tlogos, blackvirus and Peakpasha
Cohn-Brandt-Cohn (CBC) Film Sales
This predecessor company of Columbia Pictures was originally founded in 1918 by Harry Cohn, his brother Jack Cohn, and Jack's friend Joe Brandt. Brandt was president of CBC Film Sales, handling sales, marketing and distribution from New York along with Jack Cohn, while Harry Cohn ran production in Hollywood. Many of the studio's early productions were low-budget affairs; the start-up CBC leased space in a poverty row studio on Hollywood's Gower Street. Among Hollywood's elite, CBC's reputation led some to joke that "CBC" stood for "Corned Beef and Cabbage".
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Following a reorganization, the Cohn brothers renamed the predecessor company as "Columbia Pictures Corporation" on January 10, 1924. Columbia's product line consisted mostly of moderately budgeted features and a short-subject program of comedies, serials, cartoons, and sports films. Columbia gradually moved into the production of higher-budget fare, building a reputation as one of Hollywood's more important studios. On December 23, 1968, it was reorganized as "Columbia Pictures Industries" (commonly known as "Columbia Pictures") after Columbia Pictures Corporation merged with its television division Screen Gems. On June 22, 1982, Columbia Pictures was sold to Coca-Cola for $750 million, became part of Columbia Pictures Entertainment in December 1987 with Coke owning 49%, and since November 8, 1989, it's owned by Sony Corporation of Japan. Since 1998, it is part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, which is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the mentioned multinational conglomerate.
(March 15, 1924-December 29, 1927)
Nicknames: "Myriad Lady", "Female Roman Soldier"
Logo: On a dark gray background with arch clouds below, we see a female Roman soldier dressed in a soldier's outfit, covered in a toga, holding a shield in her left hand and holding a grain of wheat (or possibly festuca, associated with Libertas) in her right hand. We see the text "COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION Presents" with "COLUMBIA PICTURES" appearing in an arched text and the text "CORPORATION" underneath the arched words in a straight line and the text "Presents" below.
Music/Sounds: The intro of any movie.
Availability: Ultra rare. Seen on very early films by Columbia Pictures. Last seen on The Lady With the Torch documentary on Encore Drama (and is intact whenever the network decides to rebroadcast it).
Scare Factor: None.
(January 1928-May 25, 1936)
Nicknames: "Early Torch Lady", "Sparkler Torch Lady", "'20s Torch Lady", "Torch Lady"
Logo: We see a medium shot of a lady (Columbia, a representation of the USA), holding a light torch in her right hand. The lady is featured with a dark bob and a kind of Cleopatra-like headdress across her forehead. She is draped in an American flag complete with the stars on her left shoulder and the stripes coming across her middle, supported by her left arm, and hanging down her right side. Her torch is displayed with a rather primitive, flickering style of animation emitting lines of light as rays. The torch lady's head is under an arch of chiseled, square-shaped letters reading the words "A COLUMBIA PRODUCTION". At the end of the movie, the words are... "THIS IS A COLUMBIA PICTURE" with "The End" below it in a script font.
Trivia: The Torch Lady shown here is actress Evelyn Venable.
- Earlier movies until 1932 would feature the name in a different typeface, and will sometimes read as "COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION" at the start of the film (sometimes also with the word "Presents" below, in a script font), and "A COLUMBIA PRODUCTION" at the end of the film, like on The Miracle Woman.
- Another variation consists of the words "A COLUMBIA PRODUCTION" and "The End" below. It was spotted on The Miracle Woman,Platinum Blonde, American Madness, and the Three Stooges short "Restless Knights".
- An extremely rare opening variation consists of the words "COLUMBIA PICTURES" and "Presents" below. It was spotted on The Guilty Generation (1931).
- There is another closing variant that has the words "COLUMBIA PICTURES", with "The End" appearing below, which can be found at the end of Forbidden (1932).
- For the release of several colorized Three Stooges shorts by Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment in 2004, the Torch Lady was shown in color, and the words are in yellow.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The torch rays shining. This was done using moiré effects and clever editing, which was pretty advanced for the 1920s; it hasn't aged well, however.
Music/Sounds: A majestic horn sounder, much like the Fox logo, or the opening/closing theme of the short or feature.
Availability: Uncommon. It was seen on It Happened One Night. All can be seen on The Three Stooges releases on DVD. Can still be seen on reruns of 1934-1936 Three Stooges shorts on IFC, AMC, and Antenna TV. It can also be found on TCM and Sony Movie Channel. Don't expect this to appear on original prints of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoons from 1930-1932, as Columbia only distributed those shorts.
