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Paramount Logo Revisited

Features
by Leonard Maltin
December 22, 2011 2:23 PM
3 Comments
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When I posted a story about the new Paramount 100th logo the other day, movie memorabilia dealer and collector Bruce Hershenson questioned my citation of 1916 as the date of its first use, in print and onscreen. He thought he’d seen instances of it in 1915. I told him that I had, perhaps foolishly, trusted the studio’s official press release. (I have a feeling that they’re referring to the photographed trademark on film, and not the print version.)

He has now followed up with an e-mail in which he writes, “By a strange coincidence, I was going through some 1914 exhibitor magazines today, and they were actually using it in their ads at least as early as August 29, 1914! I have attached the image of the cover of the magazine and the ad (their logo is small in this ad, but they used larger versions in later ads, and of course it might have been used even earlier).

“So I guess Paramount is not that up on their history as they could be. It is really fascinating to go through the exhibitor magazines from 1910 to 1914, because they completely cover the history of the Paramount program, and they also cover Carl Laemmle's transition from New York film distributor to New York film producer to his moving to California in 1915. I wonder if that information (and the tons more contained in those magazines) is available anywhere else?”

I’m grateful to Bruce for sharing this with me, and I pass it on to all of you. As to his final point, this is why David Pierce’s Media History Project is so vital. (See my article HERE.) I know David is working on further developments for his amazing database, and I will keep you posted as we enter the new year.

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3 Comments

  • Norm | December 22, 2011 7:58 PMReply

    Gee, do you think they will change their opening logo to read:"100 Plus Years and Counting", or we really don't know what we are doing, just by the movie ticket and shutup...
    Paramount..first class, just not in math or scripts...

  • mike schlesinger | December 22, 2011 4:21 PMReply

    Back in 1999, Sony decreed that it was the 75th anniversary of Columbia. I pointed out that the company was formed in 1918, and was C-B-C for the first six years of its existence, but they decided to stick with the year the name Columbia was utilized (1924). Conversely, Universal is declaring next year to be its centennial, though the name "Universal" was not adopted until 1915. I guess everything's a matter of interpretation!

  • tom meyers | December 22, 2011 3:55 PMReply

    Yes this is most interesting. From our perspective at the Fort Lee Film Commission in New Jersey, Carl Laemmle had his first studios here in 1912 and built at the time one of the largest studios in the world, Universal in Fort Lee on Main Street in 1914 and, as you say, in 1915 he was opening Universal City - Universal's logo dates before the move to California. We are planning a Universal Studio centennial exhibit at our Fort Lee Museum for the summer of 2012 that will include rare archival stills and artifacts from Universal's time in Fort Lee.

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