This is a list of various types of motion picture memorabilia. It includes the names most commonly used (in the United States and other countries when different). It also has basic descriptions. This should give those of you who don’t know about this hobby a heads up approach when something is posted.
By no means is this an extensive list… but, I have kept this list so the majority may use it and understand it in basic terms. NB: It can also be used when shopping for movie memorabilia on eBay, to help you decipher some lingo or determine if something is real or not. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me.
MOVIE POSTER SIZES and Names.
One-sheet [1 sht or OS]: Generally 27 x 41 inches in size – this is the standard poster used in U.S. cinemas. Posters printed before 1985 are almost always found folded (two horizontal folds and one vertical fold. Since the later 1980s most posters were rolled. Since 1990s some posters are printed on both sides (these were created for the poster light boxes). Some posters can measure 27 x 40, or smaller.
Key Art: The basic design of a one sheet, or movie poster. Key art elements are often re-worked on the advance, teaser or styles B, C, et cetera. The key art elements can also used for trade (Variety a/or Hollywood Reporter, Billboard papers) promotions, press kit covers, magazine & newspaper adverts.
30 x 40: 30 x 40 in., can be printed on heavier card stock. Image invariably same as 1-sheet. The artwork can be either silk-screened or lithograph printing.
40 x 60: 40 x 60 in., printed on heavier card stock. The image sometimes differ from the smaller sizes, and again can be silk screened. These larger sized posters are generally designed to be used outside the cinema, and were exposed to the elements. Many refer to this as a 2-Sheet, but this is incorrect.
3 sheet: 41 x 81 in., is printed on paper stock on two, or sometimes three, separate sheets. These were pasted (billboard style) onto walls outside the cinema. From the 1970s onwards three-sheets were sometimes printed in one piece and issued as “international” versions in foreign countries.
6 sheet: 81 x 81 in., is printed on paper stock, usually in four sections; for use in larger cinema lobbies and/or movie palaces, or on the outside of the building (again billboard style).1/2 sheet: 28 x 22 in., and printed on thin card stock. The main artwork is usually different from the image used on the one-sheet. It can be the same image that you generally find on the first or Title Card of the Lobby Card set.
Insert: 14 x 36 in., like the 1/2 sheet, is usually printed on card stock. These inserts were generally hung in frames outside or inside cinemas on pillars or columns forming arches of the outside entrance or covered portions.
Window Card (WC): 14 x 22 in., were printed on cardboard. The top four inches were generally left blank by the printer for the local exhibitor to fill in. These were generally placed in the windows of local stores (in exchange for movie passes), or the library (especially when promoting a film with a book). They are sometimes found with the top 4 inches, trimmed off, to remove the theatre name. There is also a larger or Jumbo Window Card (JWC) which is 22 x 28 inches and tends to be more rare, and Mini Window Cards (MWC) measuring 11 x 14 and also printed on cardboard stock.
Lobby Card (lc): 14 x 11 in. printed on light card stock. Were originally produced in sets of eight for display in cinema lobbies. Most sets have a title card with production credits and poster artwork. The other seven cards are tinted or colored photographic scenes, from the film. Lobby cards are no longer ! u s e d in the US, but have produced for the overseas market. There are also Jumbo Lobby Cards (JLC) which were produced prior to 1940, and are usually found only as single cards.
Mini Poster: Ranging in size from app. 11 x 18 inches. The design is the same as a one sheet, these are promotional posters distributed at cinemas during the early days of a film’s initial run. In the olden days these would have been called give- a-ways. Today’s are generally used to entice the kids.
Billboard or 24-sheet: Approximately 106 x 234 in., printed on paper stock, the size of a roadside billboard. These were usually printed in 12 sections/pieces.
Banner: Approximately 81 x 24 in., Older ones were printed on bookbinder’s cloth or light card stock; modern ones are generally vinyl, and the size is highly variable. Of the recent variety are the 5×8 banners… these usually hang in the multiplexes, from the balconies, or upper levels.