Scare Factor: Low to medium.
(May 28, 1936-December 21, 1976, December 25, 2014, 2015)
Nicknames: "Classic Torch Lady", "'30s Torch Lady", Torch Lady II"
Logo: We see the lady, this time standing on top of a pedestal with a backdrop of clouds over her, while she is holding her light torch. Much more refined, ethereal and goddess-like, her facial features became less pronounced and she looked away (up and to the right) instead of straight ahead. Her headdress was removed and her hair swept back instead of hanging by the sides of her face. The drape over her shoulder became less-obviously an American flag, the stars on the left shoulder having been toned down in a shadow, and the stripes visible only on the portion of the drape hanging down her right side. "A COLUMBIA PRODUCTION" was replaced with the tall chiseled letters of "COLUMBIA" (which fades in a second afterward) running straight across the top section of the screen, with the lady's torch glowing in front of the "U". A new form of animation was used on the logo as well, with a torch that radiates light instead of flickers. Until the mid-1960s, this logo would also appear at the end of films, sometimes with the words "The End" in a script font.
Trivia: The Torch Lady happens to be Jane Chester Bartholomew.
Byline: Starting in 1974, the company byline "A DIVISION OF COLUMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES, INC." appears at the bottom of the screen.
- 1942: The lady looks much like she did in 1936, only the stripes were removed and the flag became simply a drape without markings (the Sony website implies that the change was to coincide with a new law that forbade the usage of the American flag as clothing), dark on the left shoulder but only the shadows of the folds differentiating the rest of it from the lady's white gown on her right side. The "COLUMBIA" lettering was also modified, still chiseled but less bold, and with darker shadowing.
- July 17, 1953: The Columbia Lady's robe was redrawn with a plunging neckline. The logo is also adapted for widescreen.
- January 26, 1955: The logo is adapted for CinemaScope. The torch lady lost her slipper-clad foot peeking out from the bottom of her robe as it divided just above the pedestal. Also, the clouds behind the logo became concentrated in the center and more billowy in shape.
- April 1968-December 12, 1973, April 5, 1974, August 1, 1976: The drapery was temporarily pink during this era. Some films that feature this variant include The Swimmer, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows!, Funny Girl, The Wrecking Crew, MacKenna's Gold, Easy Rider,Castle Keep, Cactus Flower, Five Easy Pieces, The Anderson Tapes, Dollars ($), The Horsemen, Brian's Song, Nicholas and Alexandra, Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different, 1776, Lost Horizon (1973), The Way We Were, The Last Detail, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Tommy, and Brian De Palma's Obsession.
- On the Three Stooges short "Disorder in the Court" and the 1936 western Stampede, "PRESENTS" appears below.
- On The Three Stooges shorts from 1940-1945, the 1936 (or 1942) Torch Lady appears on the left side of The Three Stooges title card. On the steps are the words "COLUMBIA" on top, "SHORT SUBJECT" in the middle, and "PRESENTATION" on the bottom step.
- On the 1976 film Taxi Driver, the logo is on a black background with blue clouds and had all of the text appearing at the same time.
- On the 1948 Three Stooges short "Fuelin' Around", the 1968 logo in black & white was seen at the beginning. Obviously, this plastered the Screen Gems logo on some TV prints, with/without the original music.
- There is a black & white version of the 1973 logo on the 1953 Three Stooges short "Tricky Dicks".
- An ending variant was used on serials in the '30s and '40s. Along the bottom, it would read "A Columbia Serial" along the bottom. These were used on the Batman serials among others.
- Another ending variant existed for short subjects, as well as the standard "The End" additional text below would read "A Columbia Short Subject Presentation" This is seen on Three Stooges shorts and often accompanies the aforementioned title card variant.
FX/SFX: The torch rays shine more realistically in this version.
Music/Sounds: Usually, the beginning/end of a movie's score plays over the logo. On some films, the logo appears completely silent. However, on several mid to late '30s Three Stooges shorts, it has a majestic theme before playing the Stooges' theme. On several other films, it would have a different theme.
