Zippo's Theaters

Background: Zippo's Theaters is founded in 1970 by Sam Walton, who also founded Walmart in the 1940's. The first theater was later opened in 1975 in Harlan, Kentucky. The original location, right next to the Buttermore's dental offices, was previously a theater named the Sam's Cinema (aka Harlan Cinema 4), which accounts for the futuristic/sci-fi style of ZT’s early theaters. That original location is now a styling salon. Until its bankruptcy in 1998, Zippo's Theaters was a privately owned corporation. The chain began as a division of Arazon, Inc., which also operated Arazon Cinema, a chain of family movie theaters which also began in Harlan, and that was very similar to Harlan Theaters. Arazon was located in the Midwest and Southern United States. In 1977, the original two-screen theater was crowded with patrons flocking to see Star Wars in its opening weekend When the company was sold in 1986, the Zippo's Theaters concept had far outgrown the Arazon chain. Most of Azrazon's 46 remaining locations were converted to Wally World Theatres by the new owners, located at some Walmart Supercenter stores, with a handful staying under the original name, usually because there was already an existing Walmart's Theatres nearby. Only a dozen or so, now called Arazonian Theaters, are still open in Kentucky and southern Indiana. ZT stores were largely unaffected by this move. (Many original ZT franchisees were also operators of Arazon locations.)

The restaurant, which has over 1200 units worldwide, was formerly a division of Wow! Brands, Inc. The company purchased it from Yorkshire Global
Theaters, which originally acquired it from Fleet Boston Bank after its having gained control of the movie theaters due to bankruptcy.

On January 18, 2011,
Wow! Brands announced its intention to sell Zippo's Theaters, along with its Walmart store chain and moved next to Don't Super Saver. Citing poor sales for both divisions, the company plans to focus on its international expansion plans for its other brands, with particular emphasis on its growth in China.[4] In September 2011, Wow! announced they had found a buyer, called ZT Partners LLC.

Three movies that were protested in
Zippo's Theaters were Gremlins (1984),South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1996), and Pokémon the Movie: Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009).

Note
: The chain did not use branded policy trailers until 1973.


1st Opening
(1973-1980)
Nicknames: "70's Sam", "The reason that I don't go to Sam's Theaters", "The Graphics of Doom ", "IT'S THE SSF!"

Logo:
In the black background, there were many random shapes and weird things, so much they take up the entire screen and forms a red/black gradient background. Then more graphics appear, one of them looks like the SSF from the later Klasky-Csupo logo. Then the "Sam's Cinema" logo appears below them.

Variants:
  • The face sometimes says "Sam's Cinema".

Cheesy Factor:
The face may be from the Klasky-Csupo. Also, the face moving its lips can be creepy.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: The V of Doom music
.

Availability:
Extinct; appeared only in Sam's Cinema before the start of a movie or trailers during the '70s.

Scare Factor:Medium to NIGHTMARE; the face, music and "in your face" effects may scare a lot of people
!



2nd Opening
(1980-1987)

Nicknames
: "80's Sam
", "The Tame logo", "The Graphics of Doom II"

Logo: Same as the first logo, except no face, and the graphics are less stranger than its
predecessor. Then the "Sam's Cinema" logo appears below them, again.

FX/SFX: Now this is how you update a logo! The animation and lighting effects make up for a suitable successor to the original logo.

Music/Sounds:
A flute/brass rendition of the first music mixed with a piano.

Availability:
Extinct; was only used in Sam's Cinema back in the early '80s.

Scare Factor: Medium; the music is much more soothing than the first logo, plus the graphics are less bizarre than its predecessor. Plus, no face!



3rd Opening
(1987-1989)
Nickname: "The Star Marquee 1.0"

Logo: On a blue gradient background, we see the
Zippo's Theater logo. Suddenly, the Zippo's Theater logo fades into "WELCOME TO THE SHOW!" and the rules for your visit at a cinema. After that, the Zippo's Theater logo and the text "AND NOW, OUR FEATURE PRESENTATION" fly in one-by-one.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: A late 80s instrumental synth-pop song that sounds like "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jack
son.

Availability: Extinct; no longer seen in theaters.

Scare Factor: Low.



4th Opening
(1989-1992)

Nickname: "
The Star Marquee 1.1", "Sakira the Cat's Debut"

Logo: Same as the previous logo, but at the end, Sakira the Cat walking in front of the marquee, holding the
Zippo's Theater logo, and "OUR FEATURE PRESENTATION" appears below her.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo, but
Sakira says "Enjoy the show, everyone!"

Availability: Extinct; no longer seen in theaters.

Scare Factor: Same as the previous logo.



5th Opening
(1992-1996)
Nickname: "Elroy Jetson, Teddy-2, Astro and Orbitty meet Sakira the Cat", "Elroy's First Policy Trailer"

Logo: At the end of the trailer, we see
Elroy Jetson, Teddy-2, Astro, Orbitty and Sakira the Cat in the movie theater chairs watching a purple gradient background. Suddenly, a white ball of light forms, then extends out to form the Zippo's Theater shines three times. When the logo shines, "OUR FEATURE PRESENTATION" appears below it.

