Orion Pictures

Compiled by James Fabiano, Jeffrey Gray and Matt Williams

1st Logo

Nicknames: "Sliding Rectangles", "The Orion/WB Combo Logo"

Logo: On a black screen, two rectangles, one
blue and one orange, each one tilted forward at a 45 degree angle (making them appear like the floor and ceiling of a tunnel), shoot out towards the center of the screen. When they both connect at the center of the screen, they tilt back 45 degrees, so that they are facing the viewer completely, and enlarge to fill the screen. In the blue rectangle, which is on the top, we see the \\' logo and the words "WARNER BROS." in orange. In the orange rectangle, which is on the bottom, we see the words "ORION (in the same font as in logo #2) PICTURES COMPANY (in a more plain font)" in blue. After a while, the blue and orange rectangles move to each other's spot, briefly overlapping. "A WARNER COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY" and "presents" fade in under "WARNER BROS."

SFX: The rectangles shooting out, tilting, enlarging, overlapping, and switching places.

Cheesy Factor: All the logo's animation is cheesy.

Music: Door-locking/jail cell closing-type noises are made as the rectangles swap and the text changes position.

Availability: Was originally seen on such films as "Time After Time," and "Caddyshack," but recent videos and TV broadcasts of those films use the Warner Communications variation of Orion logo #2. When American Movie Classics or Turner Classic Movies shows "Time After Time" the logo is intact, but in AMC's case, only on the letterbox airings. It might be seen on some Orion films on the Encore movie channel.

Scare Factor: The animation could get you, but I doubt anyone would be scared by it.

2nd Logo

Nickname: "Starry Sky"

Logo: We first see a starry sky, then a constellation of stars in the middle shine brighter than the rest. It moves to the left, forms a circle, and spins around until, in a small flash, it forms a letter "O." Then the letters "RION" appear (by a sliding effect) to complete the logo, which is stylized when a line is drawn across it. The traces of the line remain on the left side of each letter except the "I," which has the line across the whole thing. "An" and "PICTURES RELEASE" (all in blue) appear above and below the logo accordingly.

Excess Byline: On films released in 1982-83, extra text appeared below and to the right of the logo reading "Thru Warner Bros., A Warner Communications Company," with a little \\' next to "A Warner Communications Company." A different starfield was also used.

Indie Label: Orion also had an independent film inprint called Orion Classics. The animation of "Orion" was the same as above, but Classics (in blue in a similar font as above) fades in below.

SFX: The stars forming the "O," the rest of the logo appearing and the line being drawn on it.

Cheesy Factor: The constellation appearing and moving

Music: A horn fanfare against the background of a futuristic sound effect. Sometimes uses the beginning of the movie's music. Can also be silent as well.

Availability: Can still be seen on most of the Orion movies now owned by MGM. The Warner Communications variation can be seen on recent videos and TV broadcasts of "Caddyshack." On many reissues of Orion films on DVD, the normal logo can be seen with the current MGM logo before it.

Scare Factor: Low to Moderate

3rd Logo

Nicknames: "Enhanced Starry Sky", "Starry Sky II"

Logo: Exactly the same as the Starry Sky logo, but updated for the 1990s, with computer effects. The starfield behind the logo no longer zooms out as the logo forms, but shoots out towards the screen. The animation is the same, but the stars now have a "trail" that forms the "O", and the forming of the actual logo is different, with a laser light forming the line in the logo. The logo itself is now silvery and 3D, and only "PICTURES" appears below the logo.

SFX: THIS is how you update a logo. The same thing as the popular Starry Sky logo, but the nice computer animation and trueness to the original have made this a favorite of those who have seen it.

Music: Begins with a variation of the "futuristic sound effect" in the original Starry Sky, then a soft but majestic horn tune. As the logo begins to form, it gets faster and faster, culminating in a majestic hit and three-note sounder. Fantastic music.

Availability: Sadly, used very, very little, although the musical version can be seen on Encore's prints of "Body Slam". A version without music is present on "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag". This logo was probably used more for updated prints rather than movies released in the era, but either way, not much.

Scare Factor: None, it would be very popular if the logo was used more frequently.

Orion Home Video
1st Logo

Logo: On the Orion star background, a comet streaks by, forming the familiar Orion logo, with "HOME VIDEO" below it. The logo shines.

Variations: On videos that did not have the Orion Pictures logo, the logo abruptly ends at this point. On videos that did have an Orion Pictures logo, the beginning of that logo would form, and the Orion Home Video logo would shrink into the top star. The Orion Pictures logo continued as normal.

SFX: Nice star effects, though nowhere near as good as the next effort...

Music: None.

Availability: Scarce/Rare-most of the back catalog's been reissued by MGM Home Entertainment; check your video store's backstock.

Scare Factor: None.

2nd Logo

Logo: On a star background, the five stars fade into view. Instead of moving to form the O, they break formation and swirl around, forming an outline of the Orion logo that quickly fills with silver. "HOME VIDEO" then moves from the bottom of the screen to join the Orion logo, and they both shine.

At this point, one of two endings would appear:

  • The stars from the beginning would return, swirling around the logo, causing it to disappear.
  • The beginning of the Orion Pictures logo begins behind the Orion Pictures logo, as the stars return again to swirl around the logo. "HOME VIDEO" shimmers out, and the Orion logo shrinks to the top star.

SFX: OUTSTANDING animation. Many people prefer this to the movie logo, and the transition from this to the movie logo is just the icing on the cake.

Music: The Orion fanfare. For movies that have Orion Pictures with fanfare, the music is extended to cover both logos.

Availability: Same as 1st HV logo

Scare Factor: Absolutely none. A wonderful logo.

Orion Television

Logo: Same as the
movie logo of the era, but we start at the animation where the stars spin around. The forming of "ORION" is the same, then "TELEVISION" (in white, similar font to ORION, in caps) appears below, just as wide as the "RION" segment of the above text.


  • This logo sometimes appears without the additional "Television" text
  • Most first-run shows were ID'ed as a presentation of "ORION Television Syndication." Some of them having the logo superimposed over the closing credits.
  • On the 1990 pilot of the game show Gambit, the logo was animated as usual, but the text "Television Entertainment" was under.

SFX: The flashing of the "O," the rest of the logo appearing and the line being drawn on it.

Music: Usually have the ending theme play over.

Availability: Rare, was seen on many late 80s game shows, like "Hollywood Squares" and "High Rollers", and the version with only the "Orion" text is seen on reruns of 75-79 Saturday Night Live eps. Cagney and Lacey reruns shown a few years ago on TNN usually had this logo on (with the "TELEVISION" text).

Scare Factor: Low