Vintage Lobby Cards for Sale
Since about the early 1980’s the movie industry stopped using lobby cards. This seemed to be in correlation with the extinction of the thousands of town theatres being put out of business by the super chain theatres resulting in today’s monopolization of the movie theatre industry. Before 1980 most local town and big city movie theatres would have displays in the lobby exhibiting these beautiful 11x14” lobby cards that promoted scenes of the current and upcoming movies. They were also used outside in foyers to lure customers into the theatre with these teaser scenes depicted in the lobby cards.
A lobby card set typically consists of eight cards, one Title Card (TC) and seven scene cards. The Title Card is a lobby card that usually depicting all key stars, listing credits and designed to represent the entire film rather than a single scene. It often had the same important graph ics as the one sheet. The other seven scene Cards (SC), depicting different scenes from the movie. On some lobby cards, there would be “border art” which is desirable by collectors as it adds an extra appeal to the lobby card. Some examples of great lobby card border art is “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” or “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein”.
Lobby Cards were born around the early turn of the 20th century with the silent film era. For example, around the time that Charlie Chaplin was breaking into motion pictures. The earliest Silent-era lobby cards were often nothing more than black and white or duotone stills. These were eventually replaced by hand-tinted scenes, and by the 1920s most studios were producing full-color lobby cards.
What makes lobby cards so desirable by collectors is primarily the graphic appeal of the card itself. A lobby card featuring a closeup of the main actors, or the monster, or depicting a key scene, is much more desirable than a card showing only a distant shot of the stars, or a “dead” card featuring none of the major stars. The importance or popularity of the film or main star is another key factor in determining a lobby card’s value. Also, the fact that lobby cards are no longer produced means the supply is limited to the relatively scarce supply of vintage lobby cards that have survived over the past 100 years. And, many people love the size and easy “frame-ability” of the lobby card as compared to other much larger styles of movie poster advertising art.