Movie Sign is what Joel Robinson
and the bots
shout before going back into the theater on Mystery Science Theater 3000
. As Joel/Mike and the bots are racing into the theater, Cambot goes through the door sequence
and sits in the back of the theater, recording the movie and commentary.
An evolution of movie sign:
: Things were different in the early days. Since the production values were way less than later on, movie sign was really different. The studio lights flickered, Joel slapped the desk and raced towards the theater. At first only Joel said movie sign, but as the series went on the bots joined him.
: Season 1's bare bones set had only one, large red flashing light, and the familar button pannel didn't show us for a few episodes (until 104, I believe). Joel slapped the desk (and later, the buttons) and raced into the theater. Again, the bots didn't join Joel until later. The klaxons first appeared during season 1.
: The classic MST3K years. This was when movie sign was a real event: When the wackiness of the host seguments
was broken only by the panic of the movie sign. The lights had evolved into the three revolving lights (red, blue/green and yellow) and all three rotated during movie sign. The klaxons blared, Joel/Mike and the Bots shouted "We've got Movie Sign!" in panic as they ran into the theater. This was when movie sign was a real event.
: Season 7 started the decline in the energy of the series. This is when movie sign started become more of a chore rather than a celebrated event. Once MST3K
moved to the Sci-Fi Channel
the revolving lights were replaced by three light pannels. The klaxtons stayed, though. This is when Mike and the Bots limply exlaimed "Movie sign", with no energy or real motivation. One small sign that the brains
were running out of creative steam.
Movie Sign has since been modified for all sorts of things. "Starcraft
Sign", "Dungeons and Dragons
Sign", "undercooked steak Sign", the list goes on and on.