Vintage Movie Poster Collection
Before films went widescreen and everything became Technicolor, cinema houses needed something bright to draw in the crowds. In cinema’s heyday – when there was a picture house on every street corner – great care and attention was placed on making the advertising film poster every bit as impressive as the film itself. Today, film posters conform to a recognisable formula. But in the past they were a vivid interlocking of many popular forms of visual culture; from pulp novel covers, to comic book art, all written in that particular epoch’s favourite typography and visual hallmark.
In the silent era of the 1920s, film posters were art deco visions of sleek lines, stark promises, and reunited lovers. It wasn’t until the onset of the science fiction genre that the vintage film poster took the form that modern hipster homesteads crave. With the arrival of the sci-fi and horror genres film production houses realised that there was a market for viewers who lusted after explicit, exploitative, cheap thrills. The B-Movie genre was born. With titles such as ‘The Giant Leeches’, High School Hellcats’, and ‘The Blob’, these movies pretty much sold themselves. But the film posters themselves are now more memorable than many of these largely forgettable films. In the 1960s and 1970s a new wave of contemporary artists – especially those raised on the counter-cultural pop sensibilities of the Situationist movement – began to embrace the form of the film poster, and a short-lived burst of fine film poster art was born. Today, many filmmakers on the independent circuit strive to tap into many of the iconic branding techniques first employed in vintage film posters, but it will never quite be the same.