Availability: Fairly common. Can still be seen on Columbia Pictures films of this period on home video formats and on TV airings. The last films to feature this logo were Taxi Driver (currently aired on the Showtime Networks and Sony Movie Channel), Drive-In, Harry and Walter Go to New York, Obsession (at least on U.S. prints), and Peter Bogdanovich's Nickelodeon. Tommy originally featured the 1968-75 variation of the logo, but was plastered with the next logo below on all later prints and home video releases of the film. Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different suffered the same fate as Tommy on the video releases, but has been restored on the DVD releases. This was seen on earlier of The Stepford Wives (1975), but when Viacom bought the rights to the film in the mid-1980s, the logo was deleted. However, following the release of the 2004 remake, Paramount Pictures gained rights to the original film through Viacom (owner of the former company), and added their 2002 logo at the beginning of all current prints. This also appears on current prints of films that originally had the 2nd logo, including Dirigible, Behind the Mask, Shopworn, Man's Castle, Twentieth Century, The Black Room (1935), and She Married Her Boss. This logo made an odd appearance with the fanfare on the 2014 film The Interview with no mention of Sony in sight. This may reference the studio's 90th anniversary, which took place that year. Also made an appearance on Aloha. The "A Columbia Serial" variant can be seen on the old Batman serials when aired on TCM.
Scare Factor: Low to medium. The old B&W film and scary drawing might send some chills.
(June 23, 1976-May 15, 1981; 2007; 2013)
Nicknames: "'70s Torch Lady", "The Abstract Torch", "The Sunburst", "Torch Lady III"
Logo: It begins with the familiar Columbia Torch Lady, standing on the pedestal holding her light torch against the backdrop of clouds. Then, the picture moves upward and towards the torch as the rays pull in, which shines even more as the picture blurs around it. It then emits a flash that fills the screen. When the flash dissolves, the light torch itself appears, as if in sunburst, against a black screen and as it shrinks, it changes into a more "abstract" torch: a blue half circle, or a semicircle, with thirteen white light rays in the center and the words "Columbia Pictures" in Souvenir font under it. The entire logo then slowly backs away as it fades out.
- The Sunburst logo originally premiered in 1975, but first appeared only on posters.
- The "flickers" that came out of the torch toward the viewer (while the camera was in "Torch Lady" position) would go back into the torch as the camera moved toward it and approached it (this was changed/abolished for the "80s Torch Lady," because the camera would no longer move towards the torch).
- Also, as the camera approached the torch, a blue/orange halo appeared around the torch (blue outside, orange inside), sort of a brief 3- or 4-second "preview" of the Sunburst, which would have the same colors in the same positions. This was also changed for the "80s Torch Lady," in that as the torch "blossomed," the inside of it would appear orange, as would the Sunburst.
- The animation for the Sunburst logo was provided by Robert Abel and Associates, who specialized in elaborate, motion-controlled animation and lighting effects, and also did work on commercials (early 1970s 7-Up ads among many others) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- The main instruments appearing on the soundtrack were a small horn section, Ciani's Buchla modular (for the "popping" effects) and an ARP string synth (the same model Gary Wright used for "Dream Weaver" around the same time).
- When viewed in 4:3 full-frame, there are varying versions where we see her pedestal. There are close and medium views. There is a far view version in 1.85:1 on Sex is a Many Splendored Thing.
- In 2013, this logo was revived for American Hustle. Everything happens as usual, but during the tail end of the sunburst scene "A Sony Company" in the same font as the text on the logo, but in blue fades in.
FX/SFX: The Torch Lady's torch zooming in, then turning into the Sunburst. As noted above, very well-done, motion-controlled cel animation that still looks good over 30 years later.
Music/Sounds: It begins with a dramatic theme that builds up as the camera zooms in on the torch, composed by Suzanne Ciani. With the flash/sunburst, it takes an inspirational, majestic tone. Of course, like many other movie logos, this could also be silent or have the opening music from any soundtrack play over it, but usually not.
Availability: Common. Sony is much better at keeping older theatrical logos on current releases of their films than their TV output (which is another story). In the early days of Columbia Pictures' video division, however, this logo would be plastered by their home video logo. Otherwise, all later video releases, DVDs/Blu-rays, and TV broadcasts retain this logo. The first film to use this logo was Murder by Death, while the last to use it was Happy Birthday to Me. However, in international territories, it was used until at least 1982 as this appeared on Death Wish II (released domestically by Filmways Pictures). On some airings of The Mirror Crack'd (the 1980 Angela Lansbury version), the logo is not shown at all, but is intact on most home media releases and uncut TV airings. The 1980 Magnetic Video release of the ITC Entertainment film The Eagle Has Landed, which Columbia distributed in the United States, also has this logo. It also plasters the previous logo on Tommy, and 1980s and early 1990s U.S. VHS prints of Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different. The 1988 Goodtimes Home Video releases of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Neighbors edit this out and goes straight to the opening credits. Although other prints, such as the 2001 DVD and 30th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD, retain it. Don't expect to see this or the 1963 Universal logo on the Steven Spielberg movie, 1941 (which Columbia co-produced with Universal).
