Movie posters have a long history, as does collecting movie posters. The first cinema posters are credited to artist Jules Cheret, who produced two of them in the 1890s. Movies had developed into a significant kind of popular entertainment by the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. Around this time, the movie poster would standardise on a 27″ by 41″ size known as the “one sheet.”
The absence of actors’ names on the posters in the beginning was preferred by the film studios because it meant that they would receive a lower salary. Nonetheless, it was during this early stage of the history of cinema that film studios discovered movie stars were just as appealing to moviegoers as the actual film. As a result, the movie star was created, and movie posters started featuring performers’ names in addition to the film’s title.
Movie companies engaged skilled painters to paint portraits of the stars for posters in the 1920s, the heyday of silent cinema, as movie posters became increasingly artistic and spectacular. At the end of the 1920s, movie posters had clearer pictures thanks to a new printing technique created by the Morgan Litho Company.
Another type of movie poster, the half sheet, was developed in the 1930s, a period commonly referred to in the film industry as “The Golden Age of Cinema.” Big motion pictures occasionally received more than the two styles. Yet, because of the Great Depression, many cinema-related items were produced more inexpensively, which reduced the quality of movie posters.
Many cinema stars left for the war as World War II broke out in 1941, and at that time, war was a big theme in movies. Due to the wartime paper shortage, the movie business reduced advertising expenses and utilised less expensive paper for posters.
Movie posters began to incorporate photography in the 1970s, with sporadic use of sketching and painting techniques. Movie posters from this era had a glossy sheen because they were produced on clay-coated paper. The most popular posters at the time were Star Wars and Star Trek, and many people still own them.
The tiny sheet was developed in the 1980s, the decade of the special effects blockbuster, and video shops gained popularity, leading to the development of the video store poster. Reprints of movie posters are now widely distributed and easily accessible online or at numerous retail outlets. Movie posters come in a variety of styles. The passionate movie poster collector has focused on movie posters or theatre art because of their scarcity. These are the movie theatres’ delivery and display posters, which are thereafter meant to be discarded. The commercial poster is a different kind of movie poster that is mass-produced for retail sale to the general public. Distribution of video posters as promotional materials for video rental shops. TV stations employ cable and TV posters as marketing collateral for their programmes. Similar to theatre art, video, cable, and TV posters are not made for the general public. These kinds of posters are still popular among collectors even though they are not as expensive as theatre art. A movie and a product are both promoted on special posters. Finally, limited-edition releases such as anniversary issues and special releases are becoming more and more popular among collectors of theatre art. Advance posters, which advertise a film well in advance of its debut, are another category of movie posters. The Oscar-winning film’s poster, which announces its victory. The combo poster promotes two films rather than simply one. The common double-sided poster featuring artwork on both sides, one of which has the artwork inverted. There are featurette posters that spotlight short films or cartoons, review posters that are displayed after a film receives a favourable review, serial posters that are displayed during movie serials, and special distribution posters.
The need for different poster sizes has increased along with the popularity of movie posters. The one sheet, which is typically 27″ x 41,” is the first and most popular type of poster. The subway, also referred to as the two sheet, is bigger than the one sheet but not quite twice as big. The size of the 3 sheet, which is 41″ x 81,” is three times that of the 1 sheet. The one sheet measures 81″ by 81″ and the six sheet is six times that size. Moreover, there is a 24 sheet that is enormous in size, spanning 246″ by 108,” and a 12 sheet that is almost twelve times the size of a one sheet. Additional sizes include the stock sheet used for cartoons or other short films, which is often much smaller than the one sheet and is available in a number of sizes.
When determining a poster’s worth, as with all collectibles, condition is an important consideration. Demand, rarity, and condition all have a role in a movie poster’s price. The same grading scale used by comic book collectors is utilised by poster collectors: mint (perfect), near mint, very good, good, fair, and poor.
You must be knowledgeable about caring after your movie poster art if you plan to be a serious movie poster collector.
How to keep movie posters’ full collectible value
Never change a poster’s appearance. Even when hanging it on the wall, avoid folding, bending, tearing, or punching holes in it.
Avoid putting a movie poster in the sun’s direct rays. UV lighting may also be dangerous.
Never write anything on your poster, not on the back. Sometimes, marks on the back are visible from the opposite side, diminishing the value of the poster.
Never use tape to fix tears on the front of a poster. If you do use tape, make sure it’s acid-free tape from an art supply store and stick it to the back. Send costly movie art to an expert for restoration. Similar to how expensive comic books are expertly restored, posters may also be restored.
Use sturdy poster tubes or bubble envelopes when sending posters.
Put the poster in a frame, a plastic bag, or a tube for long-term storage, and store it somewhere cold and dry.
Choose an acid-free backing board when framing a poster and avoid dry mounting it.
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