Why Movie Posters are a Dying Art Form

21 Sep

What catches your eye about a great movie poster? Is it the colors, the images, or the way the whole thing comes together to tell a story?

An epic movie poster truly does all three, yet sadly, movie posters are a dying art. In today’s oversaturated film market, hundreds of movies are made everyday, and most are forgotten about before the ink on the reviews is even dry. Hence, it is no wonder that these mass-produced movies (and their posters) are unmemorable and quickly discarded.

However, in the Golden Era of Hollywood, when talkies were first taking off and movie-making was a budding art form, movie posters were a vital part of the cinematic experience. Movie posters were not just advertisements. They were a commercial and contemporary art form, a way for artists to tell the story of the movie as well as the history of their time period and the cultural influences surrounding them. No wonder so many iconic memorable posters were created during that time, whether it was Clark Gable taking Vivien Leigh into a sweeping embrace for a Gone With the Wind poster or Abbott & Costello hamming it up in The Mummy.

Although memorable images such as these aren’t often recreated in today’s market, it is still possible to locate these posters, and for collectors everywhere, nothing is more exciting than finding that elusive poster of their dreams. Collecting movie posters can be difficult, frustrating work, because unlike baseball cards and other commercial collector’s items, movie posters weren’t made for public consumption. As such, there are limited numbers of posters out there, and there isn’t a store where you can simply walk in and buy these American art pieces.

Instead, you must have the drive, the desire, and the determination to pound the pavement and suffer innumerable dead ends in the search for these must-have pieces. Some people might find such effort frustrating, but for collectors such as myself, it’s all about the thrill of the chase and honoring this dying art form, whether the search ends in failure or success.

To check out some of my favorite finds, go to


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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Uncategorized


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