"Liquid light shows" before movies? 80s?

I hope Cafe Society’s the right place for this since it’s about cinema, but feel free to move it if it’s not…

Does anyone else remember me? Myself and one older friend remembers when they used to have a sort of colored-bubble-liquid projection on the movie screen before the actual movies started up, which were gradually phased out and replaced with 20 minutes of previews instead as the years went by. Most of our friends don’t have any recollection of this stuff, but both of us remember it being ubiquitous through most of our childhoods, early-mid 80s in the midwest (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana) and Massachusetts where we grew up.

Anyone else? What was this called? It’s hard to google something when you don’t actually know what it WAS!

This sounds like a '60s thing… Psychedelic, Man!


Yeah, except it wasn’t. I wasn’t alive in the 60s.

Nope. Saw hundreds of movies in the 80s, but never saw that. I remember static ads, then previews, then the movie.

I remember those from the 1960s. Not exactly like that but similar. Especialy at drive-ins during the snack-bar announcements.

I saw those as late as the 1990s. It looked like they put a lava lamp in front of the projector, for something to look at before the show started.

It was done in the 70s and beyond in multiplexes between shows. They had dispensed with a curtain, so when the movie was over, they’d project that as the cleared and cleaned the theater. The previews would begin around the advertised showtime; it was to show something other than a big blank white screen when you entered the theater.

It was slowly phased out for slideshows with ads and trivia questions. This is because of the amount of money to be made from the trivia question industry.

next they will start handing out gravy boats to those who hand in a correct answer. it’s all part of a larger plan.

The Fair Oaks Mall theater in northern Virginia did this in 1984. A sort of continuously-changing paisley pattern accompanied by elevator music.

Never saw anything like that in my part of MI.

80’s was just a blank screen until the previews started. Sometimes there’d be muzak playing over the speakers.

90’s still images on the screen. Ads for local businesses. Word scramble. “Fun” facts. Etc. Musak or some annoying “pop hits” radio exclusive to that theater chain playing.

00’s full blown commericals for stuff like Coke or M&M’s. “First Look” segments about various shows or movies. Generally all around annoying stuff.

Yeah, that’s why now I usually bring an MP3 player with me to the theater.

I was going to post about the same theater.