Silver Screen Partners

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Silver Screen Partners LP
Limited Partnership group
Fate dissolved
Founded 1982
Founder Roland W. Betts
Owner Silver Screen Management, Inc.
Divisions Silver Screen Partners, L.P.
Silver Screen Partners II, L.P.
Silver Screen Partners III, L.P.
Silver Screen Partners IV, L.P.

Silver Screen Partners refers to four limited partnerships organized as an alternative funding source for movies. The managing general partner for the partnerships was Silver Screen Management, Inc.[1]

George W. Bush was a member of Silver Screen Management, Inc.'s Board of Directors from 1983 to 1993. This became a part of the campaign issue over Hollywood's "pervasiveness of violence" in the 2000 President campaign over Silver Screen Management Board's approval of the highly violent horror-suspense film The Hitcher.[2]


The original Silver Screen Partners, L.P. was organized by Roland W. Betts, New York film investment broker, to fund movies for HBO in 1982. HBO made a 50% guarantee on their investment for exclusive cable rights. Another 40% was guaranteed by Thorn EMI, a British firm, for foreign distribution and foreign TV and videocassette markets. Additional income was lined up for domestic videocassette sales.[3] HBO's film division was just starting out so film output was slow.[4] In 1984, the first HBO/Silver Screen movie, "Flashpoint," was released through TriStar Pictures as were all the HBO/Silver Screen films.[3]

Organized in 1985, Silver Screen Partners II, L.P. financed films for The Walt Disney Company with $193 million. In January 1987, Silver Screen III began financing movies for Disney with $300 million raised, the largest amount raised for a film financing limited partnership by E.F. Hutton.[5]

Silver Screen's fourth limited partnership was also set up to finance Disney's studios. On October 23, 1990, The Walt Disney Company formed Touchwood Pacific Partners which would supplant the Silver Screen Partnership series as their movie studios' primary source of funding.[6]

In 1991, Silver Screen Partners III, L.P. along with the other production companies were sued for copyright infringement over Who Framed Roger Rabbit's "End Title" song.[7]


The partnerships paid for the movie's production costs and shared in the gross dollars in all markets from theater to television. Limited partners received their return before the production company could defray any of their expenses. This is preferred by investors as it guarantees some return if the film fails or has budget overrun and from the producer's overhead. Nor can profits from a single film be used to cover losses on other films, but this makes the partnership somewhat risky.[4]

External links


  1. "FORM 15 - SILVER SCREEN PARTNERS, L.P.". SILVER SCREEN PARTNERS L P CIK#: 0000715082 (see all company filings). Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  2. "Bush Has a Tie to Media 'Depravity'". latimes. Associated Press. September 15, 2000. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mathews, Jack (September 20, 1985). "Hbo, Disney Take Betts At Fun Odds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fabrikant, Geraldine (September 11, 1990). "Market Place; Silver Screen's Tie With Disney". New York Times. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  5. "BRIEFLY: E. F. Hutton raised $300 million for Disney.". Los Angeles Times. February 3, 1987. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  6. "Disney, Japan Investors Join in Partnership : Movies: Group will become main source of finance for all live-action films at the company's three studios.". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. October 23, 1990. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  7. "A selected summary of Southern California-related business litigation developments during the past week.". Los Angeles Times. United Press International. February 25, 1991. Retrieved 18 July 2012.