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Collecting Movie Posters: The Art of Cinema

DavidDavid Member Posts: 10,308 admin
by Steve Lensman

Movie Posters, A Timeless Collectible

Over time and generations of motion picture history the movie poster has been printed in a number of different sizes and shapes. The bigger the movie being released, the bigger the poster campaign produced by the studio. At the beginning of the 20th century when moving pictures were just beginning to make an impact on society, the most common size or format for a movie posters was the one sheet. These first posters or one sheets were a common size of 27" x 41" which is the largest sheet that would fit in the lithographers press bed, so in turn this made it a common size used for theater posters prior to motion pictures. Later the larger size posters such as three sheets or six sheets were still derived from the one sheet, for example a three sheet was created with the use of three one sheets and so on.

"The Maltese Falcon" Six Sheet

The Maltese Falcon Warner Brothers Six Sheet  1941 14 X 22  Humphrey Bogart Mary Astor
The Maltese Falcon Warner Brothers Six Sheet (1941) 14" X 22" Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor

Flash Gordon Lobby Card 1940

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe Universal  Lobby Card Chapter 6 Flaming Death 1940  11 X 14
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe Universal Lobby Card Chapter 6 Flaming Death (1940) 11" X 14"

Theater Lobby Cards

Lobby Cards (11" X 14")
Lobby cards for the most part are issued in sets of eight and of coarse there are always those that break the rules. These Lobby Cards were printed on heavy card-stock for display in theater lobbies. The Title Lobby Card showed the production credits and poster artwork whereas the other seven cards were scenes from the film. These lobby cards were usually produced in full color and again there are those.

Jumbo Lobby Card (14" X 17")
Jumbo Lobby Cards were printed prior to the 1940s, these cards were usually produced by the larger movie studio's and generally for higher profile releases. These jumbo cards were often printed on a linen or glossy stock, as these cards were produced in far fewer quantities than standard lobby cards, in conclusion, this makes them a bit more rare.

The Three Stooges "Three Little Beers" Title Lobby Card 1935

The Three Stooges Three Little Beers Columbia  Title Lobby Card 1935 11 X 14
The Three Stooges "Three Little Beers" Columbia Title Lobby Card (1935) 11 X 14

Abbott and Costello "Go to Mars" Title Lobby Card 1953

Bud Abbott  Lou Costello in Abbott  Costello Go to Mars Universal International Title Lobby Card 1953 11 X 14
Bud Abbott & Lou Costello in "Abbott & Costello Go to Mars" Universal International Title Lobby Card (1953) 11" X 14"

Tarzan "Tarzan and the Golden Lion" Title Lobby Card 1927

Tarzan Tarzan and the Golden Lion FBO Title Lobby Card 1927 11 x 14 James Pierce
Tarzan "Tarzan and the Golden Lion" FBO Title Lobby Card (1927) 11 x 14 James Pierce

"Robin Hood" Window Card

The Adventures of Robin Hood Warner Brothers Window Card 1938 14 x 22 Errol Flynn Olivia de Havilland
The Adventures of Robin Hood (Warner Brothers Window Card (1938) 14" x 22" Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland

Window Cards

Produced on a heavy card-stock, these cards were smaller version posters used in shop windows and theater lobbies to advertise the upcoming or currently showing feature films.

Window Card (14" X 22")
These window cards generally had a blank white imprint area of approximately 4 inches at the top of the card to allow the theater's to add there name and the date of showing.

Jumbo Window Card (22" X 28")
These jumbo window cards were over-sized versions of the standard window card also printed on card-stock. These cards were produced in far fewer numbers making them rarer than the standard lobby card.

Midget Window Card (8" X 14")
Midget window cards were printed primarily before the 1940s and were smaller versions of the standard window cards including the same artwork. These cards also had a blank imprint area which were usually used in cigar or candy cases in shops or restaurants. These were printed in much smaller quantities, making them rarer than standard window card as well.

