Enter the Archive
This archive of Cinema history is also the collective memories of HOLLYWOOD. The gunmen,
the gallants and the ghosts, the bit players and the STARS.
It has been assembled over period of forty years by a director learning his craft. In his early.
days great directors, Wilder, Lean, and Welles, amongst many others took him to one side and
said. “Study the stills son. They won’t move so much, so you can’t miss too much.”.
Forty years on the archive, as we now call it, has grown to approximately 100,000 pieces. Keep
coming back as we shall continue to amaze you with the stunning work of these early
photographers and their successors.
Naturally, you can purchase any item in the archive, at very realistic prices, often 10% of the
auction sales price. Printed on genuine photographic paper, either Kodak of Fuji, they are true
to their original composition even the sometimes odd colors.
So browse though the first few pages of Yesteryear and then tackle the more in depth sections.
Join us in celebrating the October 20th birthday of Bela Lugosi. We have added a new "Lugosi" category to the archive with over 250 images. We have also added a very interesting biography of this iconic actor which can be viewed here.
The archive has over 35,000 images and is growing weekly. Check back
often to see what's new. We have recently added new categories for Drama, War Movies, The Wizard of Oz and Tarzan. We have also added to our collections of Chaplin, Film Noir and Posters. See below for more information on our special 100th anniversary celebration of the Ziegfeld Follies.
Half-sheets measure 22" x 28" horizontally (approximately half the size of a one sheet) and were printed
on card stock, which made them more versatile than the paper materials. They were used in special sized lobby displays inside of theatres.
The artwork on the half-sheet may or may not be the same as that of the one-sheet. The NSS number is normally found on the lower corner, as is the case with the one-sheet, but can also be found on the side.
Half-sheets were normally sent to the exhibitors in rolled tubes. However, there were times when they were folded into quarters for mailing. Half-sheets were sometimes released in more than one style, such as Styles "A" and "B." In some cases the studio would issue one style using photography and one style using painted artwork on the other.
Half-sheets were first introduced by movie studios in the 1910's, shortly after the release of one-sheets and lobby cards. They were initially printed using a brown-and-white rotogravure process. In the 1920's, studios began producing their card stock materials through a process known as photogelatin/collotype or heliotype. Because this process utilized duller dyes than did lithography, the colors of the half sheets look better close up than they do when viewed from a distance.
Half sheets were a main tool in the advertising arsenal until the 1980's. Prior to this time, most theatres had just one screen and one feature movie. A lot more advertising attention was given to each movie, with the theatre lobbies being covered with various sizes of advertising materials for the one feature presentation. With the advent of multiscreen, multiplex theatres, the same lobby advertising space had to be divided among all the films being shown. As a consequence of this, movie studios opted to phase out of most of the standard sizes and focus on one-sheets, mini sheets, standups, banners, mobiles, etc.
AS A COLLECTIBLE
Half-sheets are very popular with collectors, primarily because they are easy to frame. Most collectors prefer half-sheets that have never been folded; however, machine fold marks are acceptable.
MOVIE ART SIZES AND TYPES
The terms "movie art," "theatre art," and "theatre paper" generally refer to any number of advertising materials that feature the artwork created for a particular film. By the mid-1910's, with the movie industry exploding, movie studios and film exhibitors utilized these advertising tools in one of three ways:
Display In and Around a Theatre
Materials used for display purposes included the different types of movie posters, lobby cards, inserts, banners, etc.
Press Information Dissemination
Press information was provided to the media (newspaper and magazines and later radio, TV, etc) in press kits, campaign manuals, press stills, etc.
Promotional giveaway items included just about anything that has the movie's title or artwork printed on it AND was given away at a premiere or special showing.
