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  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,307 admin
  • movieman1962movieman1962 Member Posts: 35 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    edited March 2016
    It's a shame what happened to the pressbook. The 30's were beautiful pressbooks with many color covers and some of them could have 50 pages or more. Up to the mid 40's many good ones. Then they started to change, and many studios developed a kind of "template." where many of their pressbooks looked the same. Universal called theirs a "Showman's Manual", Columbia in the 50's went the cheapest of all and changed their pressbook style to a horribly shaped pressbooks with cast and credits on the cover and only 3-6 pages of material. MGM and Warner kept their pressbooks larger but most looked the same from one movie to another. Disney always had a different look. Fox also developed a "form" pressbook called "Exhibitor's Campaign Manual" and most of their 50's titles look the same, except for some gorgeous Cinemascope pressbooks.

    The 60's is another story. With the almost bankrupt Fox (from Cleopatra), they went to a 9" x 13" style, even the pressbook for The Sound of Music is a cheap little pressbook. The publicity stories were about 2 pages that had stories triple spaced and only on one side of the paper and very little information. Gone were most of the exploitation sections. Universal soon followed suit and used the same size and style as Fox did but they had even less publicity story. Coilumbia continued their awful 3-4 page pressbooks (they even stuck a message on some of them to the theater owners explaining why their pressbooks were downgrading-they said to make it easier for the exhibitor, lol). Warner and MGM remained the 2 studios using the larger 11 x 17 or 13 x 18 format, And in the 70's, Fox and Universal again produced the same as each other, pages that were one sided and only 8 l/2 x 11 (or so) and stapled at the left corner, printed on only one side of single sheets of paper. Warner did eventually go smaller around 1973-1974, the pressbook for The Exorcist was smaller in size than their 60's format.


  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,307 admin
    I can just imagine the 30s & 40s stuff would be amazing to look through.
    David
  • BruceBruce Member, Captain Movie Poster Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    It's a shame what happened to the pressbook. The 30's were beautiful pressbooks with many color covers and some of them could have 50 pages or more. Up to the mid 40's many good ones. Then they started to change, and many studios developed a kind of "template." where many of their pressbooks looked the same. Universal called theirs a "Showman's Manual", Columbia in the 50's went the cheapest of all and changed their pressbook style to a horribly shaped pressbooks with cast and credits on the cover and only 3-6 pages of material. MGM and Warner kept their pressbooks larger but most looked the same from one movie to another. Disney always had a different look. Fox also developed a "form" pressbook called "Exhibitor's Campaign Manual" and most of their 50's titles look the same, except for some gorgeous Cinemascope pressbooks.

    The 60's is another story. With the almost bankrupt Fox (from Cleopatra), they went to a 9" x 13" style, even the pressbook for The Sound of Music is a cheap little pressbook. The publicity stories were about 2 pages that had stories triple spaced and only on one side of the paper and very little information. Gone were most of the exploitation sections. Universal soon followed suit and used the same size and style as Fox did but they had even less publicity story. Coilumbia continued their awful 3-4 page pressbooks (they even stuck a message on some of them to the theater owners explaining why their pressbooks were downgrading-they said to make it easier for the exhibitor, lol). Warner and MGM remained the 2 studios using the larger 11 x 17 or 13 x 18 format, And in the 70's, Fox and Universal again produced the same as each other, pages that were one sided and only 8 l/2 x 11 (or so) and stapled at the left corner, printed on only one side of single sheets of paper. Warner did eventually go smaller around 1973-1974, the pressbook for The Exorcist was smaller in size than their 60's format.


    It was TV did the pressbooks in. People would see previews there, and the theaters only needed the pressbooks for the newspaper ads. So the studios started making ad slicks for that purpose and presskits (with stills and supplements) to tell the exhibitors about the films.