"The Big Broadcast of 1938" Jumbo Window Card

The Big Broadcast of 1938 Paramount Jumbo Window Card 22 X 28 WC Fields Martha Raye Dorthy Lamour
The Big Broadcast of 1938 Paramount Jumbo Window Card 22" X 28" W.C. Fields, Martha Raye, Dorthy Lamour

"Fast and Loose" Window Card 1930

Fast and Loose Paramount  Window Card 1930 14 X 22 Frank morgan
"Fast and Loose" Paramount Window Card (1930) 14" X 22" Frank morgan

Tim McCoy, Stock Midget Window Card 1932

Tim McCoy Columbia Stock Midget Window Card  1932 8 X 14 Tim McCoy
Tim McCoy Columbia Stock Midget Window Card (1932). 8" X 14" Tim McCoy

James Bond "Thunderball" Insert

James Bond Thunderball United Artists 1965 Insert 14 X 36 Sean Connery
James Bond "Thunderball" United Artists (1965). Insert 14" X 36" Sean Connery

Horror Posters

Standard Size American Posters

One Sheet (27" X 41")
The one sheet is the most recognizable as the standard movie poster. These one sheets or posters were printed on a thin paper stock and were usually displayed in front of the theater or in the lobby. Almost always implemented by studio hired artists and illustrators, they would give a bold display of title, credits, and outstanding illustrations of star portraits or a graphic depiction of the film's story line. The studios often printed several different styles of posters for one film, among which might include a "Teaser" or "Advance," to be issued prior to the release of the film to attract potential audience attention. This size became popular in the early 1900s, and remained so until the size was shortened around 1985 to the typical 27" X 40." The One Sheet prior to 1980 was almost always found folded in eighths with one vertical fold and two horizontal folds, and after 1980 were sent to theaters rolled.

Half Sheet (22" X 28")
Printed on cardstock paper, the studios often printed two styles of this size. One style would be identical to the Title Lobby Card. These posters were often a photographic and artwork combination and were displayed in the lobby of the Theater. They were pictured in the collectors have taken to calling them Half Sheets, as they are half the size of a One Sheet.

Insert (14" X 36")
Printed on card stock paper, these posters were used in conjunction with One Sheets to promote a film. The artwork is usually done in a mix of photographic and artwork style as opposed to the all artwork One Sheet. These cards were often folded in thirds, and are very popular among collectors.

"This Gun For Hire" One Sheet 1942

This Gun For Hire Paramount One Sheet 1942 27 X 41 Veronica Lake Alan Ladd
"This Gun For Hire" Paramount One Sheet (1942) 27" X 41" Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd

Buck Jones "Border Law" Insert 1931

Buck Jones Border Law Columbia 1931 Stock Insert 14 X 36
Buck Jones "Border Law" Columbia (1931) Stock Insert 14" X 36"

"The Lone Ranger Rides Again" One Sheet 1939

The Lone Ranger Rides Again Republic  One Sheet Chapter 1 1939  27 X 41 Robert Livingston Chief Thundercloud
"The Lone Ranger Rides Again" Republic, . One Sheet, Chapter 1 (1939) 27" X 41" Robert Livingston, Chief Thundercloud

"Attack Of the 50 Foot Woman" Half Sheet 1958

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Allied Artists 1958 Half Sheet 22 X 28
"Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" Allied Artists (1958) Half Sheet 22" X 28".

"The Rocket Man" Half Sheet 1954

The Rocket Man 20th Century Fox Half Sheet  1954 22 X 28  Directed by Oscar Rudolph with a screenplay by Lenny Bruce
"The Rocket Man" 20th Century Fox Half Sheet (1954). 22" X 28" Directed by Oscar Rudolph, with a screenplay by Lenny Bruce.

