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All About Posters

Movie studios produced around 12 different kinds of advertising media from the years 1940 — 1985. This was done primarily because each theatre displayed only one film on one screen. As a result, there was a need to have various sized posters, lobby cards and scene stills promoting the film throughout the theatre.

With the emergence of the multiple screen cinemas, the studios chose to phase out many of the older styles. More screens meant less advertising space per film. Today in North America, the principal size for a movie poster is 27" x 40”. This size is commonly referred to as the one-sheet. There are still a variety of poster sizes in existence for films released in countries overseas which we detail below.

Many of the older items (i.e. mid-1980s and earlier) for sale at MovieGoods have actually been displayed in a theatre or cinema. Given the nature of their use, many products will have some wear. If you are in search of a pristine copy of a product from a particular film, be sure to ask about the condition before purchasing your product.

More detailed information about movie poster art and collecting can be found in our Help Section.

North America Posters

One-Sheet

Size: 27" x 41" (typically pre - 1985) - 27" x 40" (typically post - 1985)

Type: Printed on paper stock. Before 1985, usually folded; after 1985, usually rolled.

History: Traditionally, the one-sheet (OS) is the "standard" size for movie advertising in North America. The one sheet is undeniably the most popular size for collectors and consumers alike. Most new movie releases since 1985 were advertised using this size.


In addition to the regular release One-Sheet poster produced for most movies, there are also "special" versions made for some films. They are as follows:

Final: Last pre-release One-Sheet to accompany the film to theaters.

Advance: Sometimes called "Teasers", Advance One-Sheets are released before the film hits the theaters. Some Advance One-Sheets have completely different artwork than Final One-Sheets. Others are almost identical to Final One-Sheets barring words like "Advance", "Coming Soon", or a specific date printed along the bottom.

Anniversary: These One-Sheets mark the anniversary of an all-time favorite such as "Casablanca" or "Gone with the Wind". They are often elaborate designs with artwork different from the original One-Sheet.

Awards: Award One-Sheets indicate somewhere on the poster that the movie has either won an award, or been nominated for an award.

Different Versions: Sometimes a film will have a series of One-Sheets as part of its advertising campaign. You might see Style A, Style B, Style C, etc. Each of these styles would have different artwork.

Double-Sided: Most One-Sheets produced today are double-sided. The front side is very vibrant and often has a glossy coating. The back side is usually a dull reverse image of what you see on the front. Double-Sided One-Sheets are produced this way to maximize the color density when displayed in theater light boxes.

Lenticular: Lenticular posters are three-dimensional, holographic designs. An example of a Lenticular poster is The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Limited Edition: Limited Editions contain original artwork and are only released in limited numbers. Some releases are individually numbered.

Re-Release: If a film is re-released, you will often find different artwork for each release. Examples of this are Gone with the Wind and Star Wars.

Review: These One-Sheets have very little artwork or credit information, and contain mostly quotes from movie critics, newspapers and magazines.

Video Release: Video Release One-Sheets are released when films hit video and are usually different theatrical One-Sheets.

Half-Sheet

Size: 28" x 22"

Type: Printed on card stock, usually not folded.

History: First used in the 1910s and discontinued in the mid 1980s. Used for special sized displays. Artwork tends to differ slightly from the one-sheet. Typically less expensive than one-sheets this size continues to be a popular vintage product.

Insert

Size: 14" x 36"

Type: Printed on card stock, usually not folded.

History: One of the earliest movie poster sizes. Inserts were first used in the 1910s and were used extensively until the 1980s. Like the half-sheet, the insert was used in special sized displays, is generally less expensive than the one-sheet and is still a popular collectible product category.

Lobby Card

Size: 11" x 14" (standard) - 8" x 10" (mini) - 14" x 17" (jumbo)

Type: Printed in color on heavy card stock. Priced by the set.

History: One of the oldest forms of movie poster art. Lobby cards were first introduced in the 1910s in theatre lobbies. A display fixture in most theatres for 75 + years. Although still available for some films, they are typically used only in foreign markets. Lobby cards also remain a very popular collectible product today.

Window Card

Size: 14" x 22" (standard) - 10" x 18" (mini) - 22" x 28" (jumbo)

Type: Heavy card stock, not usually folded.

History: Typically used by local theatres or chains for advertising movies in the window displays of stores in a community. Several companies (including the NSS) produced them. Window cards often had a blank area at the top used for local theatre show times. Many window cards sold actually still have the show times written in this designated space. These, generally, would not diminish the value. Occasionally, the blank space has been cut off which reduces the size and the value.

This particular form of movie art is no longer used.

Movie Still Photos

Size: 8" x 10"

Type: Vintage still photos are printed on glossy heavy card stock while newer photos are not. Please note that 8" x 10" is the total size of the photo itself. In some cases, the image size may be smaller than 8" x 10". There are also some cases where a photograph is cropped somewhat to ensure that it fits into the 8" x 10" size.

History: Scene stills are photographs of specific scenes in the movie. They can be as diverse as action shots or simply shots of the actors. In many cases vintage still photos have descriptions on the front, or back, describing the photo and what is happening in that particular scene of the film. Still photos are widely used today and are a very popular collectible item.

Black and white or color, stills are usually used as part of the press kit or campaign book.

11" x 14" Poster

Size: 11" x 14"

Type: Reproduction posters, printed on heavy card stock and usually glossy. Also the typical size of Lobby Card Reproductions.

