Learn About Movie Posters
Heritage Auction House
French Movie Poster

Ewbanks Auction Movie Poster Page

Film Art

Dominique Besson Silver Screen Collectibles
Hollywood Poster Frames
Posters Database

Advanced Search

Remember Me:
Movie Art of Austin
L'Imagerie Gallery
Movie Poster Archives
Movie Art GmbH
Spotlight Displays Poster Frames
Cinema Retro Magazine


Folds and/or the fold lines resulting from folding in a poster are not necessarily considered a "defect". Whether or not a fold/fold line affects the value depends on several factors.


Advertising materials released prior to the mid-1980s were machine folded and mailed flat to the local movie distributors/exhibitors. One sheets were folded horizontally in half twice , then once vertically. Inserts were normally folded in half and then in half again. Half-sheets were folded in half and then quartered. Larger sizes were folded down until they were approximately 11" x 14' in size.

Machine folds are normally very crisp and straight. Since these materials were distributed this way intentionally by the studios, collectors do not consider machine folds/fold lines for pre-1980s materials to be defects.

Post-1980s materials present another side. Most, BUT NOT ALL, materials from this time period were shipped ROLLED to the theatres. However, some materials are still shipped folded even today. Therefore, if the poster was initially machine folded for shipping purposes, regardless of the year released, then folds/fold lines are not considered a defect.


When posters were printed, a batch would be pre-folded for shipping. The remainder, quite often, was stored flat. Then, as more was needed to be shipped, another batch would be sent to the folding machines. The folding was due to the fact that it was the most economical way of shipping the poster to the theater.

If a theater owner would come by to pick up their posters, sometimes they could get a rolled poster instead. This seems to have created a lot of controversy in the poster collecting community. However, the majority of the pre-1980's posters found on the market will be folded. When a rolled one is found, it DOES NOT mean that it's not real, it is usually a cause to take a closer look at the poster to make sure that it's not a fake.


Any size poster that has been folded BY HAND generally results in a negative affect on the poster. While machine folds are generally crisp and clean, hand folds are not. In addition, if a poster was initially machine-folded, and then another fold was added by hand, the additional fold/fold lines would be detrimental to the value of the poster.

Folds/fold lines that are found on the smaller card stock materials, particularly lobby cards, are generally the cause of mishandling. Lobby cards were small enough to be mailed to the distributors without being folded; therefore there is no "acceptable" reason for folds/fold lines on lobby cards.

Window cards were normally sent flat because of their size. Some distributors folded them in half before mailing. If the window card is machine folded for shipping, then there is no adverse affect on the value of the poster. Inserts were generally sent to the theatres rolled so a fold/fold line would have a negative affect on the value. There were a number of inserts which were machine folded before being shipped. In this case, the fold/fold lines would not have an adverse affect on the value of the poster.


Fold lines can generally be diminished by carefully following a steaming/drying process. The fold lines are first steamed out by utilizing a heavy duty clothes steamer. Once the foid lines are moist, a soft clamp is used to anchor one side of the fold line. The other side of the fold line is then gently pulled out. Once the fold has been pulled out, a hair dryer is then used to dry the moist area. Please note that this process may leave a "mark" due to dirt that has accumulated in the fold.

Some poster shops use a heat press to diminish fold lines. These work similar in nature to the devices used by drycleaners to remove wrinkles from clothes.

Note that there are dangers in a non-professional attempting this process It must be done delicately Once the poster is moist, it can easily be pulled apart if too much pressure is applied. During the drying process, if too much tension is applied, the poster can become warped. The only way to correct a warped poster is through linen backing.

It always best to leave any repairs to a professional restorer. However, fold lines can be removed by a layman if the process is followed carefully and the poster is handled delicately.



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
A little BIGGER and a little BETTER each day - Saving the Past... For the Future