Scare Factor: Minimal. This is a favorite of many.
(June 5, 1981-May 14, 1993; 2009; 2015)
Nicknames: "'80s Torch Lady", "Torch Lady IV", "Coke Bottle Torch Lady"
Logo: We see the standard Columbia Torch Lady (a somewhat less detailed version of the '70s Torch Lady) standing on a pedestal with her torch against the backdrop of clouds. The torch then shines into a bright abstract shape, as if in sunburst, then dims back in place. The words "Columbia Pictures" (appearing in the same font from the last logo) fade to the left and right of the Torch Lady. Her torch "shines".
- When viewed in full screen, there are varying versions where we see her pedestal. There are close, medium and far views.
- Starting around 1989, the logo fades in and then the company name fades in about a second afterward. There was no big bright light in this variation.
- This logo was also used for the first half of the Triumph Films logo in 1982.
- A shortened version of the logo was used in the 2009 Ghostbusters video game.
- Oddly, on the original 1993 video releases of A League of Their Own and A Few Good Men, shortened versions were used. The first film fades in as the sunburst retracts, and the second film fades in when the sunburst flares in. Current prints of said films, however, have the standard 1989 logo.
- From 1989-April 30, 1993, Columbia's print logo was featured scrolling at the end of the movies' closing credits. This features the Torch Lady with the "sunburst" from the 1981-1989 variation of the opening logo. The phrase, appearing in the same font as the opening logo, reads "A Columbia Pictures Release" underneath. An earlier version of this didn't include the print logo, but rather the text instead. A few movies such as Ghostbusters II, Welcome Home and Year of the Comet have the words in a different font (the latter two films did not even feature the print logo, as did The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, When Harry Met Sally... and Misery). This would stop regular use on August 28, 1992, with the release of Honeymoon in Vegas, but this made a surprise appearance on The Pickle.
- Another one would feature the same closing logo, but would use "COLUMBIA PICTURES" in Bank Gothic font with the SPE byline below. On A River Runs Through It and El Mariachi, as well as Castle Rock Entertainment films, the words "RELEASED BY" appear on top. Used from September 23, 1992-May 14, 1993. A variant also appeared at the end of Josh and S.A.M., released on November 24, 1993. In this one, it has "A COLUMBIA PICTURES RELEASE" above the "RELEASED BY" variant, while the movie itself would use the 1993 logo at the beginning. The possible reason for this is that it was delayed; a teaser for said film, which was found on the 1993 VHS releases of Single White Female and Mr. Saturday Night, had it originally intended for a spring 1993 release, but when it finally came to theaters, Columbia might have replaced the 1989 logo with their new logo, but didn't touch the credit logo. Another example of Sony's poor editing habits.
- On Sibling Rivalry, the closing logo is based on the 1981-1989 print logo: it has the Torch Lady with sunburst inside a dome (which might have been a precursor to the current 1993 print logo, using a box motif) with "Columbia Pictures" below. Below that is "A COLUMBIA PICTURES RELEASE".
- Eat a Bowl of Tea has the "Torch Lady in a Dome" print logo with "A Columbia Pictures Release" below it.
- There are two versions of the Torch Lady print logo. One with a short lady and the big sunburst, which was the one seen inside the dome, but would occasionally appear without the dome. A later version was introduced in 1989, with a smaller sunburst and the Torch Lady appears taller and slimmer and more cleaned up in design. No dome was used for this version.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The Torch Lady "shining".
Music/Sounds: Usually, it is silent or has the opening theme of the movie or music from any given soundtrack playing over it.
- On the 1984 Australian VHS of Christine, the 1988 GoodTimes Home Video VHS of The Amsterdam Kill, and the 1999 Australian VHS of The Karate Kid, it had the Sunburst music from the previous logo. It is believed to be heard on one of the Spanish or Portuguese tracks on the US 2004 SE DVD release of the former. The one on The Amsterdam Kill is a plaster job on the previous logo.
- On current prints of Stripes, the music from the next logo below would be heard.
