The theater when viewed from the screen

The Mystery Science Theater is the area of The Satellite of Love where Joel/Mike/Jonah and the Bots are forced to watch movies (and thus the setting seen the most throughout the series). A hallway with several doors leads to the theater from the bridge, although there appear to be many other ways to get into the theater. There are also air vents that originally stopped Tom Servo from being able to hover in, thus requiring Joel/Mike to carry him to his seat (although he was able to get in himself on some occasions). Modifications from Jonah have since allowed Servo to bypass the vents freely.

The Theater "in action"

The theater is usually assumed by fans to be located at the back of the SOL in the sense that the bridge is located up front (as seen in the Season 8-9 opening) while the series of doors are located around the central part of the SOL which thus leads to the back, but as the general size, length, and the amount of sections/rooms of the SOL is of great uncertainty, this leaves the proper location of the theater unknown (plus the theater's size is a lot bigger in contrast to the smaller bridge).

When the movie sign is on, the Mads cut off the oxygen supply throughout the SOL, aside from the theater which thus forces Joel/Mike in, or an electric shock is also another method to bring the captives in after going through several doors.

The theater was presumed destroyed when the SOL crashed on Earth in the original series finale. It was later rebuilt by Kinga Forrester as part of the new SOL. The orientation of the new Satellite, apparently to the side compared to the original, permitted a broader, 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio versus the original Mystery Science Theater's 4:3 ratio.

Behind the scenes

During the original run, the theater scenes were filmed in the same area as the bridge. A white sheet was placed in front of the bridge counter to hide it. Joel would sit in front of a cardboard cutout of a row of theater seats, and the Bots and the puppeteers would sit behind them and control the robots. The actors would watch the movie on screens beneath their feet, and the movie would then be edited onto the white sheet after filming.



Joel Hodgson has stated that he drew inspiration for the silhouettes on the screen from the album art for the Elton John song "I've Seen That Movie Too" from the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.[1]


The Satellite of Love
Primary Residents Joel RobinsonMike NelsonJonah HestonCrow T. RobotGypsyCambotTom Servo
Minor/Other Residents Magic VoiceTimmyMike's RobotClayton Forrester (mirror)TV's Frank (mirror)Eddie Nelson (alternate universe)NanitesMike Nelson (robot)WinstonM. WaverlyMatt Claude Van DammeGrowlerEmily Connor
Visitors EnochDemon DogsNuveenaGypsy (mirror)Tom Servo (mirror)MonadObserversFinneganLydiaOrtegaPhantom of KrankorHenry KissingerDelivery ManGoosioMikey the Mike spriteBrain GuyPearl ForresterProfessor Bobo
Terminology AirlockDeus ex MachinaHexfield ViewscreenHyper-warp escape shipsJet ScreenManipulator armsMovie signRocket Number 9The TubeUmbilicusWhirlpool
Locations BridgeCrow's RoomJoel's roomKitchenMike's roomMystery Science TheaterTheater hallwayTom's room
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