"Superman" Three Sheet 1948

Superman Three Sheet Columbia Pictures Serial 1948  41 x 81 Kirk Alyn
Superman Three Sheet Columbia Pictures Serial 1948 (41 x 81) Kirk Alyn

Larger Outdoors Posters

Three Sheet (41" X 81")
Three sheets were printed on a thin paper stock, which were intended to normally be posted outside of the theater. These posters were printed in two or three pieces in which the artwork had to be aligned by the theater at the time of display. For the major release films, by the larger movie studios there would sometimes be two different style three sheets printed. In the early 1970s studios began to produce three sheets in one piece and by the early 1980s had phased out the printing of this size poster altogether. These larger posters were printed in far fewer quantities than the one sheet and are more rare than the smaller posters.

Six Sheet (81" X 81")
Six Sheets are printed on thin paper stock in four different pieces, these posters were displayed outdoors as a small billboard. These posters were to be put together and aligned by the theater at time of display upon display and often featured artwork altogether different than the other posters. They were named Six Sheets as they are the size of six One Sheets put together. These posters were sent to theaters folded and were often displayed using wallpaper glue, rendering them unusable for future use. These posters were printed in far fewer numbers than almost any of the other posters and due to the display and use, far fewer of these posters have survived. Often, due to the large size, these posters are very impressive works of art.

Twenty-Four Sheet (246" X 108")
These huge posters were produced to be used as billboard art and usually came printed in 12 sections. They were printed on standard paper stock and were usually destroyed after the display of the poster. Very few Twenty-Four sheet posters have survived for any films and almost none for films produced before 1950. These are some of the rarest posters in the hobby and due to the size perhaps just as lacking in collectiblity.

"King Kong" Three Sheet 1933

King Kong RKO 1933 Three Sheet Style B 4025 X 79 Faye Wray Robert Armstrong Bruce Cabot
King Kong (RKO, 1933) Three Sheet Style B (40.25" X 79") Faye Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot

"The Vampire Bat" Six Sheet 1933

The Vampire Bat Majestic 1933 Six Sheet 81 X 81  Lionel Atwill Faye Wray
The Vampire Bat (Majestic, 1933). Six Sheet (81" X 81") Lionel Atwill, Faye Wray

"Star Wars" 24 Sheet 1977

Star Wars 20th Century Fox 1977 24 Sheet 104 X 232 Mark Hamill Carrie Fisher Harrison Ford
Star Wars (20th Century Fox, 1977) 24 Sheet (104" X 232") Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford

James Bond "Goldfinger" Door Panel

James Bond Goldfinger United Artists 1964 Tania Mallet Door Panels 20 X 60 4
James Bond "Goldfinger" United Artists 1964 Tania Mallet Door Panels 20" X 60" #4

Large Over Sized Movie Posters

Vertical Panels & Banner

Door Panels (20" X 60")
Tall, vertical posters, printed on thin stock paper in one panel and most often sold in sets of four or six for the more prominent feature releases by major studios. These posters were to be displayed on the doors of the theater and featured unique artwork from the one sheets. More often than not, one panel would feature the title of the film and the other panels would be the stars or scenes from the film. These sets were rarely purchased by theater owners, presumably due to expense, and consequently are very rare and very collectible.

Subway (54" X 41")
Major Studios started printing subway posters in the 1960s, which were printed on standard paper stock. These posters were and are usually used in mass transit station displays. These posters often feature a variation on the "Advance" poster art and are sometimes referred to as Two Sheets and are printed in limited numbers and are very collectible for the earlier titles from the 1960s.

Banner Posters
Studios began producing banners in the 1920s and they were painted using beautiful, full-color silk screen art on canvas or bookbinder's cloth with grommets spaced along the edges which came in a variety of sizes ranging from 24" to 30" or 84" to 120." . Starting in the late 1930s the movie studios began to transition to a card stock material but still silk screening in a mono-tone color scheme and adding a photograph pasted to the banner. Today's banners are printed on vinyl and come in a vast variety of sizes.

