It all began in 1918 when Jack and Harry Cohn and Joe Brandt founded CBC Film Sales Corporation, which was renamed to its current name, Columbia Pictures Corporation, on January 10, 1924. Today, Columbia Pictures is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
If you're a fan of old classic films from the late 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s mostly, then you just might see this logo on such films that were distributed by Columbia Pictures. Examples are Lost Horizon (1937), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), All the King's Men (1950), On the Waterfront (1954), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), and Taxi Driver (1976).
The first film to use this logo was Murder by Death (1976), and can be seen before movies released in the late 1970s, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment, the studio's home video counterpart, was founded in November 1979 while the logo continued use in theaters.
The first half of this logo is much similar to its 1976 counterpart, but after the torch "shines", it dims back into space. This logo debuted with Murder By Death (1976), and can be seen on films like Gandhi (1982), The Karate Kid (1984), and Ghostbusters (1984). The last film to use this logo was Happy Birthday To Me (1981).
On one occasion, the music from the 1976 logo was used here, while on current prints of Stripes (1981), it has the music from the 1993 logo. The first film to use this was Cheech And Chong's Nice Dreams (1981) and the last to use it was Lost In Yonkers (1993).
This is the current Columbia Pictures logo, which premiered on June 18, 1993 with Last Action Hero (1993). Other films that use this logo include The Shawshank Redemption (1994 the first to use the current Castle Rock logo), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Air Force One (1997), Stuart Little (1999), Spider-Man (2002), and Stealth (2005).
The logo made its home video debut on the Robin Hood: Men in Tights VHS on January 12, 1994. As of May 3, 1996, starting with The Craft (1996), the byline "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company" appears under the logo. It was then changed to "A Sony Company" in 2013 with American Hustle.