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Did you know... that we are adding an important style legend to our Auction History and Auction Galleries?

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Added: 04/08/2013

We THOUGHT we had a comprehensive page somewhere on our site giving a very important "guide" to a specific part of our Auction History, which covers Abbreviations for and explanations about style names that we use (such as advance, reissue, etc), but we discovered we DON'T (likely it was lost at some point during a site update).

Rather than track it down and restore our surely outdated old guide, we instead took the time to create an all-new one! It is not absolutely comprehensive, as there are MANY different designations for different sizes, so if you see any codes in our Auction History that are NOT covered by the below guide, please let us know and we will get them added to this chart.

Style A; Style B; A; B; Vader style; soundtrack style; teaser; advance; other similar designations! - Often movie paper will have "style A" or "style B" (or simply "A" or "B") or some other designation printed on it (either stamped on the back or printed on the front in the bottom border) indicating which version of the poster it is, when more than one version was created.

We always write this "official" style in our notes, but sometimes studios create more than one style of poster and there is NO designation indicated. In those cases, we pick a descriptive name such as "Vader style" or "bike & moon style" or "white style" and "black style" to help collectors know which version of that poster was sold.

Here are more details about some of the specific styles:

An Advance is a poster made to advertise the film before it is released. Until the 1990s, advance posters were almost always far more rare than "regular style" posters, but by the 1990s, advances have increasingly become the standard (likely studios saw no reason to issue new posters solely to remove the printed start date from them).

A Teaser is also an advance poster (made to advertise the film before it is released), but it is one where no (or virtually no) credits are listed on the poster and often it is a single large image, one that is not used on the later "regular poster". Because of the minimal text printed on them, they are often more sought after by collectors. For movies studios believe will be major releases, there may be several different teasers issued such as in the case of Space Jam and many other films.

NOTE THAT IN SOME CASES THE POSTER WILL HAVE A PRINTED DESIGNATION AT THE BOTTOM (like "advance teaser") AND WHEN THIS HAPPENS WE ALWAYS NOTE THIS, EVEN IF IT IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH OUR USUAL DEFINITION OF THOSE TERMS!

Int'l indicates an "international style" poster meaning it was printed in the U.S. for use in non-U.S. countries. FOR or FOREIGN indicates that wording is physically printed or stamped onto the poster and indicates an "international style" poster. DOM or DOMESTIC indicates that wording is physically printed or stamped onto the poster and indicates a poster used domestically in the U.S.

NOTE THAT BECAUSE COUNTRIES OUTSIDE THE U.S. DID NOT USE THE SAME RATINGS, AND DID NOT USE N.S.S. TO DISTRIBUTE THE POSTERS, A POSTER CAN OFTEN BE IDENTIFIED AS "INTERNATIONAL" EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT STAMPED AS SUCH, BECAUSE IT LACKS RATINGS AND N.S.S. NUMBERS

ALSO, SOMETIMES STUDIOS WOULD DISTRIBUTE THEIR POSTERS DOMESTICALLY BOTH THROUGH THE N.S.S. AND ALSO DIRECTLY, so there will be two versions with ratings, and one will have N.S.S. numbers and the other will not, we distinguish these by referring to them as "N.S.S. style" and as "studio style"

military We refer to a poster as being "military" if it was specifically made for showings of movies on U.S. military installations, both domestically and overseas (this was done to a massive extent in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War). Often, these posters were printed in only 2 colors and in a moire (dot) pattern, resembling an enlarged pressbook ad, which they likely were, because the soldiers were a "captive" audience, so they didn't need great posters for these showings!

These military posters were usually printed at the same time as the regular U.S. one-sheets when the movie was first released (there ARE re-releases, but these almost always say "re-release" on them). Sometimes the poster has small writing at the bottom that says "For Distribution and Use at U.S. Military Establishments Only", and sometimes they just have "Litho in U.S.A." or "Printed in U.S.A." in small letters in the lower right. Those with "Litho in U.S.A." are almost all from the 1950s and were used in the Korean War, and those with "Printed in U.S.A." are almost all from the 1960s and were used in the Vietnam War.


DS means the poster is double-sided (it has a mirror image of the front printed on the back for use in lightboxes in front of theaters). Double-sided posters began around 1986. The one thought to be the first ever is for Little Shop of Horrors.

Sometimes we may specify "SS" which means the poster is single-sided. This is only done where we have both a single-sided AND a double-sided version of the same poster, to distinguish between the two. WHEN WE ONLY HAVE ONE OF A STYLE, WE NOTE "DS" IF IT IS DOUBLE-SIDED AND DO NOT PUT ANY DESIGNATION IF IT IS SINGLE-SIDED.


R## (such as R81, R40s, R02, etc.) - The "R" indicates that the item is from a reissue (or re-release) of a movie (when it was given a new theatrical release) and the numbers indicate what year. Examples: R81 = 1981 re-release, R40s = undated (probably 1940s) re-release, R02 = 2002 re-release, etc. A reissue is when a film was re-released to theaters years after its first release. For example, The Exorcist was first released in 1974 but it was sent back to theaters again in 1979 and yet again in 2000.

In the days prior to television, most movies (good and bad) were given a second release after seven years or so (or when one of the stars achieved greater popularity, etc), and great movies (and all Disney movies) were again re-released each additional seven years, because before TV, there was no other way to again see an old movie. But TV slowly killed off the re-release market, and now it is slowly limited to blockbusters, which is sad, because while it is great to have access to almost all old movies, watching them on a tiny screen does not really compare to seeing them on a really big screen!


linen or linenbacked - Means the item was professionally linenbacked.
pback, pbacked, or paperbacked - Means the item was professionally paperbacked.
Learn more about professional restoration.


TC indicates it is title lobby card which is a card that has a most poster-like design (whereas scene lobby cards have a photographic image from the film). Most title lobby cards would have the exact same image as the "Style A" half-sheet, and many title cards have a tiny "T/A" in the bottom right, meaning that image was used on both (the "Style B" half-sheet would often have an image found on NO other posters, which often makes them far more desirable to collectors).

color - Usually for stills, indicates the item is color (as opposed to black and white)

#7, #6, #4, etc. - Identifies the actual number of lobby card or still the item is such as "lobby card #8". Some lobby cards and stills have no numbers, and then we refer to what the image shows.

ch - chapter (used with serials

SpanUS - The item is made in the U.S. but printed in Spanish for use by theaters with Spanish-speaking audiences.

supp - Supplement (most often found in pressbooks, a separate item made by studios and sent after they sent the pressbooks to theaters)

signed - autographed (personally hand signed by the indicated person)


If you have a question about any of the designations used in our Auction History that are NOT covered by the above guide, please let us know which ones they are and we will get them added to this chart.


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