"The Man from Planet X" Banner 1951

The Man from Planet X United Artists 1951 Banner 24 X 82 Robert Clarke Margaret Field Raymond Bond
The Man from Planet X (United Artists, 1951) Banner (24" X 82") Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond

James Bond "Goldfinger" Banner 1964

Goldfinger United Artists 1964 Banner 24 X 82 Sean Connery Honor Blackman
Goldfinger (United Artists, 1964) Banner (24" X 82") Sean Connery, Honor Blackman

"Animal House" Subway Poster 1978

Animal House Universal 1978 Subway Poster 41 X 54 John Belushi Verna Bloom Donald Sutherland
Animal House (Universal, 1978) Subway Poster (41" X 54") John Belushi, Verna Bloom, Donald Sutherland

"Magician Mickey" Poster 1937

Walt Disneys Mickey Mouse Magician Mickey United Artists 1937 Poster 40 X 60  Mickey Mouse Donald Duck
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse "Magician Mickey" (United Artists 1937) Poster (40" X 60") Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck

"Donald's Ostrich" Poster

Walt Disneys Mickey Mouse Donalds Ostrich RKO 1937 Poster 40 X 60 Mickey Mouse Donald Duck
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse "Donald's Ostrich" (RKO, 1937) Poster (40" X 60") Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck

Large Paper Stock Posters

Early 1930s Posters

Studios began printing these large paper stock posters in the early 1930s, these large posters were usually rolled when sent to the theater. During the 1930s many of these posters were produced by the Hollywood Sign-Makers Union using a silk-screen process, which was often done in strong, day-glow paints which made for very striking graphics. These craftsmen would often produce as many as ten to twenty paint screens to produce these works of art.

The other method for producing these larger size posters during this time was the photo-gelatin process, the same method used to produce 1930s Lobby Cards. These posters were most often photographic and were produced on a thin paper stock which became brittle over time. The silk-screen and photo-gelatin 40" X 60"s are by far the rarest posters to find for any film from the 1930s. By the 1940s, the 40" X 60"s began being produced on a heavy card stock, in off-set lithography and remained so up until their demise in the early 1980s. In the 1960s these posters became just larger copies of the one sheet, which could be put on an easel to display in large areas. 40" X 60" posters were printed in very limited numbers and few survived.

These posters like the 40" X 60" were printed on a card stock and were normally sent rolled to the theaters. This size began to be printed in the 1930s, often instead of a One Sheet, as was the case with Disney Studios, who printed this format instead of One Sheets from 1935 through 1937. This size gained in popularity in the 1950s as theater owners found them more durable than One Sheets as they were almost identical to the later in artwork.

"Godzilla" Day-Glo Poster 1956

Godzilla Trans World 1956 Day-Glo Color Poster 30 X 40 Raymond Burr
Godzilla (Trans World, 1956). Day-Glo Color Poster (30" X 40") Raymond Burr

"Gilda" Day-Glo Poster 1959

Gilda Columbia R-1959 Day-Glo Color Poster 30 X 40 Rita Hayworth Glenn Ford
Gilda (Columbia, R-1959) Day-Glo Color Poster (30" X 40") Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford

"The Three Stooges" Day-Glo Poster 1930's

The Three Stooges Americas Number Oner Comedians Stock Poster 1930s Produced by the American Display Co Day-Glo Poster
The Three Stooges Americas Number Oner Comedians Stock Poster 1930's Produced by the American Display Co. Day-Glo Poster

"Creature From the Black Lagoon" Australian One Sheet

Creature From the Black Lagoon Universal International 1954 Australian One Sheet 27 X 40
Creature From the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954). Australian One Sheet (27" X 40").

Australian Movie Posters

The Australian Daybill
The Australian Daybill ranged in sizes over the years with smaller daybills were printed during the war due to paper shortages
1910-1941 14" X 40"
1941-1945 10" X 30"

The Austrailian "Long Daybill"
1941-1970s 13" X 30"
1980s to present Approx. 26" X 30"

Normally stone or zinc plate lithos, folded twice like the American Insert.

One Sheet
For the most part 27" x 40" prior to 1970s and usually Stone Lithos, with limited quantities printed. Limited runs as few as 200 One Sheets were printed for films prior to 1950. which explains the rarity of the Australian One-Sheet.

