U.S. Movie Poster Sizes

Would you believe that before 1985, there were many different movie posters sizes in use in the U.S.?  Yes, it’s true. They ranged from One Sheets, which are 27 x 40 or 41 inches and feature artwork in a portrait format, (what everyone imagines a movie poster to be) to Half Sheets, which are 28 x 22 inches and printed on card stock to Lobby Cards, which are 11 x 14 inches and loads of stuff in between. After 1985, the dominant movie posters size used in movie theaters in the United States has been the One Sheet.

Yet, for the longest time, unless the poster’s dimensions were spelled out, I had no idea what One Sheet, Lobby Card and other names meant. I figured other people were in the same predicament. So, I searched around the Internet and I found the definitions of movie poster sizes used in the U.S. Of course, this is not a definitive list. If you have information about sizes and styles not listed here, please email me and I will list them in a future entry.

United States Movie Poster Sizes

  • One Sheet 27 x 40 or 41 inches, portrait format.  This has been the dominate size for movie posters since 1985.
  • Display or Half Sheet 22 x 28 inches, landscape format. This size has been used from 1910’s until the mid 1980’s.
  • Insert 14 x 36 inches, portrait format.  This is the earliest of movie poster sizes.  Like the Half Sheet, this has been used from 1910’s to the mid 1980’s.
  • Window Card 14 x 22 inches (standard) – 10 x 18 inches (mini) – 22 x 28 inches (jumbo). This type was used in window displays both in movie theaters and stores in a town or city.  The window card had white space on the bottom for the theater name and show times.  Some window cards still have show time featured, which does not detract from value.  Some window cards have that area cut off, which does detract from value.  This type is no longer used.
  • Lobby Cards 11 x 14 inches (standard) – 8 x 10 inches (mini) – 14 x 17 inches (jumbo).  This is one of the oldest forms of movie posters,  now it is used mostly in foreign markets.
  • 11 x 14 inches used for reproductions.
  • 11 x 17 inches used for reproductions.
  • 24 x 36 inches used for reproductions.
  • 30 x 40 inches this was used for special displays and it is similar to the original release One Sheet. It is no longer used for films released in the U.S.
  • 40 x 60 inches this type was printed on card stock, first used in the 1930 and it is currently not in use.
  • Bus shelter 43 x 62 inches.  This was printed on card stock and used in bus shelters.
  • Two Sheet 46 x 64 inches. This type was often called a “Subway” because it was placed in subway stations.
  • Three Sheet 41 x 81 inches, portrait format.  This type was once used for lobby displays and is rarely used now.
  • Six Sheet  81 x 81 inches.  This was a small billboard used outside of a movie theatre. It can consist of four to six separate pieces.
  • Twelve Sheet 9 x 12 inches.  This type was a like a billboard, it was issued by Paramount in the 1930’s, is no longer used and is very rare.
  • Twenty Four Sheet 246 inches x 108, landscape format.  This is also called a Billboard.  It is 24 times the size of a One Sheet and is no longer used.

That’s it for U.S. movie poster sizes.  So, when you see the phrase U.S. One Sheet or Lobby Card used to describe movie posters, you won’t wonder what those words means. 

Source: www.moviegoods.com/all-about-posters.asp


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