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History of Gems

June 12, 1999

Columbia Pictures' history with the subsidiary label Screen Gems goes back even further than the TV label created in 1948 (In the Know, May 31). The name was first used in 1933 when Columbia Pictures acquired part ownership of the Charles Mintz animation studio. The studio, at the time, was producing "Krazy Kat" and "Scrappy" cartoons for theatrical release. In 1937, Columbia took over complete ownership of the Screen Gems studio and continued releasing cartoons into the late 1940s.

Just as the name of the label is no longer in limbo, the cartoons are too about to be freed from the vaults. A new series from Columbia TriStar International Television, "Totally Tooned In," is currently in production using restored prints of these rare vintage cartoons. It should appear on TV later this year.

JERRY BECK

Coordinating Producer, "Totally Tooned In," West Hollywood

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