Three Sheet
Generally 41" X 81" similar to US Three Sheets but with the addition of the Australian Censor Blurb.

Lobby Cards
Australia normally used American Lobby Card Sets and Half Sheets.

"The Outlaw" Australian Daybill 1950

The Outlaw RKO R-1950 Australian Daybill Directed by Howard Hughes 13 X 30 Jane Russell Jack Buetel
"The Outlaw" (RKO R-1950) Australian Daybill Directed by Howard Hughes (13" X 30") Jane Russell, Jack Buetel

Star Wars "The Empire Strikes Back" Australian Daybill 1980

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back 20th Century Fox 1980 Australian Daybill  13 X 30  Mark Hamill Carrie Fisher Harrison Ford
Star Wars "The Empire Strikes Back" (20th Century Fox, 1980) Australian Daybill (13" X 30") Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford

"For a Few Dollars More" Australian Three Sheet 1967

Sergio Leones For a Few Dollars More United Artists 1967 Staring Clint Eastwood Australian Three Sheet
Sergio Leone's "For a Few Dollars More" United Artists (1967) Staring Clint Eastwood Australian Three Sheet

"Things to Come" British Crown

Things to Come United Artists 1936 British Crown 125 X 20 Country of Origin Poster H G Wells
"Things to Come" (United Artists 1936) British Crown (12.5" X 20") Country of Origin Poster, H G Wells

British Movie Posters

British Quad
The British quad measures 40" x 30" which is printed on paper stock and the image is often designed to fit the horizontal format. The British Quad is the standard British movie poster and generally has different art-work than the the US one sheet.

British Double Crown
The British Double Crown measures 20" x 30" and is printed on paper stock.

One sheet
27" x 40". Not as common as the Quad.

Three Sheet
41" x 81" Not as common as the US 3-sheet.

Underground Poster aka Giant Fly
Approximately 65" x 40" printed on paper stock and is used on the walls of mass transit underground stations and bus shelters. When this size is not produced, generally several copies of international one-sheets are grouped to fill the display area.

Front of House
10" x 8" printed on card stock; usually issued in sets of eight in color for display in theater lobbies, especially in the UK. The British equivalent to the US Lobby Cards sets.

80" x 90" The top ten inches are left blank so the theater information can be put in later.

"Tarantula" British Quad 1955

Tarantula Universal International 1955 British Quad 30 X 40 John Agar Mara Corday
Tarantula (Universal International, 1955). British Quad (30" X 40") John Agar, Mara Corday

"Finding Nemo" British Quad 2003

Finding Nemo Disney 2003 British Quad 30 X 40
Finding Nemo (Disney, 2003) British Quad (30" X 40")

"Batman" Italian 4 - Foglio 1966

Batman 20th Century Fox 1966 Italian 4 - Foglio 55 X 78 -- Adam West Burt Ward
Batman (20th Century Fox, 1966). Italian 4 - Foglio (55" X 78") -- Adam West, Burt Ward

Italian Movie Posters

The Locandino measures 13 x 27 in

Photobusta or Fotobusta 
Glossy, high quality lithographs, that are the lobby cards of Europe. Size may vary. May be printed in either vertical or horizontal format, measuring 27 x 19 in.

The 2-foglio is the standard poster size in Italy, measuring 39 x 55 in.

The 4-foglio is a very large poster printed in 2 sheets, measuring 55 x 78 in.

