What Does The Poster Code Mean?
(R) = Reprint One Sheet poster Approximately 27x40 or 27x39 inches, more information below
(O) = Original One Sheet poster Approximately 27x40 or 27x41 inches, more information below
(C) = Commercial poster, Approximately 23x35, sizes vary, more information below
(CR) = Classic Reprint poster (most of these poster's original printing plates are long gone, therefore, many were copied from original posters, and some defects or fold lines may be visible) sizes may vary, but are approximately 26x38 inches
(COS)= Commercial Oversized, Approximately 26x38 or 27x39 inches
(BW)= Black & White
(BQ)= British Quad - Term given to horizontal British movie posters, approximately 30x40 inches for originals, size varies on reprints
(Video)= Video promotional Poster approximately 26 x 40 or 27x40 inches
(DVD)= DVD promotional Poster approximately 26 x 40 or 27x40 inches
(C) = Commercial poster.
The basic definition is that these are not original posters printed for promotional purposes. Commercial posters are made by various poster companies that acquire the license to mass produce posters on a certain celebrity, movie, musical artist, etc. They print large quantities for maximum distribution and to achieve a lower retail price. The size of commercial posters varies - 22x34, 23x35, 24x34, 24x36, 25x36, depending on the company producing them.
(R) = Reprint Movie Poster
The basic definition is that these are not original posters printed directly by the movie studio for promotional purposes. Reprint and commercial posters are made by various poster companies that acquire the licensing to reproduce the image. The main differences are sizing, copyright information, and sharpness of text print.
Size: Originals are always 27x40 inches (give or take a 1/8 inch) while reprints will vary from 22x34 inches up to 27x40 inches.
Copyright: Originals will usually say PRINTED IN THE USA at the bottom, whereas reprints will sometimes have the reprint company name (ZigZag, Scorpio, Film Freaks, Funky, etc).
Text: You can usually tell a poster is a reprint by looking at the credits & small print text at the bottom. Some reprints are produced by taking a picture of the original and then using that picture to make the posters. This can cause credits and other small text or logos on the reprint to be a bit grainy or washed out. The credits and small text or logos on originals are sharp and solid.
Sometimes however, the quality of the reprint is as good as the original, and without having them side by side, may be impossible to tell. All of our posters are clearly marked with codes (O), (R) and/or the words Original, Reprint or Commercial in the item description.
We use the different codes to differentiate between sizes, suppliers, and whether or not the poster has cast & crew credits at the bottom.
(O) = Original Movie Poster (USA)
Definition: A poster that was issued for a movie by The National Screen Service (NSS), by a movie studio, or by another company authorized by the studio for promotional use or display in an actual movie theatre at the time of the films original release. Older posters prior to the mid 1980's were usually (not always) issued folded while newer posters are always issued rolled. Original movie posters are printed in limited quantities. Usually, the older the poster, the rarer it is. Original movie posters USUALLY have an NSS information tag and number printed on them at the bottom. HOWEVER, this is not always the case. There are plenty of original movie posters that do not contain NSS info. And, to complicate matters, just because a poster has an NSS tagline, NSS number, and a GAU logo, does not necessarily mean it is an original movie poster. There are MANY reprints that have printed this information on the poster to make it appear more authentic.
Double or Two Sided Posters? Picture every poster as having a front and a back. On most posters, there is an image on the front and the back is white. On double sided movie posters, if you look at the back, you will see the image from the front as if it was "bled" through the white paper, thus producing a reversed image. This process makes it easier for light to show through the poster when it is diplayed in a movie theatre lobby light box.
Double Sided & Rolled Movie Posters
"Modern" double sided movie posters (as we know them today) were first introduced at the beginning of 1988 by Universal Pictures. It was with their theatrical release of "Biloxi Blues" on March 25th. The NSS number was 880116. Currently the film studios print hundreds or thousands of original posters per film, depending on the release strategy of the film and the size of both the studio and the budget of the advertising campaign. Originals are generally produced both single and double sided. Smaller studios may only print single sided, due to printing costs. Collectors prefer the double sided version as the chances of it being an original are greater. Reprints are also produced both single and double sided, though far more often they are single sided. Some double sided reprint titles include Revenge Of The Sith, Spiderman, and Saving Private Ryan.
The year the film studios started sending out one sheets ROLLED was around 1980-81. There were a few titles from 1979 which you can usually find rolled like the Alien advance but for the most part it was the very early 80's. There were times when studios would send out special posters rolled such as the mylar advances for Superman The Movie (1978). Some other rolled examples: Fritz The Cat (1972), Tommy advance (1975), and Taxi Driver (1976). Movie posters are by no means easy to find ROLLED for releases prior to the mid 1980's. Posters in general continued to be folded until around 1985. From 1986-1989 most were sent rolled. By 1990 almost all movie posters were sent to theaters rolled in tubes. It would be highly unlikely to find someone with a roll of original one sheets printed before 1970.
Thanks to mymovieposters & Cinemasterpieces for some of the above information on original movie posters.