Viacom Theatres

Background: Viacom Theaters was a theater chain that operated several movie theaters in the fictional North American island country of Durango and some of the United States (including the states of Washington, Tennessee, Illinois, California, Michigan and Ohio) mainly during the 1990's. Viacom Theaters was a division of Viacom Enterprises that began in 1984 by purchasing Durango's largest movie theater chain, Hardy Theatres; then expanded into America in 1987. Their Durangoanian headquarters were located in the suburbs of Covaleda and their American headquarters at the office building at 41000 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (in the same office occupied currently in real life by MJR Digital Cinemas, in fact). Their typical ground-up auditoriums until 1995 were designed similar to AMC Theaters auditoriums from the period with Dolby Stereo, wide screens and cupholder armrests. In 1995, they switched exclusively to stadium seating for new and renovated theaters. Their largest location was the Viacom Avon Mills 30 theater at the fictional Avon Mills indoor outlet mall in Avon, Ohio (off of I-90). Fortunes crashed after a spectacular fire destroyed the Viacom Grand Blanc 12 theater in Grand Blanc, Michigan on Christmas Day 1998 (it would later be rebuilt as the NCG Trillium Cinema in 2006) and during the summer of 1999 this company went bankrupt. All of Viacom's theaters in Durango were converted to other National Amusements brands, including Showcase Cinemas, while their American outposts were sold to various other theater chains, mainly other National Amusements brands as well.

1st Logo
(1984 (Durango)/1987 (United States)-January 4, 1990)

Viacom Theatres (1984)
Nicknames: "Viadull", "The Dull One", "Red, White, Green and Blue", "They Seriously Used This?!", "What were they thinking?", "The Original Bars of Boredom"

Logo: On a black background, three bars, colored (from top to bottom) red, blue and green, flash in from the right side of the the screen and move across the entire width of the background before we zoom out to where the bars gain sloped edges on the left and right sides. Then, "ViacomTheatres" in a white Times New Roman font slides in from the left and settles over the bars.

FX/SFX: The bars flashing and settling into place, the text sliding in.

Cheesy Factor: This logo looks bland, primarily because the text isn't even in the corporate font Viacom used at the time and that there's absolutely no use of the "V of Doom" "V", at the time Viacom's corporate symbol.

Music/Sounds: An eight-note synthesized fanfare.

Availability: Extinct.

Scare Factor: Low.

2nd Logo
(January 5, 1990-1999)

Viacom Theatres (1990)
Nicknames: "Aquamarine/Yellow Wigga-Wigga"

Logo: We see a 3D CGI filmstrip similar to what you would see in IMAX theaters. During the filmstrip animation, we see the 1990 Viacom logo animating. Suddenly, blue light rays begin surrounding the filmstrip, which then zooms out and reveals the Viacom Theaters logo of the time (the 1990 Viacom logo (in the "\/|/\CO/\/\" style), with "\/|/\" in greenish aquamarine and "CO/\/\" in yellow, with the purple word "THEATRES" in Century Gothic font below it) plus the blue slogan "There's No Better Choice!" in script above. The rays then turn into yellowish-white searchlights as either "Feature Presentation", "Coming Soon" or "Also At This Theatre", each in the same color and font as the slogan, fade in depending on when the trailer is played. The completed logo shines through the spotlight effect.

FX/SFX: The rays, the corporate logo forming, the searchlights and the text appearances. A big improvement over the previous logo.

Music/Sounds: A majestic fanfare is heard that starts off dramatic, then ends more triumphant. During the fanfare, we hear the 1990 theme music, also known as the "Wigga-Wigga" music, but minus the famed announcer.

Availability: Extinct.

Scare Factor: Minimal to medium, depending on what you think of the 1990 Viacom logo and the fanfare. Besides this, this is a favorite of many and in it's era put moviegoers in the mood to watch what was then a new release that has since become a classic among film enthusiasts.

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