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What is the History of Movie Posters
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07:14, 28 May 2020
The increasing popularity of actors (and actresses) led to more posters being used to promote movies simply by focusing on these individuals. The so-called golden age of the silent film saw movie theaters converted into prominent venues around towns and producers began to redo their posters into portraits that would show often only leading actors/actresses. Unfortunately in the United States many artists did not provide their signatures in these posters, while in Europe there is now a well recorded history and acknowledgment of key artists who helped to make movies more popular during this time. After the advent of radio in 1926, audiences began to demand movies also use sound. Up to that point, sound was sparingly used, mostly dubbed in at particular points such as music or a few key lines. However, once again it was audiences that pushed the use of new ideas, such as sound, and this led to increasing revenues for movie theaters and producers. Although the World was facing a Great Depression in the 1930s, sound helped to make this period known as the “Golden Age of Movies.” Posters began to become more colorful, vivid, and use of more varied shapes that helped to promote movies. The three major studies, Paramount, MGM, and Universal Pictures, starting developing multiple types of posters to promote movies. These were called “Style A” and “Style B” for Paramount, MGM was “Style C” or “Style D”, and Universal Pictures were known as “Style X” and “Style Y.” Actors and actresses were still prominently displayed on posters, although they were sometimes mixed in with key scenes or actions in a movie in how they were depicted. The names of actors and actresses were still very much prominent on posters, which helped to continue to draw in audiences at record levels (Figure 2). From the late 1940s and into the 1950s, television increasingly kept audiences home. This led to movies focusing more on epic productions or certain action movies that often differed from television. Posters increasingly emphasized the epic nature of films or perhaps the unique or strange characteristics of movies that made them differ from television. Movies now had to use posters as a way to fight off the threat from television. As the baby boom generation came of age, teen movies became a new genre and action movies became more common. Posters now increasingly used sexuality as a way to bring in audiences as well as putting prominent teen idols, such as Elvis Presley, in movies to keep the uniqueness of movies.
[[File:1743.jpg|thumb|A poster from the film <i>Captain January</i> emphasizing Shirley Temple.]]
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