- On Pulse (1988), there's the rather distinct sound of a flame burst which is dubbed into the soundtrack as the torch on the Columbia logo ignites. This is a reference to the Pulse in the film taking control.
Availability: Common. Seen on films of the era. The 1st variation is much easier to come by, due to being used a longer time period and being on more popular titles such as Stripes, Ghostbusters, and many others. Notable films that have the short version are Ghostbusters II, The Adventures of Milo and Otis, Casualties of War, Awakenings, Mortal Thoughts, Mo' Money, A League of Their Own, and Groundhog Day. The first film to use this logo was Cheech & Chong's Nice Dreams, while it was last seen on Lost in Yonkers. New Line Home Video releases (and later, MGM Home Entertainment) of Castle Rock Entertainment films such as Misery, City Slickers, and Mr. Saturday Night edit this logo out, though it is retained on Amos and Andrew, and a 1997 MGM VHS of City Slickers retains this logo as well. This was also preserved on cable TV airings of When Harry Met Sally... It also appears on the Vidmark and Starmaker Entertainment VHS releases of The Shadow Riders (they use the overseas theatrical version, as to why this logo is seen at the start), along with the Live Entertainment DVD (don't expect this on the 2006 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD release, as it uses the original TV version). The 1st variant was also retained on the 2011 and 2014 theatrical re-releases of Ghostbusters. Oddly, in lieu of RCA/Columbia's logo appearing, this logo plasters that of Cinema 5 on the English-dubbed cassette of One Sings, the Other Doesn't. Surprisingly, this made a appearance on 2015's The Night Before. The logo is seen on the 1986 VHS of Casino Royale (1967), presumably plastering the second logo.
Scare Factor: Minimal for the sunburst version, none for the short version.
(June 18, 1993- )
Nicknames: "'90s Torch Lady", "Torch Lady V", "Majestic Torch Lady"
- This logo has a face lifted Torch Lady from 1936-1976 on her pedestal on a sky background filled with cumulonimbus clouds, giving more detail to the drawing. First, we see a bright light, as if in sunburst, with the cloud background fading in a brief second later. The light is coming from a torch, which zooms out to reveal the lady who's holding it. After the lady, along with the cloud background, are fully zoomed out, on the top "COLUMBIA", seen in a bold, silver chiselled font, fades in afterwards as a ring of light shimmers around the lady, while the cloud background very slowly moves to the right.
- Starting with The Holiday, released on December 8, 2006, the logo was given a more "enhanced" look, similar to the 2001 Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment logo and Michael J. Deas' original artwork of the logo, which can be seen here. The hand is in a different pose in which the finger is at the tip of the torch. The sky is also darker and the "COLUMBIA" text has more silver in it and is slightly off-center. Trailers and TV spots, however, continued to use the 1993 version of the logo until 2008.
- Starting with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, released on May 2, 2014, the logo is introduced by the Sony Pictures Entertainment logo. This involves the addition of blurry parting clouds with very bright light between them. The light gets brighter until the clouds are apart and then it fades to the traditional zoom out from the torch.
- The logo's most recent overhaul was undertaken during this era when Sony Corporation of Japan (which bought Columbia on November 8, 1989) commissioned illustrator Michael J. Deas to redesign the lady and return her to her "classic" look. The result, based on Deas' sessions with Mandeville, Louisiana homemaker Jenny Joseph, who posed for him with a makeshift robe and torch, was a taller, slimmer Columbia Torch Lady with lighter, curlier hair and a dimmer torch. Rather than use Joseph's face however, Deas constructed a composite face made up of a couple of computer-generated features. Deas' artwork, created in 1992, was featured in the Columbia TriStar Home Video identity prior to this logo's appearance. The logo was animated at Synthespian Studios by Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak. The duo used 2D elements from Deas' painting and converted them to 3D. The clouds were divided up to 66 image maps and Walczak mapped every cloud onto a 3D object and twist-distorted and translated on Wavefront animation software.
- A face hidden within the clouds can be seen to the left of the Torch Lady as the camera is zooming out of the torch. It is very hard to distinguish in the original 1993 variant, whereas the 2006 version makes it a lot more noticeable.
- Starting with the release of The Craft on May 3, 1996, "a SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT company" appears on the bottom. It is slightly off center. However, some post-1996 films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, Dance with Me, and John Carpenter's Vampires may have this logo without the byline, while trailers and TV spots continued to use the bylineless version of the logo until 1999. The last film to use this byline was Captain Phillips, released on October 11, 2013.
