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Up until the 1980's movie posters and other advertising materials were printed in very limited quantities. Different sizes were offered depending on the needs of the studio or theatres. American theatres actually rented them from the studios. All of them were not meant to be saved. Most forms arrived at the theatre folded from the studio supplier. They were considered a disposable form of advertising and after their initial use were supposed to be returned to the studio or destroyed. The following are the different sizes and styles of American movie posters.
For Non U.S. poster styles and sizes click here.
EXTREMELY RARE COMPARED TO A ONE SHEET. A vertical format American movie poster measuring 30" x 40" printed on heavy card stock material. Most 30x40’s feature the same artwork as the one sheet and were issued rolled to the theatre exchanges. The National Screen Service number is sometimes found on the side on the poster, as opposed to the lower bottom as is the case with one sheets. VERY difficult to find in Near Mint condition because the card stock can crease easily. Studios have stopped issuing these. The print run for most 30x40's was usually just a few hundred, making them much rarer than 27" x 41" paper one sheets.
EXTREMELY RARE COMPARED TO A ONE SHEET. A vertical format American movie poster measuring 40" x 60" printed on heavy card stock material. Most 40x60’s feature the same artwork as the one sheet and were issued rolled. They were primarily offered for major motion pictures only and were displayed both inside and outside of theatres. A 40x60 poster display would cost the theater up to 20 times as much as a one sheet to rent. Only a few hundred of these were printed, and it was only printed once. Unlike the one sheet which was printed in quantities of 10,000 and up. The NSS number is sometimes found on the side on the poster, as opposed to the lower bottom as is the case with one-sheets. VERY difficult to find in Near Mint condition because the card stock can crease easily. Studios have stopped issuing these.
An extremely popular and very rare HORIZONTAL format American movie poster measuring approx. 41" x 54" or 45" x 60". Subway sheets are printed on a thicker paper than one-sheets. Most contain the same artwork as the advance materials, and are almost always issued as "advances." They are most often found in subway displays. These posters can be either rolled or folded. Some collectors like the subway sheet because there are fewer of them released. They are somewhat large and cumbersome, but because they are printed on a thick paper, they are more durable. Still used today. Roughly twice the size of a one sheet, usually printed in one large sheet, not two separate sheets. HIGHLY DESIRED DUE TO ITS HORIZONTAL FORMAT AND EXTREME SCARCITY!
A very rare American movie poster measuring approx. 30" x 45". They look like a very large ONE SHEET. Printed on a thicker paper than one-sheets. Most contain the same artwork as the advance materials, and are almost always issued as "advances." They are most often found in subway displays. These posters can be either rolled or folded. Some collectors like them because there are fewer of them released. HIGHLY DESIRED DUE TO ITS EXTREME SCARCITY!
A HUGE American movie poster measuring approximately 81" x 81", roughly six times the size of a one sheet. Produced in 2 or more overlapping sections that are assembled together for display. Almost always folded. EXTREMELY RARE. Very large and cumbersome they are usually printed on a thicker paper than one sheets. Originally designed to be pasted on small billboards. Studios stopped issuing these in the 1970's. This size poster always makes a statement and dominates a room.
TWENTY FOUR SHEET
A HUGE billboard sized American (or International) movie poster measuring approximately 9 ft. x 20 ft., roughly 24 times the size of a one sheet. Produced in 12 or more overlapping sections. Almost always folded. EXTREMELY RARE. Very large and cumbersome. Designed to be pasted on billboards or the sides of buildings. Studios still use these today. There are also even larger Thirty Sheets.
A vertical format American movie or advertisement poster usually measuring 45" x 70". Designed for display in glass-enclosed corner bus stop shelters. They normally feature very colorful, eye-catching and different artwork and are printed on a coated card stock or vinyl like paper. Many of them are double-sided, and come in a series. They are made for outside display. Movie studios frequently use them for major productions. They are very large making them very hard to handle and display, although they are popular with some collectors. Still used today they are usually shipped rolled.
Banners come in a variety of sizes. Older ones usually came in a standard size 24" x 82" or 24" x 60". Newer ones come in all different sizes, usually very large 3’ to 4’ in width to 8’ to 12’ in length, either horizontally or vertically. They are usually printed on vinyl or canvas. They can be used either indoors or outdoors due to their weather-resistant nature. Some will come with either reinforced holes, a hanging bar, Velcro and/or other glue adhesive. Banners can be released as advances or regular issues. Their artwork can vary from simplistic to extremely detailed. Although banners occupy a large amount of display space, they are still considered very collectible to movie art collectors. Banners are printed in limited numbers which makes them harder to obtain than other more common sizes. Still used today they are usually shipped rolled.
MINI (MIDGET) WINDOW CARD
Measure 20" x 60". Rarely used today and HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE AND VERY RARE. Printed on both card and paper stock. Issued for major productions or special theater runs. They were issued alone or in a set of posters (usually a set of four). They usually contained their own unique artwork, normally featuring characters. They were primarily used for display on theater entrance doors.
MINI MOVIE POSTERS
Small, sizes vary 11" x 17", 13" x 20" and other sizes. These are giveaways from the theater if you attend the movie. Usually have very little value although sometimes they can be quite collectible.
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