Movie posters can stand by itself as a work of art. They decorate otherwise drab walls of theaters and put life into them. They tell a story, they speak something about the films they are promoting. As the song goes a picture can paint a thousand words.
The movie posters are employed to advertise a movie. They came into existence since the earliest public exhibitions of film. The movie posters started as placards listing the line up movies to be shown at the theater. With the onset of the 1900s, the movie posters took on a different turn. They have now illustrations of a scene from individual movies.
In the beginning the movie posters were created and produced solely for use of the theaters. The film ads were very necessary for a film to succeed. They were returned to the distributors after the film was done in theaters. This is true in the United States of America. The movie posters were returned to the National Screen Service (NSS). But somehow some of the movie posters found their way into the hands of collectors and film poster dealers. This is especially true when the NSS stopped its operation in 1985.
By this time the film studios took over direct production and distribution of movie posters for the films they produced. This started the spreading out of the process of making and distributing movie posters. Nowadays film posters are produced in great quantities to promote a movie because they are now being sold directly to the public by retailers who bought them from studio distributors. Movie posters also have now invaded the internet. The studios that created these film ads placed them on their websites for the promotion of their movie films. The easy access and readily available movie posters do not now make collectors' items. Rare movie posters can cost up to thousands of dollars.
Movie studios then have to make several movie ads for one theater since theaters then only show one movie at a time. Thus different sizes of movie posters were created to promote the movie film all over the theater. But with the advent of multiple screen cinemas sizes of movie posters were standardized. This is because the theater spaces have to be apportioned among more films. But there are still different sized posters for distribution to other countries.
Movie posters in one way or another have helped greatly the promotion of a certain film. It lasts, if cared for properly, and it can serve as décor on wall of a room or walls which need to be lightened up. The posters can become a sort of collection. It makes a certain movie unforgotten sort of immortalizing it. The movie posters provoke certain emotions in the viewer most especially when it is an old movie and a good one.
It makes one wax nostalgic for movies of long ago. Day in and day out while looking at the movie posters of old movies serve as a reminder when the world was not as chaotic as it is today.