- In 2013, the byline was shortened to "a Sony Company", with the orange-yellow color of the previous byline changed to a bronze. This version was first spotted on The Monuments Men and the official trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street.
- In 1999, the company celebrated its 75th anniversary. The beginning of the logo started off with the 1936 logo of Columbia Pictures in black & white, leaving the 1993 cloud background intact. The Torch Lady then slowly morphs into the current Torch Lady as the effects from black & white later turn to color. As the camera zooms back, we see a red arched banner dropping from above saying "SEVENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY LIGHTING UP SCREENS AROUND THE WORLD" and the Torch Lady standing on the pedestal, where we see a red box with the gold, giant chiseled name "COLUMBIA" inside on top, and the small word "PICTURES" below in spaced-out letters. We also see the gold giant number "75" unfolding in between the Torch Lady.
- There is one version where the left and right sides of the cloud background are stretched out more and the Torch Lady and the "COLUMBIA" text, along with the byline, are zoomed out a little.
- At the end of Black Hawk Down, the logo zooms out to a much farther distance than usual, revealing the bottom of the cloud background below the pedestal. This is because the film was shot in Super 35 1.66:1 negative ratio, and framed for 2.39:1 scope. This variant is seen on 4:3 prints of the film, which exposes more vertical information that was not meant to be seen. This variant can also be found on a trailer for Erin Brockovich (2000).
- On a few Columbia Pictures licensed video games, such as Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime and The Smurfs, the print version, seen on most DVD covers of Columbia films, appears on a white background, with the text in black and the byline below the stacked words.
- The superimposed closing variant features the Torch Lady (and the cloud background) placed inside a rectangular box. The torch, and the cloud BG, overlap the top of the box. Next to the logo are the words "COLUMBIA PICTURES", with "COLUMBIA" over "PICTURES". The phrase below the text reads "A COLUMBIA PICTURES RELEASE" or "RELEASED BY" above the logo with the SPE byline underneath the logo. Starting with American Hustle, the byline was shortened to "a Sony Company".
- One early closing variant of such featured the boxed Torch Lady logo at center, with "COLUMBIA PICTURES" and the SPE byline below one another. Sometimes, the text and byline are smaller and the logo is bigger to fit the width of the text. Some movies have a "RELEASED BY" above the logo.
FX/SFX: The torch shining, the zoom out.
Music/Sounds: A majestic tune is heard, which ends with a brass sounder. There are three versions of the fanfare: one that sounds orchestrated that's played by a piano with orchestration, one that sounds more synthesized, and the third, which was first heard on John Carpenter's Vampires, released on October 30, 1998, having both themes mixed in together. All three have the same ending. Starting with Sex Tape, released on July 18, 2014, extra build-up is added at the beginning, to match up with the parting clouds. Sometimes, it is silent, or has the opening theme to any given film.
- On the Open Season short "Boog & Elliot's Midnight Bun Run" and The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas, the first half of the Sony Pictures Animation logo music can be heard during the logo, before the Columbia logo cuts into the mentioned logo as the music finishes.
- There is a high tone theme on international releases (including NTSC converted to PAL prints) and on such films like The Pink Panther, Open Season, Casino Royale, The Pursuit of Happyness, Catch and Release, Ghost Rider, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, How Do You Know, the 2012 remake of Total Recall, and Hotel Transylvania.
- On Finding Forrester, a guitar version of the theme is heard.
- There is also a double-pitched (very high tone) version of the theme, which can be heard on Hollow Man.
- On Palmetto, yet another arrangement of the theme is heard without cymbal hits, ending smoothly with synthesized flutes. This variant was only seen on the original Columbia TriStar releases, as the current releases remove this logo (prior to Time Warner owning Castle Rock's library, as Palmetto is a Castle Rock film).
Availability: Very common, but thankfully not plastering anything from other eras. The first film to use this logo was Last Action Hero. This logo was also seen at beginning of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. This logo has been placed in front of films for 23 years. Some cable prints and New Line Home Video releases of Castle Rock films such as Needful Things, Malice, Josh and S.A.M. and North actually keep this logo (though don't expect to see it on MGM releases of the former three films). On current prints of City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold, this is replaced by the 2001 Warner Bros. Pictures logo (though the 1989 Castle Rock logo is kept). Interestingly, the print logo made its first appearance in spring 1993 on ads for The Pickle and Lost in Yonkers; however, both titles use the previous logo.
Scare Factor: None. This logo has a beautiful fanfare and a soothing backdrop.