Waverly Theaters

Background: Waverly Theaters was founded in August 1965 by Dan Pennington and Lucas Allen as Lucas Theaters, showing first-run movies. The chain started in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States. Despite some modifications, theater #1 in Bridgeport still shows movies today as the Waverly Bridgeport Lucas 4. They soon set a goal to open 32 theaters in ten years. The original theater sold 312 tickets the first day. A year later, they created Dan-Lucas Amusements Inc., then in 1968 John Waverly joined the duo in operating the chain, he renamed it Waverly Theaters.

However, by 1974, the trio realized they wouldn't be able to reach the 32-theater goal in time, so they started franchising. The first franchised theater opened that year in Wallingford, Connecticut. In 1975, the first Waverly Theater outside of Connecticut opened, in Massachusetts. A year later, they expanded to Florida, with a theater in Fort Lauderdale, also the headquarters were moved to Milford, Connecticut. In 1978, the chain opened it's first theater west of the Rockies, in Fresno, California.

In 1980, the first futuristic/sci-fi-styled Waverly Theater opened in Ithaca, New York. A year later, in 1981, theater #200 opened in Renton, Washington. Theater #300 opened in 1982. In 1983, Waverly introduced freshly-popped popcorn at their US theaters. Then in 1984, theater #400 opened in Dallas and the first international Waverly Theater opened in the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain, also concession stands at Waverly Theaters started serving nachos and milkshakes.

In 1985, the chain opened its 500th theater and expanded to Andorra, England and Puerto Rico. Also that year, the chain introduced mega-saver shows (effective only before noon on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), added fish filet sandwiches (containing a fish filet, lettuce, and mayo on a soft bun) and expanded to Canada with a theater in Saint John's, Newfoundland in 1986 and opened it's 1,000th theater a year later in Anderson, Indiana. Also in 1987, the chain added chicken nuggets and pretzels to its concession stand menu and expanded to Hawaii and the Bahamas. In 1988, theater #2,000 opened in Kanehoe, Hawaii and the first Australian location opened in Perth. In 1989, theater #3,000 opened in North Muskegon, Michigan and the first Waverly Theater attached to a grocery store also opened. Also that year, Waverly Theaters opened its first Aruban location in Oranjestad and its only Cuban location at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (which is a private location accessible only to base personnel).

In 1990, Waverly Theaters reached it's goal of 5,000 theaters with a new theater in Texas. Also, Waverly Theaters expanded to Greece, Mexico and Suriname. A year later, in 1991, the first theaters opened on a college campus and in an amusement park. Also that year, the first national Waverly Theaters network television commercial aired. In 1992, Waverly Theaters began student discounts and expanded to Japan and Saudi Arabia. In 1993, the first Waverly Theater to be located in a truck stop opened. A year later, the chain expanded to Austria, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Iceland, Russia and Scotland.

Waverly Theaters celebrated it's 30th anniversary in 1995 by opening it's 11,000th theater and expanded to China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Guam, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and Wales. Then in 1996, the chain opened it's 300th international theater and expanded to Argentina, Colombia, Denmark, Guatemala, Israel, Kuwait, Laos, Martinique, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Uruguay, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela and Zambia. A year later, it expanded to Bolivia, Lebanon, Malaysia and Panama. Also in 1997, the chain opened it's first stadium-seating megaplex.

The chain continued to expand, opening it's first theaters in Azerbaijan, Curacao, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates and Yugoslavia in 1998 and Belarus, Germany, Portugal, Qatar, Serbia and Sweden in 1999, also that year, Waverly Theaters opened it's 14,000th location. The chain expanded to Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Tanzania and Thailand in 2000, also that year popcorn seasoning and salads were first sold at the chain's concession stands. In 2001, Waverly Theaters reached 15,000 theaters worldwide, tacos and ice cream were added to the concession stand menu and the chain expanded to Croatia, France, India and Oman. In 2002, the chain opened it's 16,000th and 17,000th theaters, expanded to Belgium, Estonia and Mauritius and all new theaters were redesigned with entrances at one end and a Waverly Gametown arcade at the other end and with concession stands and box offices halfway between the two.

