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Did You Know... that I am changing my long held opinion about whether studios ever distributed half-sheets and inserts folded, or if that was solely done only at some exchanges?

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Added: 02/06/2017

Over the years, I have talked to as many old-time collectors and dealers as I can to find out why some half-sheets are found folded and others are found unfolded. Based on these conversations, I had reached the conclusion that in the 1920s and 1930s half-sheets and inserts were distributed directly from studios only unfolded, but that when NSS took over distributing most posters in 1940, that they then began offering theaters the choice between receiving them folded or unfolded (and the half-sheets were almost always folded once each way, while the inserts were almost always folded twice horizontally, resulting in three vertical folds).

But recently I was talking to a very long time collector, and he has a different viewpoint, based on his personal experiences buying directly from poster exchanges (he is one the very fortunate collectors who was smart enough to buy directly from poster exchanges back in the days when they had great selections). He tells me that there were two poster exchanges that folded every half-sheet and insert they received when they arrived (because they stored those on shelves, along with one-sheets and lobby cards) while the many other poster exchanges did NOT fold any of them (because they stored those in special larger bins).

I have no reason to doubt what he says, and I will now use the above information. It also means that means I must amend something else I have long thought. Given how perfectly the half-sheets and inserts were folded, I thought there must have been some kind of "folding machine" that let you do it in bulk, but this collector thinks they were folded at those two poster exchanges by hand. I have tried to replicate this myself, and it is VERY hard to do (which is why I thought there was a machine), but it makes sense that people who were folding hundreds or thousands at a time would get REALLY good at it!

So the most important things to take away from this is that no matter how long you have been collecting you can still learn new things, and that if you are looking for a specific half-sheet or insert that is unfolded, you should keep looking for it, because the chances are good that one will eventually turn up!


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