Trivia: This logo was animated by Nelvana in Canada. Also, it would be the last time the five characters would be seen until 1997.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: Patric Zimmerman saying the rules of the movie theater. An 80s synth-pop tune that sounds similar to "Nasty Boys" by Janet Jackson is heard in the background. At the final part of the opening, a synthesizer tune that sounds like the 1993 General Cinema policy trailer is heard.

Availability: Extinct, but this logo was seen on a bootleg VHS of The Lion King from when it was still in theaters.

Scare Factor: Low.


6th Opening
(1996-1997)

Nickname: "Arthur Policy Trailer"

Logo: We see characters from Arthur walk into a typical
Zippo's Theater. Then the rules of the theater appear one-by-one. Afterwards, the Zippo's Theater logo appears with "Our Feature Presentation" below in the Laser font.

Trivia: This logo was animated by Cinar in Canada, who also animated the Arthur TV series. In fact, this policy trailer was made to promote the premiere of the TV series.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: Extinct, but this logo was seen on a bootleg VHS of Space Jam from when it was still in theaters.

Scare Factor: None.


7th Opening
(1997-2000)

Logo: Same as the short-lived Regal Cinemas "Pepsi Girl" policy trailer, but there are a few differences. For example, the logo is animated, the Regal Cinemas logos are replaced with the
Zippo's Theater logo, and the girl is replaced with Teddy-2 with a weird look on his face.

Trivia: This was the second policy trailer animated by Nelvana.In the part when Teddy-2 says "How about servin' me up some of your finest hours?", then Elroy Jetson, Astro and Orbitty ran away from him before he shoots large Pepsi. Also, Sakira the Cat cameos, sitting on the Zippo's Theater logo.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: Same as the Regal Cinemas "Pepsi Girl" policy trailer, but there are two differences. The girly voice saying "Thank You" is replaced with
Teddy-2's voice saying "Ha!" and the song at the end is the instrumental version of "Nasty Boys" by Janet Jackson.

Availability: No longer in use. It was used in tandem with the previous opening.

Scare Factor: Ranges from low to nightmare
.



8th Opening
(2000-2005)
Logo: Exactly like the 1997 Cinemark policy trailer, but the beginning part shows "WELCOME TO THE MOVIES!". Front Row Joe, Popcorn Penny, and Elton replaced by Elroy Jetson, Teddy-2, Astro, Orbitty and Sakira the Cat, the cowboy cat is replaced by Bub, Bob and the Bubble Bobble enemies, the cat skeleton is replaced by a mouse skeleton, the cat ghosts are replaced by mouse ghosts, the crying kitten is replaced with Mew in a bubble. Also, the final part shows the Zippo's Theater logo and "OUR FEATURE PRESENTATION" zooming in one-by-one and shining.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: A techno song that sounds like "Better Off Alone" by Alice DeeJay. The characters in this trailer singing theater rules to the tune of the song.

Availability: Extinct; no longer seen in theaters. It was used in tandem with the next opening starting in 2000. However, it was seen on bootleg VHS tapes of Pokemon: The Movie 2000 and Thomas and the Magic Railroad.


Scare Factor: Low.




9th Opening
(2005-2008)

Logo: Same as the 2004 Regal Entertainment cell phone policy trailer, but the Regal Entertainment logo is replaced with the
Zippo's Theater logo and Elroy Jetson, Teddy-2, Astro, Orbitty and Sakira the Cat all appear next to the logo.

Variant: A 3D version of this trailer exists where after the opening ends, the same thing from the previous opening is said.

FX/SFX: Same as the 2004 Regal Entertainment cell phone policy trailer.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 2004 Regal Entertainment cell phone policy trailer.

Availability: Extinct; no longer seen in theaters.

Scare Factor: None. Kind of a silent end to a company that had numerous great openings throughout it's history.


Cell Phone Policy Trailers

(2008-2011)

Logo
: We see
Bub, Bob, Elroy Jetson, Teddy-2, Astro, Orbitty and Sakira the Cat, as well as many mice, in a movie theater. Suddenly, all except Bub and Orbitty grab their cell phones and start to talk. Bub says to everyone "Please silence your cell phones!" Everyone silences their cell phones. Then Orbitty adds, "Those rules are for all you people too." Zippo's Theater logo appears with the disclaimer "SILENCE YOUR CELL PHONES NOW."

FX/SFX
: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Trivia: In 2011,Sakira became the official mascot of the later company, Super Jump Punch!, when the Zippo's Theater was closed down on January 2011.

Availability: Extinct, no longer seen in theaters, but as of 2012, this was replaced with a current Planet
Theaters logo.

Scare Factor: TBA


More pages