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In Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman, Batman gives the signal to the police as a gift so that they can summon him when he is needed, after he defeats The Joker.

In Burton's 1992 sequel Batman Returns, Batman has miniature Bat-Signals stationed up around Wayne Manor as a beacon to call him. The main signal is only used when Commissioner Gordon needs Batman's help when the Red Triangle Circus Gang attack Max Shreck during Christmas.

In Joel Schumacher's 1995 film Batman Forever, the criminal psychologist Dr. Chase Meridian uses the Bat-Signal to call Batman, in order to seduce him. Batman is slightly peeved at her usage of the Bat-Signal as a mere "beeper". A music video for "Kiss from a Rose", also from the film, features singer Seal performing the song while standing near the Bat-Signal. Also in Batman Forever, the Riddler alters the Bat-Signal by projecting a question mark into the sky with the first symbol forming the dot at the base. Similarly, in Batman: Dark Victory, after brokering a tentative alliance with Batman, the Riddler changes the signal, projecting a question mark into the sky in order to let Batman know that he has an answer for him.

In the Schumacher's 1997 film Batman & Robin, Poison Ivy alters the Bat-Signal by changing it to a "Robin-Signal" to lure Robin into a trap.