    And late pressbooks have either solely just a picture of the one-sheet (in black and white) or worse yet, a box that said "Contact your NSS exchange for posters" (sometimes with a list of sizes available).
    We (eMoviePoster.com) hold 3,000 auctions a week, 138,000 a year.
    See all of our current auctions in one gallery here: http://www.emovieposter.com/agallery/all.html
  • movieman1962movieman1962 Member Posts: 35 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    edited March 2016
    Never knew that Bruce. But it does make sense because that is around the time they started to change. When I look at my pressbook , for instance, of  Cover Girl, which is 16 x 22 and over 50 pages, it amazes me the difference between those and the 50's. And you're so right about the 70's, everything was so cheap as far as pressbooks go, one single ad style in about 6-10 different sizes and very little in publicity stories and zero merchandising. About how many pressbooks do you have now Bruce? I just hit 14,353 yesterday. Do you ever look at them? I am reading them all the time. If you ever find doubles or triples you know who to call lol.
  • BruceBruce Member, Captain Movie Poster Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    Never knew that Bruce. But it does make sense because that is around the time they started to change. When I look at my pressbook , for instance, of  Cover Girl, which is 16 x 22 and over 50 pages, it amazes me the difference between those and the 50's. And you're so right about the 70's, everything was so cheap as far as pressbooks go, one single ad style in about 6-10 different sizes and very little in publicity stories and zero merchandising. About how many pressbooks do you have now Bruce? I just hit 14,353 yesterday. Do you ever look at them? I am reading them all the time. If you ever find doubles or triples you know who to call lol.
    I DO love to look at mine. I plan to send my retirement reading my pressbooks!

    As to how many different ones I have, I have no clue! I used to have around 50,000, and I guessed that half were duplicates, so that wild guess meant I had 25,000.

    But as I keep organizing them, I find more and more duplicates, so I am not sure my guess is even close. You MAY have me beat with 14,353!

    I keep hoping someone would turn up with a large collection of 1940s pressbooks. It sounds odd, but I think I might have more 1930s than 1940s.

    There is NO one who has a LOT of silent ones, especially those from the 1910s. They are almost as rare as the posters.

    Someday, I will get all mine organized, then cataloged, then digitized!


    We (eMoviePoster.com) hold 3,000 auctions a week, 138,000 a year.
    See all of our current auctions in one gallery here: http://www.emovieposter.com/agallery/all.html
  • movieman1962movieman1962 Member Posts: 35 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    It does seem that there are more 30's up for sale when they do show up than 1940's, which is really strange, I also have more 30's than 40's. I too keep looking for more 40's to show up.
  • EisenhowerEisenhower Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,377 admin
    It does seem that there are more 30's up for sale when they do show up than 1940's, which is really strange, I also have more 30's than 40's. I too keep looking for more 40's to show up.
    Paper shortages/recycling during World War II?
  • BruceBruce Member, Captain Movie Poster Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    It does seem that there are more 30's up for sale when they do show up than 1940's, which is really strange, I also have more 30's than 40's. I too keep looking for more 40's to show up.
    Paper shortages/recycling during World War II?
    I am thinking that too. Maybe they printed far fewer too, and then lots were recycled.

    The Great Depression was a boom time for the movies, while WWII hurt a LOT. So maybe they were just economizing in lots of ways, including size and print runs of pressbooks.
    We (eMoviePoster.com) hold 3,000 auctions a week, 138,000 a year.
    See all of our current auctions in one gallery here: http://www.emovieposter.com/agallery/all.html
  • movieman1962movieman1962 Member Posts: 35 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    Here are some new pressbooks I have. I just won a major portion of the Disney pressbooks on Bruce's site, Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo, Fantasia, all original releases. I also  purchased a set of 600 titles from the 20's and 30's and in there were about 16 silent film pressbooks, I'll scan some of them and post them later.






