In 2003, the 20,000th Waverly Theater opened and the chain expanded to the Czech Republic, the Fiji Islands, Luxembourg, Nicaragua and Swaziland. A year later, the 22,000th theater opened and the first Waverly Theaters opened in Gibraltar, Saint Kitts, Saint Martin, San Marino, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Grenada, Latvia and Chilie. In 2005, theater #24,000 opened, the first (and only) 30-screen Waverly Theater opened in South Carolina and expanded to Anguilla and Antigua. Then in 2006, theater #26,000 opened. Also, that year, Waverly Theaters expanded into Trinidad and Tobago and Morocco. In 2007, Waverly Theaters opened it's first all-digital movie theater in Kissimmee, Florida and reached 28,000 theaters. A year later, in 2008, theater #30,000 opened and the long-running Free Popcorn Wednesdays promotion was launched that summer. Then in 2009, the 32,000th theater opened and the chain expanded to Iraq (only one location in Baghdad open only to US Army), Macau, Slovakia, and the country of Georgia.

In 2010, theater #33,000 opened and 25,000 Waverly Theaters throughout the US and Canada introduced pizza and cheeseburgers to their concession stands. Also that year, the first Waverly Theathers opened in Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Ukraine. Then in 2011, as the largest theater circuit in the world, the 35,000th Waverly Theater opened and the 8,000th non-traditional Waverly Theater opened. Five more all-digital theaters opened, bringing the total of all-digital theaters to 14.

Today, Waverly Theaters operates about 41,097 theaters, many with some sort of digital projection.

Three movies that were protested inWaverly TheaterswereGremlins(1984),South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut(1996) andThe Dark Knight Rises(2012).

Note: The chain did not use branded policy trailers until 1980.

1st Opening

Nicknames: "Swirling Filmstrip", "Twisting Filmstrip","Rainbow Twist", "Waverly Swirling Filmstrip", "The Big W", "W of Gold"

Logo: On a black background, a white light appears at the upper right corner. Soon, a rainbow filmstripswirls down.It then settles into the center of the screen as it twirls, occasionallyshrinking and twisting, forming a circular trail. It then twists into the middle of the circle and comes to a stop. We zoom in andwe zoom out through a giant outlined “W” over a redrectangle, with rainbow-colored filmstrips on the edges, on it's side. It rotates into place and “averly” zooms out, then “Theaters”(with a “T” that’s as big as the "W")and you see the sides of thewords as they zoom out, but they then turn into place. Once the two words settle onto the rectangle, the rectangle produces a yellow flash around the edges. The words shine twice, then the rectangle’s edges flash yellow again.

Variant: In most cases, a pre-trailer variant was used which just showed the fully-formed logo shining, then we pan above and one of the following appears:
  • "COMING SOON TO THE (theater name) THEATERS"
FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: In the first half, the Hanna-Barbera "swirling star" music, in the second half, the Golden Book Video Goldenvision music.

Availability:Extinct; appeared only inWaverly Theatersbefore the start of a movie or trailers during the 80's.

Scare Factor: Low-to-medium; higher for those afraid of the "swirling star" and Goldenvision logos, since this policy trailer basically is a combination of the two.

2nd Opening

Nicknames: "The Space Marquee 1.0", "Hey, They Stole a Song from Michael Jackson!"

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

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: An instrumental version of "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jack
son. Apparently Michael Jackson approved use of his music.

Availability: Extinct; no longer seen in theaters.

Scare Factor: Low.

3rd Opening

Nickname: "
The Space Marquee1.1", "Marshall the Eagle's Debut"

Logo: Same as the previous logo, but at the end, Marshall the Eagle walking in front of the marquee, holding the
Waverly Theaterslogo and "OUR FEATURE PRESENTATION" appears below him.

Trivia: The debut of this trailer coincided with the opening of the chain's 3,000th location, the North Muskegon 8 theaters in North Muskegon, Michigan.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

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

Availability: Extinct,
but this logo was seen on a bootleg VHS ofJetsons: The Moviefrom when it was still in theaters.

