The following US movie poster sizes are what you will encounter while browsing our collection of movie posters for sale.
One-sheets are the most common movie poster size, and what you typically see outside or in the lobby of any movie theater. From 1896 until roughly 1990, almost all actual theater-used one-sheets measured 27″ x 41″ (since then, most one-sheets measure 27″ x 40″). Until roughly 1980 the vast majority of one-sheets were folded twice horizontally and once vertically. Sometime during the late ’70s, studios began printing one-sheets rolled. Most one-sheets after the mid-1980s were printed unfolded and then rolled, though we do see many examples of newer posters that have been folded. Many newer one-sheets are printed double-sided (with a mirror image on the back) for use in a light box in front of the theaters. However, some newer posters are still printed single-sided. All of the one-sheets being sold by FFF are original vintage one-sheets.
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A U.S. half-sheet movie poster is printed on heavy card stock and oriented horizontally with typical measurements of 22″ x 28″ (559x711mm). These posters are considered extremely rare compared to U.S. one-sheet movie posters. Half-sheets distributed during the 1970s and early 1980s, when they were ultimately discontinued, were sometimes rolled and considered the rarest of all half-sheets. Older half-sheets were distributed flat with one horizontal and one vertical fold by movie studios. Some movies have two different styles of half-sheets. One is often a similar image as that found on the title lobby card. The other is often an image that appears on no other size of movie poster for that movie!
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Three-sheets are posters that measure approximately 41″ x 81″. They are usually found to have been printed on two or three sections of paper, although some more recent three-sheets have been printed on a single sheet of paper. The separate pieces were designed to overlap, so that when they were glued or pinned together (or nowadays linenbacked together) they match up so that they appear to be a single printed image.
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Six-sheets are posters that measure approximately 81″ x 81″. They are usually found to have been printed on two, three or four sections of paper. The separate pieces were designed to overlap, so that when they were glued or pinned together (or nowadays linenbacked together) they match up so that they appear to be a single printed image.
30″ x 40″
30″ x 40″ posters (U.S.) get their name from the measurements of the poster. They are printed on a heavier paper stock, similar to that of post-1940 lobby cards. The heavy stock tends to crease easily when rolling and unrolling the poster, so it is difficult to find 30″ x 40″ posters without many small crease marks (sometimes they are barely noticeable, and sometimes they can be very distracting). British Quad posters also happen to be 30″ x 40″.
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40″ x 60″
40″ x 60″ posters (U.S.) get their name from the measurements of the poster. They are printed on a heavier paper stock, similar to that of post-1940 lobby cards. The heavy stock tends to crease easily when rolling and unrolling the poster (almost all 40x60s were never folded), so it is difficult to find 40″ x 60″ posters without many small crease marks (sometimes they are barely noticeable, and sometimes they can be very distracting).
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Inserts measure 14″ x 36″, and are printed on heavy card stock, the same as half-sheets, and similar to that of lobby cards. They are often folded twice immediately after printing.
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Lobby Cards measure 11″ x 14″ and were usually printed in sets of 8 on heavy card stock (some lower budget movies only had a set of 4, while some movies had a set of 9). Many lobby card sets (usually pre-1970 sets) have a “title card”. A title card often has artwork that is different from the other cards in the set and may include credits from the movie. The artwork on the title card is often similar to the artwork on one of the styles of the half-sheet poster. It is often difficult to find complete lobby card sets from pre-1970 movies, since many of these sets have been broken up and sold by the individual card.
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MINI LOBBY CARDS
Mini Lobby Cards measure 8″x11″ and were printed on heavy card stock and were usually printed in sets featuring 4 to 8 cards. The artwork on the cards is usually similar to that of the regular-sized lobby card.
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JUMBO LOBBY CARDS
Jumbo lobby cards generally measure 11″ x 17″ and were made for many movies in the 1920s to 1940s. They were quite often printed without borders (called a “full bleed”). They may be oriented either vertically or horizontally. Jumbo lobby cards were usually made in sets of eight. Sometimes the images were similar to that of the regular lobby cards, although often jumbo lobby cards had entirely different images. They are far more rare than regular lobby cards.
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Window cards measure 14″ x 22″ and were printed on heavy card stock (thicker than lobby cards, half-sheets, or inserts). Almost all window cards were printed with a blank space (usually 4″) above the poster image, where a local theater could print in their name and play dates (sometimes they would glue on snipes, handwrite the information, or leave the top blank). Sometimes the blank space (above the image) is trimmed off, and this is only considered to be a minor defect.
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MINI WINDOW CARDS
Mini window cards measure 8″ x 14″ and were printed on heavy card stock (usually thicker than lobby cards). Just like regular window cards, mini window cards were printed with a blank space above or below the poster image, so that the theater owner could print information such as theater name, show dates, or admission prices. Mini window cards are very rare.
JUMBO WINDOW CARDS
Jumbo window cards measure 28″ x 22″ and were printed on heavy card stock, the same as regular window cards (thicker than lobby cards, half-sheets, or inserts). They are basically the same as the regular window cards, except much larger and consequently much more striking! They are also far more rare than regular window cards, and many collectors have never seen or heard of them! Almost all jumbo window cards were printed with a blank space (usually 4″) above the poster image, where a local theater could print in their name and play dates (sometimes they would glue on snipes, handwrite the information, or leave the top blank). Sometimes the blank space (above the image) is trimmed off, and this is only considered to be a minor defect.
8″x10″ stills are photographs printed on thin glossy paper that were created for movies from the 1910s through the present day. Studios would often issue dozens of different stills for each movie, and they would be sent to theaters showing the movies.
11″x14″ stills were made for some movies, although few have survived. The larger stills are usually printed on a higher quality paper stock than the 8x10s, and are often the work of famous photographers, who would often be credited on the still.
Pressbooks were made for most movies since the 1910s through the 1970s. Each is filled with lots of information about the movie that is contained nowhere else, including pictures of the posters and articles and ads as well, and the cover of the pressbook is often a poster that could be framed.
Door Panels, as their name indicates, were displayed on the doors of the movie theater. They measure 20″ x 60″, typically have unique artwork, and they were usually printed in a set of varying number. It is rare that an entire set is found together. More typically, each door panel is sold as a single poster. Door panels were not printed for all movies, and most theaters did not use door panels in their ad campaigns, so door panels are very rare.
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Personality posters were created by all of the major studios starting in the 1910s and continuing all the way into the early 1940s. These posters were offered in pressbooks for movies that featured the star pictured on the particular personality poster. They were made in two sizes: one was the same size as half-sheets (22″ x 28″) and one was the same size as jumbo lobby cards (14″ x 17″), but they were different in that they were almost always vertical images instead of horizontal. These posters are extremely rare as few theaters ordered them, and fewer still saved them.
Subway posters measure approximately 45″ x 60″. They are printed in advance of a movie coming out, and therefore are “advance” posters. They have their name because many of them were given to teenagers to post all over New York City’s subways (illegally!) prior to a movie’s opening.