Still: 8 x 10 in. Black and white photos, usually with a glossy finish, used ! f o r lobby display and press promotion. These would compliment the Lobby Cards in the theatre lobby display. And, these same photographs are included in the presskits, and sent to magazines and newspapers to advertise the film with an accompanying interview or film article.
Door Panel (dp): 20 x 50 in., printed on paper stock (sometimes vinyl); often in four different styles for use on cinema entrance doors.
Subway: 59 x 45 in., horizontal format. Used in US mass transit systems, mostly in New York. May have different artwork from 1 sheet.
Bus Shelter: 47 x 70 in., vertical format. Used mostly in Los Angeles, New York but different varieties are also used in Europe.
Lenticular: Approximately 27 x 41 in., (one sheet size) printed between composite sheets of plastic and lit from behind creating a 3D/holographic effect.
Holo-Foil: Recent creation. Elements of a lenticular on a foil background.
Mylar: Highly reflective background, often mirror-like reflective (These were used to great extent in WRONG IS RIGHT and STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE.
Herald: A flyer distributed in advance of the opening of a film; printed in a variety of sizes from one page to a 4 page foldout. A herald was designed to be imprinted (or stamped) with the name of the theatre and play dates for the film. (Sample flyers were often included in the press book).
Glass Slides: 3 1/2 x 4 inches. Produced from the silent era through the Thrities, but in some instances as late as the 1970s in Australia, India, and other countries; used to promote films coming soon, hence they were often called “Coming Attraction” slides. These were a variation of magic lantern slides. They were also used to advertise local businesses, or events. Slides have made a comeback, or ‘return’ as Norma Desmond would say. Today’s slides though are standard 35mm slides.
Souvenir Program: Hardbound, in book form, or heavy paper w/card or heavier stock covers – these were multi-page booklets filled with scenes from film and much background information on production. These were created for major movie releases and sold in lobbies of first run movie theatres.
POSTERS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
Australian Daybill (db): 13 x 27 in., similar to the US insert but printed on thin paper.
* Quad: 40 x 30 in, printed on paper stock; the standard British poster. The image is often designed to fit the horizontal (landscape) format, and is generally different images than the one-sheet. * Double Crown (dc): 20 x 30, printed on paper stock.
* 1 sheet: 27 x 40. Not as common as the Quad, but is coming more into use in the larger multiplex cinemas. * 3 Sheet: 41 x 81. Not as common as the US 3-sheet. * Underground Poster aka Giant Fly (fly): Approximately 65 x 40 in., printed on paper stock; used on the walls of mass transit underground stations and bus shelters. When this size is not produced, several copies of international one- sheets are grouped to fill the display area.
* Front of House (foh): 10 x 8 in., printed on card stock; usually issued in ! sets of eight in color for display in theater lobbies, especially in the UK. They are often smaller versions of lobby card sets. * Billboard: 80 x 90 in. The top ten inches are left blank so the cinema/date information can be put in later, the same as with US window cards.
* Locandino: 13 x 27 in. * Photobusta or fotobusta (fb)” 27 x 19 in. Glossy, high quality lithographs, used as lobby cards in Europe. Size may vary, and could be either vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape) format. * 2-foglio (due): 39 x 55 in. Standard poster size [2 sheet]. * 4-foglio (quattro): 55 x 78 in. Very large poster printed in 2 pieces.
* Mini (for posting on walls): 40 x 55 cm (app. 16 x 22in.); but the sizes may vary considerably. * Petite: 60 cm x 80 cm (app. 23.5 x 31.5 in.) Either Mini or Petite, or can also be called an affichette.
* Grande: 120 cm x 160 cm (app 47 x 63in) This is their standard poster. * Panneaux: 4 m x 3 m (158 x 118 inches) Used above the marquee in larger French cinemas.
* A00: 118 x 166 cm or 46 x 65 inches. * A0: 84 x 118 cm or 33 x 46 inches (may be vertical or horizontal format). * A1: 59 x 84 cm or 23 x 33 inches; this is the most common size. * A2: 59 x 42 cm or 24 x 17 inches. * A3: 29 x 42 cm or 11 x 17 inches. * A4: 21 x 20 cm or 8 x 8 inches. * Lobby cards are also printed on paper, they vary in size from 8 x 12 in to 12 x 18 in (and many times they are printed as a sheet or set on one page, and you separate them by cutting, scoring along the perforated lines).
