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The insert card was one of the more popular sizes created by the motion picture industry. Inserts measure 14" x 36" and were printed on a heavy card stock, which made them more sturdy.

Because of their frameable size, they were used through the lobby in special smaller displays.


Inserts derived from the earlier vaudeville 'longbills' which were announcements of the entertainment being presented. Here is an example of a 1910 'longbill' for Charlie Chaplin. In the late teens, the industry standardized them into the 14x36 size. Inserts 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 inserts look better close up than they do when viewed from a distance.

Inserts 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, etc.



Inserts are extremely popular with collectors for a number of reasons. Because it is smaller than the one-sheet, it is a lot easier to frame and display. Also, the insert is printed on a heavy card stock material, which makes it easier to handle and hard to damage.

While it is preferable to have rolled inserts, a folded insert is not uncommon and does not necessarily detract from its value if it was folded when sent initially to the theatres. If an insert was initially sent to theatres in rolled condition, and subsequently folded for some other reason, it can detract from its value.

Points of Interest

  • On lower budget films and international films, the insert was one of the first sizes eliminated from a film's advertising movie paper.

  • During the NSS years of distribution, the insert was shipped rolled or folded.

  • Before the change in the NSS numbering system in 1977, the NSS number on the insert was like the one sheet on the bottom right border. After the change in 1977, the NSS numbers were placed on the bottom left AND right borders, laying sideways.
  • The last Insert that we have found to be issued was for the February 1986 release of 9 1/2 Weeks with the NSS number 860033.

  • Inserts were sometimes issued in several different forms such as, Award style, Roadshow, and different styles.

  • Commercial companies (i.e. Portal, OSP etc.) released 14x36 commercial prints that closely resemble studio-issued material. Check for publisher's name and/or reorder numbers in the bottom border.

  • This size is susceptible to fakes. See our report on Insert fakes

To see the inserts that we have in our MoviePosterDataBase, click here

This section is for reference use. Images found on this site are property of L.A.M.P. and are for reference purposes only with NO rights implied or given. See LAMP Disclaimer
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