The History of Movie Posters

Posted by Impact Posters Gallery on 17th Feb 2016

The History of Movie Posters

Would you believe it if we told you movie posters have been around for over a century? It’s true! They’ve made an impact on theatre and on audiences for a long time. What started out as cool posters used as promotional material evolved into lifestyle prints that provided cool art which let audiences bring the theatre and film home after the show. Come along for a trip down cinema lane. We’ll explore signature details of the decades and watch how the first poster led to the last.. for now!

The 1920s feels old but my, did it have charm. These early posters couldn’t be purchased in any poster shop. They were hand-drawn, simple, elegant and reserved for the loftiest of spenders (namely, theatres!). Think Charlie Chaplin opening scene, cartooned. The next decade experimented a bit with the design. Allposter makers seemed to tryout boldface, funky fonts and floated heads aimlessly around the space. The 40s, 50s and 60s slowly wove their way out of scene depictions and placed greater emphasis on the film’s actors and more conceptual moods.

The 1970s finally saw the entry of photographs. Of course, the quality didn’t resemble that of prints online today, but it was a spectacle nearly fifty years ago. Advertising continued to boom, and art directors honed in on precisely what moviegoers needed to see in order to motivate them into seats at the theatre. A template of sorts was reproduced frequently, and its general aesthetic carried into present day movie posters.

When movies caught up with the new millennium, an even bolder look took stage. Simplistic layouts contrasted a single, stunning image. Catchy slogans about the film slowly faded, and sharp headshots of featured actors often stole the show. This is aesthetic we still see today.

It’s difficult to claim which art is the finest- it’s up to your own taste! One thing that is for certain is that movie posters have been an essential part of the film industry for over 100 years, and their continual promotional success assures us they won’t be leaving us anytime soon.

To learn more about the history of the films behind these posters, we invite you to browse Impact Posters Gallery. There are so many decades, so many enchanting stories and years on years of film to explore. Find your favorite poster online and investigate its story. A room is always better decorated by details with tales of their own. Enjoy your shopping and bringing the theatre home to you!