Scare Factor: Same as the previous logo.
4th Opening
(1992-1996, 1997-2002)
Nickname: "ElroyJetson, Teddy-2, Astro, Orbitty, Yoshi, Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott meet Marshall the Eagle", "Elroy's First Policy Trailer"

Logo: At the end of the trailer, we see Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Yoshi,
ElroyJetson, Teddy-2, Astro, OrbittyandMarshall the Eaglein the movie theater chairs watching a purple gradient background. Suddenly, a white ball of light forms, then extends out to form theWaverly Theatersshines three times. When the logo shines, "OUR FEATURE PRESENTATION" appears below it.

Trivia: This logo was animated by Metro Studios in Taylor, Michigan. Also, it would be the last time the nine characters would be seen until 1997.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: Dan Pennington (voice actor for Marshall the Eagle) saying the rules of the movie theater. An 80's synth-pop tune that sounds similar to "The Final Countdown" by Europe 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 bootleg VHSes ofThe Lion Kingand
Fern Gully: The Last Rainforestfrom when both were still in theaters.

Scare Factor: Low.

5th Opening

Nickname: "ArthurPolicy Trailer"

Logo: We see characters fromArthurwalk into a typical
Waverly Theater. Then the rules of the theater appear one-by-one. Afterwards, theWaverly Theaterslogo appears with "Our Feature Presentation" below in the Laser font.

Trivia: This logo was animated by Cinar in Canada, who also animated theArthurTV series. In fact, this policy trailer was made to promote the premiere of the TV series. Ironically enough, several characters from this trailer are still used by Waverly Theaters today.

FX/SFX: The animation in this logo.

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: Extinct, but this logo was seen on a bootleg VHS ofSpace Jamfrom when it was still in theaters.

Scare Factor: None.

6th Opening

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
Waverly Theaterslogo and the girl is replaced with Yoshi with a weird look on his face.

Trivia: This was the second policy trailer animated by Nelvana.In the part when Yoshi says "How about servin' me up some of your finest hours?", thenElroy Jetson,Astro,Orbitty, Snivy and Buster Baxter ran away from him before he shoots large Pepsi. Also,Marshall the Eaglecameos, sitting on theWaverly Theaterslogo.

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 Yoshi
's voice saying "Ha!" and the song at the end is the instrumental version of"The Final Countdown" by Europe.

Availability: No longer in use. It was used in tandem with the 5th opening.

Scare Factor: Ranges from low to nightmare

7th Opening

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 byElroyJetson, Teddy-2, Astro, OrbittyandMarshall the Eagle, the cowboy cat is replaced by Snivy, Arthur Reed and Bomb-Omb enemies, the cat skeleton is replaced by amouseskeleton, the cat ghosts are replaced by mouse ghosts, the crying kitten is replaced with Mew in a bubble. Also, the final part shows a newWaverly Theaterslogo 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.

Scare Factor: Low.

8th Opening

Logo: Same as the 2004 Regal Entertainment cell phone policy trailer, but the Regal Entertainment logo is replaced with the
Waverly Theaterslogo and Snivy, Oshawott, Tepig, Arthur Reed, Francine Frensky, Buster Baxter, The Brain, Fern, Sue Ellen, Yoshi,ElroyJetson, Teddy-2, Astro, OrbittyandMarshall the Eagleall 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.

9th Opening
Logo: Same as the Emagine Theatres (Michigan, USA) policy trailer from about 2010, but the Emagineer is replaced by Marshall the Eagle and Snivy, Oshawott, Tepig, Arthur Reed, Francine Frensky, Buster Baxter, The Brain, Fern, Sue Ellen, Yoshi,ElroyJetson, Teddy-2, Astro and Orbittyare all in the audience.

FX/SFX: Live Action with special effects from Adobe After Effects.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme from the 1991 filmFather of the Brideas heard on the trailer forAladdinfrom the 1992 VHS ofBeauty and the Beast.

Availability: Current.

Scare Factor: Low.

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