Posters generally measured 24 x 33 inches (before 1939) and are now about 14 x 22 inches, either horizontal (landcape) or vertical (portrait).
Posters are mostly the same size as the German A1, but, because of paper shortages during the years of Soviet occupation, the posters may not be of uniform size, paper or color.
Please Note: ALL DIMENSIONS ARE APPROXIMATE whatever the FORMATS.
Single Sided – Double Sided: Posters were single sided prior to 1988, after this time, when light boxes or lighted from behind frames, were introduced for theatre displays of one sheets. Light washed out single-sided posters, so image was re-enforced by being reprinted on reverse. Double-sided posters are much more difficult to reproduce — though there are a few examples of double-sided reproductions, but these are usually quite inferior.
Rolled – Folded (sometimes meaning Flat): Prior to 1990s movie posters were almost always folded at the company that produced them (National Screen Services or NSS). They where shipped to the cinemas with the prints. With the multiplex cinemas, posters were mailed to the cinemas directly, in tubes. There are examples of rolled posters prior to 1990, but these are rather unseen.
R, Followed By A Date Year (R72): Indicates a re-release or re-issue. In the example used the film would have been re-released in 1972. When a studio re- cycled a film by bringing it around to theatres again, they would issue another poster. Often it was the same artwork, sometimes with variations. It could be a whole new design, but this would be for a ‘director’s cut,’ or possible anniversary issue. Usually a re-release poster is worth less than an original release poster. However, there can be exceptions where the re-issue poster has superior art work. R with the year – Does NOT mean or indicate a reproduction. Also, do not mistake the larger “R” on a poster as a re-release. On older posters in the 70s this was the Rating or Restricted Sign for key films having a restricted Audience. Others could be marked “X”. I will go into Film Ratings on Posters at a later date… and another posting!
Teaser: A poster promoting a film, but may not always use the film’s title. Teasers may or may not have a date on them.
Advance: A poster issued before release of the film – may be of a different design from the regular release poster, and including a release date printed on the poster.
Press Book: A campaign manual for exhibitors (theatre owners) with sample ads, promotional ideas, sample press releases and images of posters that can be ordered. They are valuable as reference guides to rare versions and sizes of posters. Depending on the film/studio/stars they may also contain product tie- ins, information for radio/TV spots, images of stills, sample herald, etc.
Press Kit: Package of information sent to entertainment editors and film reviewers, consisting of 8″ x 10″ stills, a synopsis of the film, official credits, and biographies of the principals — often in folder with poster image on cover. Most Presskits today are virtual media on a CDrom with photos and information on the disk rather than printed material.
Press Preview or Screening Info Pack/Program: This is material given out to reviewers at press screenings.
Promo Item: Promotional gimmick sent to top film reviewers and entertainment news editors. Almost always especially created to hype movie, sometimes these items are given to the public (but will be stamped or marked ‘NOT for sale’). Early days they may be photographs or felt pennants… today toys, key chains, pen/pencil sets, or anything else.
Key Set: A film industry publicity term for art indicating a specific group of 8 x 10 inch stills. The term “key set” when used without a modifier refers to all the stills (several hundred) selected as the master set of images on a film. Sometimes, they can be mounted on canvas, with holes punched at the top, and stored numerically, in binders. Other key sets (derived from the master set) are: newspaper key set (aka New York newspaper set): the stills placed in a press kit. The complete newspaper set was often called a brown bag set because they were placed in a small bag and stamped with the title of the film and other information. Other key sets: fashion key set; stunt key set, et cetera. Any selected group of stills used for a particular/specific purpose. The same term is also applied to the 35mm color slides introduced, as part of the publicity package.
Style: A, B, C, etc. With key films – blockbuster or epic, sometimes two or more different styles of posters were/are created to appeal to different markets. One of the best examples, of a new style introduced to ‘refresh’ an advertising campaign – was for STAR WARS. Many different styles were used – the worn-out ‘circus’ poster look for this film, was the “D” style.