  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,425 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector
    Well done John. Fascinating viewing. Love this sort of paper.
    Lawrence
  • BruceBruce Member, Captain Movie Poster Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    Lots of great ones there!
    We (eMoviePoster.com) hold 3,000 auctions a week, 138,000 a year.
    See all of our current auctions in one gallery here: http://www.emovieposter.com/agallery/all.html
  • 110x75110x75 Member, Sarli Connoisseur Posts: 1,684 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    Well done job, you archivists!
  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,307 admin
    Fascinating reading in that. Well done on the Disney stuff too.
    David
  • JohnJohn Member, Dealer Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    I have boxes of US, Australian and British pressbooks. They would be well into the thousands but I have never actually counted them. They are mainly 50s - 80s but some earlier. There are some rare ones amongst them including this one!


    John

  • JohnJohn Member, Dealer Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
  • movieman1962movieman1962 Member Posts: 35 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    Thanks everyone for checking in and the nice words.....my grandfather used to work for the UNiversal and RKO exchanges in Winnipeg since the 30's and my mom worked at Paramount in Winnipeg as a splicer and editor. I guess I got the bug. I always found pressbooks much more fun than the posters or lobbies that is why I started collecting them, although I would have been alot richer had I collected posters. I started when I was 8 in 1970 and I am sure I could have purchased some great posters back then, but I did get alot of great pressbooks when I was between 8 and 15 years old and they were dirt cheap then, nobody wanted them. The last year has really showed an insurgence, I used to get pressbooks on sites like emovieposter for under 20.00 for the major titles, and after doing weeks of research, I figure it was about mid-2015 when all of a sudden they went sky high on the site. It seems strange it happened so suddenly but if you look at pressbook auction results between 2013-and around June of 2015, and then look near mid-2015 and forward, a MAJOR change occured. It's really baffling. But I can't argue because it makes my collection much more valuable now. Back in the 1970's and 80's and even 90's, no one wanted pressbooks. I Nwish I had bought so many more then.
  • movieman1962movieman1962 Member Posts: 35 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    edited September 2016
    Last month Bruce at Emovieposter had the animated auctions and I won probably the most sought after titles, the ORIGINAL huge pressbooks for Bambi, Fantasia, Dumbo, Saludas Amigos, Sleeping Beauty, The Reluctant Dragon, and Pinocchio. It cost me a fortune but really increased the worth and the attractiveness of my collection. It was either those or an $8000  Wizard of Oz pressbook in great shape which I was offered, it was a hard decision but I think I chose wisely. I'll post some images they should be here in a few days, I am so excited!
  • DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,307 admin
    Love Disney stuff, really look forward to seeing it!
    David
  • BrudeBrude Member Posts: 265 ✭✭ One-Sheeter
    Great thread and terrific collection.
  • movieman1962movieman1962 Member Posts: 35 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    About three months ago, I was on Facebook and I started a chat with someone who lives in San Francisco whose family had owned 4 of the theaters in town from the early 30's up until he sold them in the late 50's ( he says 2 of them are gone now). He is a huge movie fan himself, and we got to talking for hours a day for weeks, first online and then by phone... and he told me who his life partner is and it turns out his partner was a very good friend of mine from my business school days in Minneapolis who I had lost touch with for years. I knew he moved to San Francisco to be in a larger gay community but that's all..it was such a great reunion on the phone.....Anyway,he told me that he had just finished a 3 year project of going through all of the posters he and his father (the original owner in the 30's) had taken home and next year he is going to start selling them. I had told him about my pressbook collecting from the first day we chatted but he didn't say much. Well, I think he was just sitting back and taking in everything I said for 3 months because he let me know only three weeks ago that he has about 17 huge boxes of pressbooks stored in one of his rooms used for his collections. He offered to sell them to me for what the average Joe would consider a huge amount of money but movie poster collectors would think of as a steal. I accepted the offer and made arrangements to pay monthly payments and he will send monthly shipments to me for the value of what I pay him each month.