"A Fistful of Dollars" Italian Locandina 1964

A Fistful of Dollars Unidis 1964 Italian Locandina Country of Origan Poster 13 X 27 Clint Eastwood Sergio Leone Directed
"A Fistful of Dollars" (Unidis 1964) Italian Locandina, Country of Origan Poster (13" X 27") Clint Eastwood, Sergio Leone Directed

"The James Dean Story" Italian Photobusta 1957

The James Dean Story Italian Photobusta 185 X 2675  1967
"The James Dean Story" Italian Photobusta (18.5" X 26.75") 1967

"Dial M for Murder" Italian 4 - Foglio 1960

Dial M for Murder Warner Brothers R-1960 Italian 4 - Foglio 5475 X 77 -- Alfred Hitchcock Grace Kelly Ray Milland
Dial M for Murder (Warner Brothers, R-1960) Italian 4 - Foglio (54.75" X 77") -- Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, Ray Milland

"Crash Donovan" French Affiche

Crash Donovan Universal 1946 French Affiche 235 X 315 First French Post-War Release
Crash Donovan (Universal, 1946) French Affiche (23.5" X 31.5") First French Post-War Release

French Cinema Posters

Mini (for posting on walls): 40 x 55 cm (16" x 22") but the size may vary considerably.

Petite: 60 cm x 80 cm (23.5" x 31.5") Either Mini or Petite is sometimes called an affichette.

Grande: 120 cm x 160 cm (47" x 63") This is the standard french poster.

8 Panneaux: 4 m x 3 m (158" x 118") Used above the marquee in large French cinemas.

"Cool Hand Luke" French Grande 1967

Cool Hand Luke Warner Brothers 1967  French Grande 47 X 63 Paul Newman George Kennedy Strother Martin
Cool Hand Luke (Warner Brothers 1967) French Grande (47" X 63") Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin

"Horror of Dracula" French Grande 1958

Horror of Dracula Universal International 1958 French Grande 47 X 63 Peter Cushing Christopher Lee
Horror of Dracula (Universal International, 1958) French Grande (47" X 63") Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee

"Ocean's 11" French Affiche 1960

Oceans 11 Warner Brothers 1960 French Affiche 22 X 31 Frank Sinatra Dean Martin Sammy Davis Jr Peter Lawford Angie Dickinson
Ocean's 11 (Warner Brothers, 1960). French Affiche (22" X 31") Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Angie Dickinson

"Bullitt" German A1 1974

Bullitt Warner Brothers R-1974 German A1 23 X 33 Steve McQueen Robert Vaughn Jacqueline Bisset
Bullitt (Warner Brothers, R-1974) German A1 (23" X 33") Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset

German Movie Posters

Straight A's

A0: 84 x 118 cm or 33" x 46" 
may be vertical or horizontal format

A1: 59 x 84 cm or 23" x 33" 
this is the most common size.

A2: 59 x 42 cm or 24" x 17".

A3: 29 x 42 cm or 11" x 17".

A4: 21 x 20 cm or 8" x 8".

Lobby cards are also printed on paper, they vary in size from 8" x 12" to 12" x 18".

James Bond "You Only Live Twice" German A0 1967

James Bond You Only Live Twice United Artists 1967 German A0 Poster 465 X 67 Sean Connery
James Bond "You Only Live Twice" (United Artists, 1967) German A0 Poster (46.5" X 67") Sean Connery

"For a Few Dollars More" German A0 1978

For a Few Dollars More United Artists R-1978 German A0 33 X 46 Clint Eastwood Lee Van Cleef
"For a Few Dollars More" (United Artists, R-1978) German A0 (33" X 46") Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef

Star Wars "Return of the Jedi" German A0 1983

Star Wars Return of the Jedi 20th Century Fox 1983 German A0 33 X 46 Mark Hamill Carrie Fisher Harrison Ford
Star Wars "Return of the Jedi" (20th Century Fox, 1983) German A0 (33" X 46") Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford

"Pinocchio" Polish One Sheet

Pinocchio Walt Disney Productions R-1962 Polish One Sheet Poster
Pinocchio (Walt Disney Productions R-1962) Polish One Sheet Poster

Belgian & Polish Movie Posters

Belgian Posters
Belgian posters measure 24" x 33" before 1939 and from 1940 and on are about 14" x 22", these posters were printed either horizontal or vertical.

Polish Posters
Polish Posters are mostly the same size as the German A1, but, because of paper shortages during the years of Soviet occupation, the posters are not uniform as to size, paper or color.

