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The movie industry experimented with the concept of double siding as far back as the 1950s on a few major films. Several major films, i.e. Breakfast at Tiffany's in 1961 and Zulu in 1964 released a double sided version.

As National Screen Service relenquished their control of paper distribution back to the studios, and the studios started eliminating sizes and restructuring paper distribution, the concept of double siding arose again.

In the mid-1980's, the studios reduced the distribution overhead by eliminating window cards, inserts, half sheets and drastically cut back on larger paper.

At the same time, the studios started producing more expensive double-sided posters that gave a more realistic look.

Studios produced both single-sided and double-sided printing. The single-sided posters have printing only on the front side with a white backside, while double-sided posters have the same artwork on the front and backside. The artwork on the back is reversed (in lighter shading). Double-sided posters are normally printed on a thicker paper than are the single-sided version. These posters are displayed in "light boxes". Because of the reverse artwork on the back, the double-sided printing gives a more life-like look to the poster when a light is placed behind it.

The doubled-sided poster is the result of a very expensive printing process which involves running the initial negative through at normal color intensity. The poster is then reversed and run back through the presses at a reduced color indensity, such as 30% to 40% of the initial color. This is why the artwork on the front is more colorful and detailed than the reverse print on the back.

For example, here is the reverse side of the one sheet for the film The Grinch:

Doubled-sided posters are extremely popular with many collectors of newer materials. In fact, because of the increase in good quality reprints,some collectors will ONLY collect one sheets that are double-sided, if available, and will pass on their single-sided counterparts.

Some video posters are referred to as double-sided. Normally in this case, the backside of the poster is not just a lighter version of the front side's artwork. Double-sided video posters have different artwork on each side. The poster may contain two different versions of the artwork for the same movie, or, in some cases, the artwork is from two different movies.

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