    I can't convey how excited I am. My collection has what I consider a good amount of 30's and 40's titles, but I would say 75% of what I have is from the 50's onward. This last weekend he went through one box and sent me a list of the titles and this is really going to fill my collection of 30's and 40's pressbooks. The best part of this is that he told me that when they would receive pressbooks they may have gotten 2,3, 4 sometimes 5 copies and they took home a copy right away for themselves, and they never folded a single one, even the larger ones (some of the greats were like 18" x 24" ect). Each was stored in separate plastic bags.

    My first shipment is coming in about a week, and I decided I will take some time and share some of the covers and maybe a nice interior page here on the site. I had to really cut down on my buying on auctions starting a few weeks ago, and will probably be broke for about a year, which is how long I think this will take to get him completely paid but I can't think of a better reason to be broke. I will have to start selling off many of my doubles and triples to help pay for this. I finally feel that Facebook has now been worth something to me. I have usually spent some time every day talking to new collectors and other people in groups and web sites, and have obtained some really nice pressbooks that way but nothing like this. I will start posting some photos here in the next month.

    He sent me a list from one box and listed about 360 titles. That would mean in 17 boxes there would be around 6,000 pressbooks. Here are some highlights:


    Nothing Sacred
    It Happened One Night
    Mr. Skeffington
    City Lights
    The Awful Truth
    The Women
    Call Northside 777
    The King and I
    Frankenstein meets the Wolfman
    Bells of St Marys
    Ten Commandments
    Mr. Smith goes to Washington
    Lost Horizon
    In the Navy
    Psycho
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Godzilla king of the Monsters
    Maltese Falcoln
    Ox Bow Incident
    Key Largo
    The Mummy
    Bambi
    Dodsworth
    Grand Hotel
    Houdini
    His Girl Friday
    Queen Christina
    Buck Privates
    The Gay Divorcee
    Carousel
    Night at the Opera
    Laura
    Top Hat
    Little Giant
    20,000 Leagues under the Sea
    Angels with Dirty Faces
    Lady and the Tramp
    High Noon
    Suspicion
    Gold Diggers of 33
    Stage Fright
    Tarzan and his Mate
    Phantom of the Opera
    Lifeboat
    Sunset Boulevard
    Only Angels have Wings
    Captain Blood
    Lassie Come Home
    Song of the South
    Drums Along the Mohawk
    Du Barry was a Lady
    My Man Godfrey
    Young Mr Lincoln
    Going my Way
    How to Marry a Millionaire

    The thing is, as I have been mentioning to Bruce at Emovieposter, I have strongly been thinking of selling my collection for over a year now. I have not been well at all the last few years, and have some major health issues but the addict in me wants to spend alot of money to buy more, this has been the hardest decision. I figure if my health keeps declining, I can always sell these and I thinkselling them would profit many times more than what he wants for them. What would you guys do? I really need some input. I can still change my decision though not for the first box as he has taken time to get them ready and I already paid for it and what is right is right. There's also a question of having room for 6,000 more pressbooks and filing and handling them with my back in bad shape. So any input is welcome.

  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,425 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector

    It sounds like a fantastic way to ad to your pressbook collection John.

    Sorry to hear that you haven't been well for some time now. 

    My concern is that you are most likely in my age bracket and health issues are often an issue that can certainly slow one down.

    This intended purchase of your estimated 6,000 pressbooks is a big committment with your finances, time involvement, any the many other things that come with such a large purchase.

    I realise that  pressbook collecting is something that gives you great pleasure, so if the acquiring of the pressbook collection will make you happy and you really feel you can cope financially, mentally and physically with such a big committment go ahead, but only after you receive the box on it's way to you. Go through the box and see what pleasure it brings to you, then make up your mind if you then wish to proceed with acquiring the remaining 16 boxes.
    Lawrence
  • MattMatt Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,465 admin
    Your health is more important than bits of paper, I'm sure you'll make the right decision in the end.
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