"A Night at the Opera" Pre-War Belgian 1935

A Night at the Opera MGM 1935 Pre-War Belgian 24 X 305  Marx Brothers Groucho Harpo Chico
"A Night at the Opera" (MGM, 1935). Pre-War Belgian (24" X 30.5") Marx Brothers, Groucho, Harpo, Chico

"Muppet Movie" Polish One Sheet 1979

The Muppet Movie Associated Film Distributors 1979 Polish One Sheet 265 X 385 Frank Oz Jim Henson
The Muppet Movie (Associated Film Distributors, 1979) Polish One Sheet (26.5" X 38.5") Frank Oz, Jim Henson

Spanish One Sheet 1966

Forbidden Planet Loews - MGM 1966 Spanish One Sheet 28 X 39
Forbidden Planet (Loews - MGM, 1966) Spanish One Sheet (28" X 39").

Day-Glo Poster 1951

The Man from Planet X United Artists 1951 Day-Glo Poster 30 X 40
"The Man from Planet X" (United Artists, 1951). Day-Glo Poster (30" X 40")

Danish One Sheet 1954

The War of the Worlds Paramount 1954 Danish One Sheet 2425 X 33 H G Wells
"The War of the Worlds" (Paramount, 1954). Danish One Sheet (24.25" X 33") H. G. Wells

Care For Your Motion Picture History

Commen Sense Care for Your Movie Posters

Your movie poster is a piece of motion picture history and should be treated the same care and respect that any historical artifact might be given. There are three major destructive elements associated with these paper products are:

Direct Sunlight
Always keep your posters out of direct sunlight, UV rays will fade the printers inks used in their manufacturing posters. When framing a poster, always try to use archival or museum mounting elements such as UV resistant glass and acid-free mounting boards and mattes.

Always try to keep your posters or any paper collectible from any contact with water or moisture such as extreme humidity. Moisture will not only stain and mildew your poster, which will deteriorate the elements used in its manufacture of your poster.

Always avoid storing or displaying posters in overly hot environments, as these elements will make the paper fibers brittle and will darken them making your posters brown (or tanned) in the process.

Handling & Storing Your Movie Posters

In caring for your movie posters, there are various handling and storage techniques to that should be used.

Folded Posters
For any folded poster, the folding and unfolding should be avoided, as that will eventually weaken the paper fibers and cause separation and tearing. For the post-1960s glossy stock posters, the folding is especially harmful, as the color will flake and fall off on from the fold lines with excessive handling. If a poster is rolled or has never been folded, under no circumstances should it be folded. It is best to store all posters unfolded and flat.

Linen Backed Posters
Any poster that has been restored by mounting it on archival linen should be stored flat. The rolling and unrolling will eventually cause wear on the poster and the same holds true if your poster has been restored by mounting on Japanese or archival paper, they should be stored flat, as the rolling and unrolling will cause the fold lines to reappear in the paper.

"Turtle Diary" British Quad 1985

Turtle Diary CBS 1985 British Quad Poster Art by Andy Warhol 30 X 40 Ben Kingsley Glenda Jackson
"Turtle Diary" (CBS, 1985) British Quad Poster Art by Andy Warhol (30 X 40) Ben Kingsley, Glenda Jackson

Framing Your Movie Posters

When you decide on having a poster framed, you should take the poster to a knowledgeable framer who has experience in archival museum mounting and framing. Never ever let a framer heat mount, or adhesive mount your poster to flatten it. Anything done to frame the poster must always be reversible with no damaging effects, such as using acid free matting and UV glass to keep from staining or tanning your poster.

"The Shadow Strikes" Half Sheet Style A 1937

The Shadow Strikes Grand National 1937 Half Sheet Style A 22 X 28  Rod La Rocque Lynn Anders
The Shadow Strikes (Grand National, 1937) Half Sheet Style A (22" X 28") Rod La Rocque, Lynn Anders

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