Glossary Term: Original Poster

Collection Connections is starting a new series of Glossary Terms. Each newsletter we will add a new word, ultimately building a glossary of terminology.

Original Poster– A poster that was issued for a movie by the National Screen Service (NSS), or by a movie studio, or by another company authorized by the studio for display in an actual movie theatre or for promotional use at the time of the films release. Posters that were made to be sold to the public in stores or on line are reproductions/reprints and are NOT original movie posters, even if they were printed around the time of the films release. Re release posters and posters with “Academy Award” on them are also “original” but they are usually considered less desirable. Studio issued posters, posters printed for use in subways, giant billboard posters, out of home posters, and wilding posters are all also considered “original”.

Older posters prior to the mid 1980’s were usually (not always) issued folded while newer posters are almost always issued rolled. Vintage original movie posters were normally printed in very limited quantities, thus they are usually pretty rare. All of them were not meant to be saved. After their initial use they were supposed to be returned to the studio or destroyed.

Usually, the older the poster, the rarer it is. Authentic original theater issued movie posters usually contain an NSS information tag/paragraph and number. However, this is not always true. There are plenty of original movie posters that do not contain NSS info. And, to complicate matters, just because a poster has an NSS tagline, NSS number, and a GAU (printer’s union) logo, does not necessarily mean it is an original movie poster. There are many fakes and reprints that have this printed on them to make them appear more authentic.

How can you tell if a movie poster is “original” “real” “authentic”?

Common standard sizes include: One Sheet 27″ x 41″ or 27″ x 40″, Insert 14″ x 36″, Half Sheet 22″ x 28″, Three Sheet 41″ x 81″, Lobby Card 11″ x 14″, Window Card 14″ x 22″. Measurements on these can vary slightly, but usually by no more than a half inch or so.

Common Reproduction sizes (not original movie posters) are: 24″ x 36″, 20″ x 30″, 11″ x 17″ and anything slightly less than a standard size one sheet approx. 26″ x 39″.

The above information applies to U.S. posters. Foreign movie posters have different specs/sizes.

Archival Poster Frames

27 x 41″ Poster Frame. Comes with a .040″ thick crystal clear UV blocking acrylic front sheet, a 10 mil crystal clear polyester separator sheet; a Blue-gray B flute archival corrugated back sheet and two polyester hang tabs.

Thank you Cinemasterpieces for this information