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Author Topic: Old Film Posters
Steve R Pike
Film Handler

Posts: 66
From: Gloucestershire, UK
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 08-02-2011 03:13 PM      Profile for Steve R Pike   Email Steve R Pike   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello, I work at a small independent cinema and we are always having a problem with the film posters once we have finished displaying them.

Right now, we have around 200 poster tubes ranging from films back in the mid 1990s up to the present day.

With our 35mm trailers we return these to the distributors directly once we have finished exhibiting them. Should this be the same for film posters? Or, once we have finished with them - should we just dispose of them.

We are a charity and so we do try and ask people for donations if they would like a poster (especially the big films), but I would like to know what other cinemas (preferably in the UK) do.

Thanks [Smile]

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2481
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-02-2011 03:28 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We just had a poster sale as a fundraiser (we're a charity, also). We had over 1000 to sell going back to the mid-1980's. It was chaotic, but we raised about $4000. We still have a few hundred leftovers, which we've moved into an abandoned office we recently purchased.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12767
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-02-2011 06:31 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the U.S. you're supposed to "return or destroy" posters after use. I assume this is to protect the people who sell posters for a living. I've never heard of a theatre getting in trouble for selling or giving away a poster though.

We give most of ours to the concession kids and I keep quite a few for my "collection" (such as it is).

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-02-2011 06:32 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you are an independent cinema and you play retrospective titles, when you are lucky enough to get 1sheets and trailers, you may want to keep both for future bookings. We reprise many of our titles more than once -- having the trailer and paper at our finger-tips in storage makes life much easier for us. Finding publicity material on older titles is like trying to fine a Coupe DeVille in a CrackerJack box. [Frown]

Quite frankly, we hold on to any and all publicity material like it's gold. If a studio doesn't actually call you up and say, "Where's our trailer (or poster); we want it returned" -- it's never happened to us in 25 years -- they get inventoried and put carefully away for use on another day.

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 593
From: London, UK
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 08-04-2011 07:52 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've done publicity in three Cinemas now. Always limited on space (200 tubes is an amazing collection), so I kept the 'greatest hits' and good artwork, and binned the rest. Otherwise you end up with a cramped and messy poster room that becomes a fire hazard.

You are on the right track with the charity donation idea, could always email your distributor contacts and get authorisation from them to give old POS to charity and keep a simple log sheet with who gets what for how much. If you have people willing to volunteer you could have a stall at local events. We've never had the time/payroll to do things like that unfortunately.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-05-2011 07:54 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is true, you can't save everything, and of course you there are films that tank or that you hate and you know you will never book them again. But for the really good stuff, yes, store them with great care. And yes, tubes take up alot more space than you ever would imagine. Not to mention how they refuse to stay where you put them.

I finally found a storage system that is perfect for posters and a lot more convenient that the damn rolling tubes. It takes up very little floor space and holds over 800 posters! Just picture what 800 tubes will look like, not to mention tubes themselves are heavy.

This system keeps the posters flat -- no unwieldy curl later on when you need to use them, unlike the tubes -- a great advantage.
 - It's all high quality cardboard so it is a very cheap way of protecting hundreds of posters. It holds 24 of the flats. We use a database to keep track of what posters are in what flats -- everything is numberd and with places you can write what you've put in them, so even without the computer database, you can find stuff pretty easily.

We store trailers -- again, only the ones we think there is a possibility that we will run again -- on 2000ft reels. We wind them attached together with a big strip of white artist tape (both sides). The tape makes it ease to see the joins and easy to separate when you need to extract one. The contents if the trailer library is tracked with a database making it easy to to find what you are looking for down the road. Pulling a trailer is then just a matter of pulling the correct numbered reel and counting the white strips as each trailer runs by on the rewind.

Trials and tribulations of the art house crowd!

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Kurt Zupin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 989
From: Maricopa, Arizona
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 08-05-2011 08:31 AM      Profile for Kurt Zupin   Email Kurt Zupin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank,

Where can I get one of those boxes and whats the actual commercial name? I really like that, I would prefer to keep my posters flat then rolled up. Thanks.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-05-2011 08:15 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kurt, you can get these here: Engineering Supply

One drawback of this design, and it is easily recitified, is that naturally they get very heavy as you fill them up with posters, to the point where you won't be able to move the thing. There are no handles and even if there were I doubt they would sustain the weight of the contents -- the case is, after all, made of cardboard.

What we did was construct a simple dolly the size of the case's foot print and put the empty case on the dolly where it will always live. This way once you start filling the case up with posters, it will still be easily moved. BUT, construct it (it needs assembly) and use it in the place where it will live -- it's not something you want to be carrying up stairs. It is just very awkward to move around even when empty.

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Kurt Zupin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 989
From: Maricopa, Arizona
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted 08-06-2011 02:53 AM      Profile for Kurt Zupin   Email Kurt Zupin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Frank. This would be for my collection at home. I like having them lay flat.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5305
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 08-07-2011 06:42 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unfolded/flat is a huge advantage when you are talking about older posters. As they age, they tend to get brittle. I have found that keeping them rolled can impart such a hard curl in paper that even the process of unrolling them and trying to get them into a frame and flattening them out can bit a big risk in tearing them.

I just recently caused some bad trearing to a rolled, rare 3sheet of 2001:ASO -- it was heartbreaking. Yes, flat is certainly perfered if you can manage the space.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3188
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 08-07-2011 10:20 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank, those look AWESOME! I'm ordering one now to try it out.

Thanks for sharing!

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 593
From: London, UK
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 08-10-2011 04:56 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If I ever end up back managing a Cinema that is the first thing on my list to buy. Thanks for the link.

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Tony L. Hernandez
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 158
From: Windsor, CO, USA
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted 08-25-2011 07:11 PM      Profile for Tony L. Hernandez   Email Tony L. Hernandez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was always taught that you had to hang onto a poster or trailer for 7 (maybe 9?) years before you could sell it/give it away. After that time, you can sell it without any risk of trouble from the film companies. Of course you could sell them before that, with some small risk of repercussions.
This may be completely bogus but it is what I was taught by several long-time exhibitors. Has anyone else heard of this?

I try to keep most posters in my vault in case we ever decide to run them again. The same goes with trailers. I never did hoard too many of my theater's surplus posters at home, however, as I never had a soft spot in my heart for them; ever since I was a child, I always hated the chore of hanging them and dicking around with them so there was never a desire to have them in my home. I have, however, hoarded a number of surplus trailers.

As for the used trailers we keep in our vault, believe it or not, I usually splice the heads and tails back on and rewind them on their little "core" the same was they came to me. Odd habit, I know, but that's just how I do things. If you have enough spare reels (or even cores, perhaps), I know a lot of operators do the same thing that Frank mentioned...splice them together on reels.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8367
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 08-26-2011 04:30 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What's interesting that we used to get our one-sheets from NSS folded back about 40yrs ago..and I still have a few in my collection still.

Trick was when mounting these folded one-sheets was to mount them onto a sheet of masonite, or heavy cardboard. But prior, was to reverse fold them to get them to lay flat before mounting them on the backing material before they went into poster cases.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2253
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 08-26-2011 04:39 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank, that box is an awesome idea. We've started just giving away posters once they were 12-18 months old, but I would love to save one from each film (or more for certain films). I'm going to run this by corporate, but if they won't approve it, I may order one myself.

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