Closing Logo Group

Background: Embassy Films Associates (also known at various points of its existence as Embassy Pictures and Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation) was founded by film producer Joseph E. Levine in 1942. Levine distributed such films as Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Hercules, and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (there was no logo in the pre-Avco years, just a "Joseph E. Levine Presents" text at the beginning and "An Embassy Pictures Release" text at the end of a film, both in the style of the credits). In 1967, Levine sold the company to Avco Corporation, an aviation equipment and financial services company, reincorporating it as "Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation". In 1976, Avco Embassy sold off their broadcasting division to Multimedia, Inc. and became Multimedia Entertainment. In January 1982, when Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio acquired the studio, the film division changed accordingly, reverting to the previous Embassy Pictures by dropping off "Avco". In 1984, the film division was renamed "Embassy Film Associates". Lord Lew Grade (who had just stepped down as head of ITC Entertainment) was brought in to run the international unit until Lear and Perenchio sold Embassy to The Coca-Cola Company on June 18, 1985. In late 1985, Coca-Cola sold the Embassy Pictures division to Dino de Laurentiis by forming De Laurentiis Entertainment Group and folded Embassy Films Associates. However, Coca-Cola continued to own the television division, by now renamed to ELP Communications (standing for Embassy Limited Partnership, Embassy Lear Perenchio, or Embassy Lear Pictures, depending on the source) and as an in-name only unit of Columbia Pictures Television. Coca-Cola then sold Embassy Home Entertainment to Nelson Holdings International which formed Nelson Entertainment in 1986. In 1988, DEG went bankrupt and its library assets were sold to Parafrance International, who was eventually purchased by StudioCanal, which merged the DEG library with that of Carolco Pictures when it itself went bankrupt (Carolco owned DEG's Wilmington studio and the rights to several features that were in production at the time of the DEG bankruptcy).

Currently, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer owns American home media rights to most of the Embassy film library after they acquired the rights to the pre-March 31, 1996 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment library, which also included the Nelson library. Sony Pictures Television owns television rights to the film library as successor-in-interest to Embassy Communications. Sony also owns the Embassy logo, names and trademarks through ELP Communications. Lionsgate Films owns American streaming rights to select titles in the Embassy library, and home media rights to at least some of the same, by agreement with StudioCanal.

Embassy Pictures (1st Gen)[]

(1961 - December 21, 1967)[]

Nicknames: "Circular E", "Spotlight E"

Logo: On a black background, a spotlight is shining on the middle of the screen, and a huge black, lower-case "e" is on it. Inside the "e" are the words "AN EMBASSY PICTURES RELEASE", with the "EMBASSY PICTURES" in white in the middle, centered, and the "AN" and "RELEASE" both in black above it. All the words are in a broad font.

FX/SFX: The "spotlight".

Music/Sounds: Only the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Rare. It's seen on some American-distributed Italian movies (most of which are in public domain) and The Graduate. While the next logo below plastered this one on most pre-1998 prints of the latter (while the 1978 Magnetic Video Corporation VHS release plasters this with the Avco Embassy Television logo), it has been restored on all versions since the 1997 StudioCanal/Carolco Pictures (through Strand Releasing and Rialto Pictures) theatrical reissue.

Avco Embassy Pictures[]

(March 18, 1968 - February 12, 1982)[]

Nickname: "AE Slate"

Logo: After a rectangular iris-in, three copies of a stylized "AE" (consisting of a right triangle, a rectangle, and three striped horizontal vertical lines) float in a circular pattern. The logos are red, green, and blue, and they eventually merge to form a white version of the logo. This one changes colors one shape at a time; the triangle turns blue, and each of the other shapes turn green. Below, three copies of the message "AN AVCO EMBASSY FILM" (red, green, and blue) come in from the left, right, and bottom and merge under the logo to form a white version of the words.

Closing Variant: Just a black screen with "An AVCO EMBASSY PICTURES RELEASE" in a white serif font.