Movie posters were some of the earliest forms of "movie art." The first movie posters came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Before long, however, the movie industry adopted some of the popular standard sizes and types being used in other entertainment fields (i.e., the circus, fairs, and vaudeville). These posters were printed on paper and came in four incremental sizes. They were:
27" x 41" - Referred to as "One sheet"
41" x 81" - Referred to as "3 sheet"
81" x 81" - Referred to as "6 Sheet"
246"x108" - Referred to as "24 Sheet"
While these sizes were very popular, theatre owners and movie exhibitors wanted more variety in their advertising materials. The Trust, along with the major independent exhibitors, introduced a new series of posters printed on card stock. They recognized that card stock items were more durable and could be re-used. The earliest forms of the card stock posters were:
They later added other sizes of card material, including:
30" x 40"
40" x 60"
As the movie industry grew, the movie studios provided their exhibitors with more unique or more elaborate display materials, particularly for larger advertising campaigns. These included:
In addition to the materials produced for the theatre lobby displays, movie studios also released a series of window card posters to be displayed in places OTHER THAN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE THEATRE.
As the industry grew, movie studios took advantage of the growing transportation industry by adding larger, more visible posters. These included:
Billboard (other than 24-sheet)
This above list of sizes and types is by no means inclusive. There are always exceptions, as movie studios from time to time would produce specialized products for a particular film. However, those listed are the most commonly used posters.
Posters for Display
In addition to their artwork, most of the posters used for display would contain some or in most cases, all of the following information:
The Film's Title
The Film's Stars - In the early days, the placement of the names on the poster would indicate the actor's "pecking order."
The Film's Producer, Production Company and Director
Miscellaneous information such as musical score, screenplay, distributor, etc.
Copyright information and protection clauses.
The Litho Company - This applies primarily to pre-1950's material.
Ownership Tag - National Screen Service also included numbers along with their tag information.
In order to give theatres supplemental information, revised information, or provide "stock" information, the studios issued a "snipe." A snipe is basically a piece of paper with additional information that is pasted, stapled or somehow attached to an existing poster.
Enter the Archive and take a look at our new category - "Half Sheets". Enjoy a sampling of these unique images from over a century of cinema history.
The Follies were lavish revues, something between later Broadway shows and a more elaborate high class Vaudeville variety show. Many of the top entertainers of the era (including Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, Ann Pennington (Ziegfeld star)|Ann Pennington, Bert Williams, Will Rogers, Ruth Etting, Helen Morgan, Marilyn Miller, W.C. Fields, Ed Wynn, Gilda Gray, Nora Bayes, The Tiller Girls, and others) appeared in the shows.
The Ziegfeld Follies were also famous for many beautiful chorus girls commonly known as Ziegfeld girls, usually decked in elaborate costumes by designers such as Romain de Tirtoff, Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon or Ali Ben Hagan, which became the talk of Broadway theatre the following day.
After Ziegfeld's death, his widow Billie Burke authorized use of his name for Ziegfeld Follies in 1934 and 1936. The name was later used by other promoters in New York City, Philadelphia and again on Broadway, with less connection to the original Follies. These latter efforts failed miserably. When later it toured, the 1934 edition was recorded in its entirety, from the Overture to Play-out music, on a series of 78 rpm discs, which were edited by the record producer David Cunard to form an album of the highlights of the production and which was released as a Compact Disc in 1997.
The 1936 Best Picture winner was The Great Ziegfeld, starring William Powell as the master showman. Co-starring Myrna Loy (as Ziegfeld's second wife Billie Burke), Luise Rainer (as Anna Held, which won her an Academy Award for Best Actress), and Frank Morgan (as a rival showman). Featuring numbers by Ray Bolger, Dennis Morgan, Virginia Bruce, and Harriet Hoctor, the film gave a glimpse into what the Follies were really like. The MGM blockbuster's show-stopper was "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody", which, by itself, cost more to produce than one of Ziegfeld's whole shows.
There was also a 1946 feature motion picture entitled ''Ziegfeld Follies'' with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, William Powell, Gene Kelly, Fanny Brice, Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, Lucille Ball, Kathryn Grayson, and others performing songs and sketches similar to those from the original Follies.
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Hollywood Photo Archive