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SECONDARY PRINTERS

From the beginning of the movie industry, theaters have always looked for alternative suppliers of advertising to cut costs. Some theaters would contract with a local to produce material specifically for them... creating a huge variety of unusual material and also creating posters that are sometimes hard to identify.

A lot of these printers did the printing for circus, vaudeville or broadway, they provided small amount of posters for regional chains or individual theaters.

In the 30's, the 2 major secondary printers were Leader Press and the Other Company. These companies produced a good amount of material that is fairly easy to recognize because neither one put the studio name on the posters.

By the mid-1940's, most major studios had contracted with the National Screen Service ("NSS") to handle their national distribution of advertising products. While the posters that were part of the theatre lobby displays were the full color NSS versions, theatres looked for an alternative to the materials that were used in greater numbers, such as window cards and heralds. This was particularly true for small theatres and those located in rural areas. (Window cards were placed in retail and office windows and on utility poles; heralds were handed out directly to the public). Since the theatres had to purchase these materials in bulk, they looked for a cheaper alternative to the NSS materials.

A number of secondary printers came on the market producing less expensive versions of the window cards and heralds, usually in two or three colors instead of full color. The artwork on these secondary materials can be the same or totally different from the NSS versions. While there were a number of regional secondary printers that specialized in this type of printing, there were three printers whose materials are most often found in the movie art industry. They are as follows:

Benton Card Company

Globe Poster Printing Corporation

Hatch Show Prints

Hennegan Show Prints

Victor Cornelius Inc.

AS A COLLECTIBLE

Many long-time collectors shy away from collecting materials from these "secondary printers." These posters do not command the same dollar value as their NSS counterparts, even though they are the same age, and may be identical to the NSS versions. These materials are finding a market, however, with newer collectors for two basic reasons: (1) it is a way to collect original "legitimate" materials at a less expensive price; and (2) the secondary printers provided materials for some "B" movies and therefore may be the only materials available for certain titles.



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