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Movie Memorabilia Column
October 6, 2014 By john mounsey
Its my great personal pleasure to introduce the latest in our ever growing family of experts. John Mounsey is a passionate collector and authority in the fields of Movie Lobby Cards and FilmTV and video game soundtracks.
In his column he will impart to us all his knowledge and wisdom and like all our experts will always be happy to receive your comments and queries. Enjoy!
Hello! and welcome to my new Movie Memorabilia column, exclusively here on WorldofSuperheroes.com.
I’ve been avidly collecting (some might say hoarding..) promotional items from the world of Film, TV and Video Games for over 20 years. Over that time I’ve managed to amass a large number of varied items in my collection but areas of particular interest and expertise include cinema “Lobby Cards” and Film/Video Game Soundtracks. The latter of those is selfexplanatory, but I’ve frequently found that “Lobby Cards” are something of an unknown to many people even fellow collectors in some cases.
So then, what are Lobby Cards? (known as “Front of House” cards in the UK). Well, for a start they have been effectively obsolete since sometime in the 1990’s (with the odd exception along the way James Cameron’s allconquering “Titanic” (1997) did have a set of Lobby Cards produced, for example).
Back in their heyday (circa. 1950’s1990’s), Lobby Cards acted as a key piece of marketing ephemera for film studios and were produced at the same time as (the considerably more popular) movie posters. Lobby Cards were printed in two sizes in the USA (14” x 11” close to A3 size) and smaller 10” x 8” “Mini” cards (which was also the standard size of comparable “Front of House Cards” produced in the UK).
The role of Lobby Cards was simple: To help promote and illustrate scenes from upcoming and current film releases. Typically they would be produced in sets of eight (sometimes more), each card depicting a different (and usually notable) scene from the film in question. They were intended to be exhibited by cinema staff in special display cases situated in the foyers of cinemas. This explains the names “Lobby” (USA) and “Front of House” (UK) cards.
Once the film in question had come and gone, cinema managers were instructed to either discard, destroy or return any such Lobby Cards. It is therefore unusual to find complete sets these days and sets (or single cards) still in unused condition (without staple marks and/or pinholes to the corners) are even more soughtafter..
My addiction to collecting these somewhat obscure pieces of memorabilia began many moons with the acquisition of a complete set for the classic Chevy Chase comedy “National Lampoon’s Vacation”. Over the course of the future articles for this new column I plan to share some of the prized gems from my collection with you, along with useful tips on how/where to source authentic Lobby Cards (and other pieces of movie memorabilia) if you decide to start your own collection!
PS. Please take a look at my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LobbyCardsGallery
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