A snipe is a clip that is run before a feature presentation or during an intermission. Unlike other preshow content such as trailers, newsreels, cartoons, and short subjects, which primarily serve as entertainment, snipes serve a functional purpose, such as advertising, making notifications, or structuring other content.
Snipes that structure other content
- Snipes that begin the preshow by welcoming patrons, announce the previews, provide a countdown to the start of the show, and the announce the start of the feature presentation.
- Snipes that provide additional information about trailers (ex., that they will appear as a double feature, or that the features being advertised will run together as a dusk-til-dawn event).
- Intermission announcements and countdown clocks.
- No smoking, no talking, no cell phones, instructions for disposing of trash, the location of restrooms, etc. Drive-ins often ran snipes to provide information their radios and heaters.
- Snipes providing the date of a specific event or the day of the week that a new feature will start.
- Snipes that celebrate a holiday.
- Concession advertisements
- Self promotion, either for the theater or company, the technology technology being used, or for the movie-going experience.
- Some jurisdictions required theaters to run fire safety snipes, announcing smoking regulations or identifying emergency exits.