Must See: Rare Book Department's New Exhibition of Vintage Movie Posters

By Michelle S. RSS Tue, February 15, 2011

Parkway Central's Rare Book Department is mounting a new exhibition of distinctive movie theater lobby cards, now through June 17. “Foyer Entertainment: Movie Lobby Cards from the 1930s-1960s”offers a rare glimpse of this forgotten Hollywood art form with its display of more than 50 lobby cards selected from the Free Library’s extensive Theatre Collection.

Movie posters are considered one of the earliest forms of movie art. In the mid 1910s, as bigger movie theatres began replacing smaller, make-shift nickelodeons, movie house managers requested a new type of poster to showcase inside their larger theatre lobbies and foyers. Hollywood studios responded by introducing 11×14 inch lobby cards—movie advertisements designed to lure perspective moviegoers.

In conjuction with the exhibition, the Rare Book Department will be open for special Saturday hours on March 19 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., KYW movie critic and La Salle University film professor Bill Wine will present “Based on the Book: Best-Seller Cinema,” a discussion of the psychological differences between the reading and viewing experience, and an examination of several written works—some indelible, some insufferable—that have provided the source material for thousands of movies.

The Rare Book Department is open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with free, public tours of the General Collections beginning daily at 11:00 a.m.

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It would be great if you could digitize these to preserve them first, but also that they could then be viewed on line.
Joe Clarke - Walnut West
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cool display. Great overview of lobby card formats, movie history and movie genres.
Kim - Philadelphia
Thursday, March 10, 2011

The lobby card exhibit was an unexpected pleasure. By a stroke of luck we visited at the same time a lecture was being given and enjoyed what Mr. Wine (I think that was his name) had to say. I never new that part of the Free Library existed and sonder what else is in its vaults?
Ralph Salgado - G-Ho
Monday, March 21, 2011

Check out this excellent article on Movie Lobby Cards and a review of the exhibition.
Joseph S. - Philadelphia
Friday, May 6, 2011