1932 “The Mummy” Boris Karloff movie poster. Sold at an auction house in 1997 for over $435.000!
Before television, the internet, and the World Wide Web ever existed; the only way to see the preview to an upcoming Movie was via a film studio movie poster. Well-known artists and illustrators, worked their magic to create colorful artwork and imagery on paper, in hopes of luring the public to want to see the next newly produced film, vaudeville show, or event. Even if the movie itself was in black and white-the movie poster’s art needed to portray the leading characters/stars in a powerful way, with colorful art techniques that were enticing and mesmerizing. Posters came in different sizes (sheet size) and thicknesses. The early American posters were produced in one-sheet sizes (27″ x 41″); but also quite collectible are the two-sheet, subway horizontal posters-which are made with a thicker paper (41″ x 54″ or 45″ x 60″), and the vertical-three-sheet size (41″ x 81′). Also, half-sheet and larger billboard sizes were produced.
MOST ADVERTISING POSTERS WERE DESTROYED
Unfortunately, because a paper was needed during WWII, most paper posters were recycled, so today its hard to find original pre-WWII movie posters. In fact, most posters made in America, were usually returned to a nationwide program called the National Screen Service, a.k.a. the NSS. From 1940-1984, the NSS printed and distributed most of the film posters for Hollywood and other movie studio locations.
Original 1959 “Wasp Woman” 3-pc movie poster-Value $4,500
When it came to horror movie flicks, illustrators needed to have quite a vivid imagination, as well as artistic skills. Fortunately for them, film-goers were ready and willing to see what might be the next horror flick coming attraction.
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