FX/SFX: The copies of the logo rotating, the colors changing, the text merging together. All scanimation.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the film.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Two themes for the logo exist:
    • A loud, high-pitched and repeating synth riff ending with a six-note synthesized tune. Heard on certain movies like The Old Curiosity Shop, Permission to Kill, Sidewinder One, and Go Tell the Spartans.
    • A much calmer dreamy string tune. Used on some later films, such as In Praise of Older Women, A Man, a Woman and a Bank, City on Fire, Death Ship, and Phantasm.
  • On the 2006 DVD release of The Seduction, the Embassy Television theme is mistakenly used. This may be due to a reverse-plastering error.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • Seen on The Producers, Swamp Thing, The Howling, The Fog, Vice Squad, City on Fire (1979), The Seduction, The Exterminator, Scanners, Target, The Ruling Class, the original Time-Life Video and Vestron Video and later HBO VHS releases of Go Tell the Spartans, and pre-1998 prints of The Graduate (the 1987 Embassy Home Entertainment and 1987 Nelson VHS releases of the latter have no logo). Current prints of most of these films usually have the current rights owner's logo appear before this one.
  • It may have been on older prints of Escape from New York, and Dead and Buried, but no evidence has shown up as of yet.
  • Sometimes, as seen on The Graduate, They Call Me Trinity, A Nice Girl Like Me, and Woman Times Seven, the Avco Embassy Television logos plasters this or the previous logo on the Magnetic Video releases.
  • For ITC films that the studio distributed, the logo is removed on the Magnetic Video release of The Cassandra Crossing but is preserved on their release of The Tamarind Seed. The in-credit references were also preserved on the Avid Home Entertainment release of Farewell My Lovely, a surprise considering that Avid usually removed or replaced references to other companies with the then-current ITC logo, which precedes the Avco Embassy in-credit opening screen on this release.
  • This logo is also seen on most of the studio's films from the time frame when they are aired on Antenna TV.
  • On streaming prints of The Producers, this logo is plastered by the current StudioCanal logo.
  • It may have been seen on original theatrical prints of the first Prom Night, but it is unknown if it's preserved on the British Embassy Home Entertainment VHS release.
  • It also appeared on the U.S. theatrical and 1983 Warner Home Video VHS release of Watership Down, but most newer prints of the film either cut straight to the opening prologue or have the Janus Films logo.
  • Weirdly, the logo is retained on Roadshow Home Video's release of Phantasm (known as The Never Dead in Australia), despite Roadshow typically stripping logos from most of its home video releases.
  • This also appeared on the 1994 VHS of Carbon Copy (other home media releases omit this logo).
  • Despite Levine being involved in the production of Magic and Tattoo (the latter film being his final production work before his death in 1987), neither film uses this logo.

Editor's Note: An excellent use of scanimation; pretty impressive for 1968. It has aged well throughout the years it was used, and is a favorite of many.

Embassy Pictures (2nd Gen)[]

(February 19, 1982 - May 2, 1986)[]

Nicknames: "Spinning ☆E", "Rotating ☆E"

Logo: Same as the Embassy Television logo, but with minor differences:

  • The logo is on a brighter blue background.
  • The animation is much slower and smoother.
  • "EMBASSY PICTURES" fades in underneath it.

Variant: Starting in 1984, the logo appeared without the "EMBASSY PICTURES" text and the registered trademark symbol blotted out. This is mainly when the film division was referred to as "Embassy Films Associates".

FX/SFX: The spinning "E", the text fading in. As with the television logo, it was designed by Chermayeff & Geismar Associates of New York.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the film.

Availability: Rare. Embassy's library is shared in various forms by StudioCanal (copyright and most international rights), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (domestic home media rights), Sony Pictures Television (television rights) and Lionsgate (domestic internet streaming rights under license from StudioCanal) with any of their logos preceding this logo.

  • It is more common than the Embassy Television logos and can still be seen on This is Spinal Tap and The Sure Thing.
  • The version without the text can be seen on the 2013 Shout! Factory DVD and Blu-ray releases of Crimewave, the 2014 Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Emerald Forest, the trailer for A Chorus Line and the VHS release of The Sure Thing (along with some television airings). However, the 2003 MGM DVD release and Encore airings of the latter use the standard version instead.
  • It was also seen on the MGM Movie Time VHS of Eddie and the Cruisers, and plasters the Avco Embassy logo on the 1988 Charter Entertainment VHS of The Baltimore Bullet.
  • This might have appeared on theatrical prints of Zapped and Parasite (1982), but home media releases show no evidence.

Editor's Note: It's somewhat boring compared to the television logo, but at least it doesn't look too bad.