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The movie posters that are issued as part of the initial advertising campaign (before and up to the actual first release of a film) are considered the "original issue" advertising materials. These materials could include one poster or a series of posters. Any posters issued after the initial release are not considered "original release" posters.

From time to time, a movie studio may decide to re-release a film to theatres one, two, maybe ten years after its initial run. In most of these cases, the movie studios will issue a new series of advertising materials that are known as "reissues or rereleases." Sometimes the materials will be identical to the originally issued materials while others will vary greatly.

In most instances, the "original" issue movie art will be valued higher than later "reissues/rereleases," but there are exceptions. Each subsequent reissue/rerelease is then valued a little less so a 1954 re-release would be considered more collectible than a 1965 re-release, and so on. Since the year of the posters issue affects the value directly, it is important to know how to spot a "reissue/rerelease" poster.


One of the easiest ways to spot a reissue/rerelease for U.S. posters is to look at the "NSS number on the bottom right hand corner of the poster. In most cases involving a reissue/rerelease, the NSS number will begin with the letter "R".

Sometimes a reissue/rerelease poster will actually contain either the word "Reissue" or the word "Rerelease" somewhere either in the body or in the body of the poster.

If neither of these indicators is there, you can check the copyright date on the poster against the release date of the film. Obviously, if the posters copyright date is later than the films release date, then the poster is a reissue/rerelease.

Some reissues/rereleases are not always that easy to spot so we must look to other indicators. For example, look for references such as "Oscar Winner" or "Academy Award Nominee," or "Golden Globe" winner. These awards are not given until after a films release to theatres, so this would indicate that the studios have simply re-released the film to take advantage of the award hype. However, this is not always the case. Some film festivals, such as Cannes, will hand out awards to films before they have been released to theatres. In that case, if a film carries the notation "Cannes Film Festival winner," it does not necessarily mean that this poster has been reissued.


Unfortunately for collectors, some reissues/rereleases are not marked as such so further investigation is necessary. Here are a few points to consider when assessing the actual release of a poster.

Shiny, slick, glossy paper was not introduced in the printing industry under the mid-1960s and was not widely used until the 1970s. Posters introduced before the time period WOULD NOT BE PRINTED ON GLOSSY, SLICK OR SHINY PAPER. This type of paper automatically establishes that the poster was released after the mid-1960s.

Prior to the mid-1980s, movie materials were MACHINE FOLDED and shipped to theatres and/or movie distributors in large envelopes. If a poster HAS NEVER BEEN FOLDED, it is possible, but doubtful that the poster would have been printed prior to the 1980s.

Classic movies, such as Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, or Gone with the Wind, are re-released to theatres frequently. Since these titles are extremely sought-after, it is rare to find movie art from the original and earliest releases in the collectors market. When they are available, THEY ARE QUITE EXPENSIVE. If it seems TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, it probably is!


In some cases, it is difficult to set the age of movie art. This is particularly true with pre-1940 movie art. During this time, many major studios did not date their movie art, and it requires the advice of a reputable expert and some research to determine the vintage of a poster.

Even post-1940 posters can leave many questions as to the age of a poster. There are cases where the only difference between an original and a reissue/rerelease is in the placement of the "rating" box, or a slightly different coloring, or a change in the studios logo.


In all cases, before making a significant movie art purchase, if there are any doubts whatsoever about the correct age of a poster, check with a reputable movie art expert.





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