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Did you know... that sometimes studios made more than one version of pressbooks for the first release of a single movie?

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Added: 02/23/2015

I, Bruce Hershenson, have collected pressbooks for over 30 years, and I have around 20,000 or more different ones! Many years ago, I discovered that I sometimes had more than one version of a pressbook for the same movie. Sometimes the answer would be that one would be from a re-release, but other times it would seem that both were from the first release, but that one was more elaborate than the other (more pages, more color, etc).

I long suspected that this meant one of two things. Either the theaters made two different versions at once, sending the more elaborate one to bigger theaters and the smaller one to smaller theaters, or that they ran out of the first printing and then printed a second version that was smaller. Actually, both of these can be true! Since the first theaters to play a movie WERE the bigger ones, and since the smaller ones did not get the movies until months or even a year or two later, it is quite likely that they did an initial run of more elaborate pressbooks, and then, if they ran out, and there was more need of them because the movie had done better than expected, they would print a lesser version, since the first run theaters had already run the movie.

Here is a great example of this, for the movie Operation Petticoat. Note that the pressbook on the right has information printed on the front (under "SPECIAL CONDENSED EDITION") that explains why it is condensed! Most times they would simply print that condensed version with no explanation. And now you know the rest of the story as to why there is sometimes a more elaborate first release pressbook, and also a less elaborate first release pressbook!


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