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Did you know... that folds in most "older" one-sheet movie posters are normal?

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Added: 09/10/2012

We are often asked (almost always by people who have just started collecting, and are first looking at buying pre-1980 one-sheets) questions like, "why were these posters folded?" or "how do I remove folds from the posters?" or "I would buy this poster if it weren't folded!"

     These newer collectors have not yet learned that almost all "one-sheets" were issued folded until sometime in the late 1970s/early 1980s when studios began to issue them rolled, and so were many other sizes (three-sheets, six-sheets, those from other countries, etc) while others were issued rolled but were folded by hand by most theater owners because those posters would be sent along with the actual film reels to the next theater (this was true until around 1970 and applies to posters such as inserts and half-sheets), and it was just easier to send a folded poster along with film canisters.

    At first, the folds bother new collectors, but a lot of collectors find that over time, the folds do not bother them anymore, because folds are the "norm" for pre-1980s posters, and you quickly get used to them. But if you are one of the collectors who find that you really do not like the folds, you have a couple of options to reduce or hide them:
1) You can store the poster unfolded under heavy weight for a long time and that will minimize the folds, but they will still be somewhat noticeable. This is what most collectors do if the poster is in great shape.
2) You can have the poster professionally restored onto a linen backing and the folds can be much more minimized or even made to appear "invisible", depending on how much you wish to spend on the linenbacking. I generally do not recommend backing posters in great shape because it can never be undone and it is unlikely you will recoup your cost of restoration when the day comes you want to sell the poster, but that is of course an individual choice.

    One final alternate suggestion for collectors who wish to avoid folded posters: You could look for another size of the poster that was issued without folds. The sizes you would be looking for are called inserts (14" x 36"), half-sheets (22" x 28"), Thirty by Forties (30" x 40", which are very close in size to one-sheets, and a great alternative!), and Forty by Sixties (40" x 60"), but know that these sizes are generally more rare than the corresponding one-sheet poster, so it may take a long time to find them in great unfolded condition.


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