Logo descriptions by TheMisterFree Logo captures by Eric S. and Bob Fish Editions by Jeffrey Gray and Eric S. Video capture courtesy of Eric S.
1st Logo (March 13, 1981-July 23, 1982)
Nicknames: "3D CBS", "Zooming up CBS"
Logo: On a bluish-black gradient background, from the lower-right corner, the giant capital words (in silver) "CBS" rise up with solid trails on the bottom. As they turn around, the trails "retract" to normal, while the front turns to black. Then the words "THEATRICAL FILMS" (in white) fade in below CBS.
Trivia: This logo was designed by Information International, Inc.
FX/SFX: The rising, "retracting", and color changing of the CBS text.
Music/Sounds: A majestic sounding fanfare, with some synthesized noises (ala the 1982 Vestron Video logo).
Availability: Rare. Seen on CBS films of the period, such as Back Roads and The Challenge.
Scare Factor: Low, the music might get to some, but it's a cool and harmless logo.
2nd Logo (1981)
Nicknames: "Zooming Out", "CBS in Space"
Logo: On a space background, we see "CBS" zooming out, then we see the letters "THEATRICAL FILMS' appears below. The text then shines. Then we see a sparkling shining effect.
FX/SFX: Typical Scanimate animation.
Music/Sounds: A 2-note synthesized fanfare, followed by the 4-note loud trumpent fanfare, then a 8-note "Christmas-like" synth fanfare ending with a 7-note flute tune, with the last note being longer.
Availability: Extremely rare. Can be seen on older television prints of Back Roads.
Scare Factor: None, the music is scary and creepy.
3rd Logo (February 18, 1983-October 26, 1984) Nicknames: "Boom of Stars", "Tri-Star (not the company)", "☆☆☆"
Logo: On a black background, we see two lines going to the centre, when they crash, we see a big explosion forming lots of white stars, then we zoom out and we see three white stars. Below the three stars, C, B, and S zoom out, one by one. A laser light turns the whole thing 3-D and wipes in "THEATRICAL FILMS". The logo shines.
Variant: On some films, the logo starts when the three white stars are already there.
FX/SFX: The lines crashing and exploding, forming lots of white stars, the zoom-ins, the flash, and the shining.
Availability: The short version can be found on films such as Table For Five. The extended version can be seen on American Dreamer.
Scare Factor: Minimal.
4th Logo (October 11, 1985-September 26, 1986) Logo: Same as the 1980 CBS Productions logo.
FX/SFX: Same as the 1980 CBS Productions logo.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 1980 CBS Productions logo.
Availability: Seen on old VHS prints of Better Off Dead, usually from Key Video.
Scare Factor: Same as the 1980 CBS Productions logo.