11" x 17" Poster

Size: 11" x 17"

Type: Reproduction posters, printed on heavy card stock and usually glossy. These posters measure 11" x 17" from corner to corner though the image itself may be smaller. The 11" x 17" posters very often will have one inch white borders around the image. This is done because the original images used were 27" x 40" and they have to be reformatted with the borders in order to not cause any stretching or distortion of the image.
11" x 17" posters from some older films: the lines you see are fold lines that appeared on the original poster. Before the mid 1980's, all posters were sent folded in an envelope to theatres. Our supplier will not remove the fold lines when creating the posters to maintain the integrity of the original poster. You will see the fold lines do appear on the image of any applicable posters.

27" x 40" Poster

Size: 27" x 40"

Type: Reproduction posters, printed on standard poster paper and may have a glossy or satin finish.

24" x 36" Poster

Size: 24" x 36"

Type: Reproduction posters, printed on standard poster paper and may have a glossy or satin finish.

30" x 40" Poster

Size: 30" x 40"

Type: Heavier paper, usually not folded.

History: Used for special displays, typically very similar to the original release one-sheet. 30 x 40s are no longer produced for films released in the domestic market today.

40" x 60" Poster

Size: 40" x 60"

Type: Printed on card stock, not usually folded.

History: Introduced in the 1930s, used as both inside and outside displays. They are no longer used today.

43" x 62" Bus Shelter Poster

Size: 43" x 62"

Type: Printed on card stock, not usually folded.

History: Reproduction posters, printed on standard poster paper and may have a glossy or satin finish.

Two-Sheet

Size: 46" x 64"

Type: Printed on paper stock, folded or rolled.

History: Sometimes called a "Subway" because it was used as subway advertising.

Three-Sheet

Size: 41" x 81"

Type: Printed on paper stock, always folded.

History: These were used for larger lobby displays, and are rarely used today. Typically 3-Sheets come in two pieces.

Six-Sheet

Size: 81" x 81"

Type: Small billboard.

History: Small billboard — used outside theatres and can come in two to four pieces.

Twelve-Sheet

Size: 9" x 12"

Type: Small billboard paper.

History: Used in the 1940s, no longer in use today. They were small billboard advertising, issued by Paramount. Extremely rare. Always folded, comprised of numerous pieces.

Twenty-Four Sheet

Size: 246" x 108"

Type: Large billboard.

History: Large billboard advertising, rarely used today. 24x the size of a one-sheet.

United Kingdom Posters

Quad
Size: 30" x 40"

Type: Printed on matte or glossy stock. Paper about same thickness as North American One-sheet, unfolded.

History: Like a larger version of a half-sheet, has different artwork than the one-sheet for the same American movie.
Train Station Billboard
Size: 40" x 60"

Type: Printed on paper.

History: Used as advertising in train stations.

France Posters

Petite

Size: 15" x 21"

Type: Printed on paper.

History: Printed in French. Quite often American films shown in France have the title in French with the American title listed in parentheses below.

Medium

Size: 24" x 32"

Type: Printed on paper.

History: Approximately the size of an American one-sheet.

Large

Size: 47" x 63"

Type: Printed on paper.

Bus Station / Train Station Kiosk

Size: 48" x 72"

Type: Printed on paper.

History: Added in recent years, used in bus shelters and kiosks.

Australia Posters

Day Bills
Size: 13" x 30"

Type: Almost always folded twice.

History: Often printed for American-made movies, Australian day-bills most often have different artwork than the American distribution for the same film.

Posters From Other Countries

You will also find movie poster items from other foreign countries on our web site, including India, Belgium, and Italy. The dimensions of each foreign poster is included in the item descriptions.

Other Products

Ad Sheet / Slick
Ad Sheets, or Slicks, are part of a movie’s press kit, and are a page(s) of camera-ready art used for placing ads in newspapers and magazines to promote a particular film. MovieGoods has several Ad Sheet/Slicks in stock.
Banners
Banners were first produced in the 1930s, and are still in use today. The size of banners varies, but they are usually 3’ - 4’ wide, and 8’ - 12’ long. They are very durable, and made of vinyl or canvas.
Heralds
Heralds were used in the 1910s to the mid-1960s as handbills or flyers. Theater staff would stand on the street corner and hand them out as part of the movie’s promotion. The size of heralds varied, but they tended to be either 5" x 7" or 6" x 9". Heralds are no longer used today.
Mylar Static Cling
Some special editions of movie posters are printed on Mylar, which is a plastic sheet. They are then coated with either gold or silver paint.
Press Book
Press books were first used in the 1910s, and are still widely used today. They are part of the press kit and contain information a studio chooses to release about a particular film. They are sometimes referred to as "Showman’s Manual", "Advertising Manual", or "Merchandising Manual". There are many Press Books in the MovieGoods inventory.
Press Kit
Press Kits were first used in the 1910s, and are still used today. They are based on the movie’s advertising campaign. Most contain a press book, advertising aids, ad slicks, and black and white stills. They may also contain buttons, sample posters, other merchandising products (i.e. hats), and slides. In the 1910s, they were often referred to as "campaign kits". MovieGoods has Press Kits from many movies in stock.
Programs
Programs were first used in the 1920s, and were rarely used after the 1950s. They varied in size and presentation, but most often had about 20 pages of photographs, biographies, advertisements, and anything that might be of interest to the moviegoer.
Uncut Stills
Uncut Stills are 4 movie stills shown on one sheet of paper, the size of a Half Sheet poster (22" x 28"). MovieGoods has Uncut Stills from many different movies in stock.

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