Midget Window Cards


One of the good things about writing this blog is all the stuff I learn that I didn’t know about before. Case in point, recently I learned that from 1932 to 1947 a type of movie poster, known as midget window cards or mini window cards, was produced.  Most of the time, they were a smaller version of the one sheet for the film. These posters were promotional give away items that were found in candy and cigar stores during the time period. They measure 8 x 14 inches, which are the same dimensions as legal size paper and they were printed in smaller quantities than other movie promotional materials.  Since they were available for a short period of time, they are quite valuable. The midget window card for the film Flying Down To Rio, which is famous for the first on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, was auctioned off in 2008 for $22,000.  If you would like to see a picture of this midget window card, click here:

http://www.learnaboutmovieposters.com/posters/db/poster.asp?pid=33339

What lead to such items being printed? Simple, the studios put a lot of money into their films, so they wanted to get the word out whichever way they could. Remember this was before television came along. So, after putting ads in newspaper, radio and hanging posters both inside and outside the movie theater, what else could the studios do to promote their films?  Print items like the midget window cards.

Of course the question remains, why were they printed for such as short period of time?  After all, they are near replicas of the one sheet for the film. Wouldn’t it make sense to keep printing something like this?  One theory of the midget window card’s demise is from collector, Denver W. Sherry, of Nashville.  He states that as people migrated from the old neighborhood to the suburbs after World War II, places such as cigar shops, candy stores and mom and pop cafes, closed down. So, there went an important advertising venue. In addition, Sherry also thinks that these items were victims of World War II paper drives.

Thus ends this week’s lesson on midget window cards.  Tune in next week for another entertaining and enlightening blog entry.

Keywords:
Midget Window Cards, mini window cards, promotional, Flying Down To Rio, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, World War II, paper drives, cigar shops, candy stores, mom and pop cafes

Source:
Heritage Magazine
“Mini Movie Posters” page 25, Summer 2008

http://www.icollectmovieposters.com/start-sold/Default.aspx?ItemID=1726474&FromPanel=ShowResultListPanel&CurrentPage=1&PanelName=ItemDetails&strSearch=Flying%20Down%20To%20Rio&SDateL=&SDateU=&PriceL=&PriceU=&Seller=&Buyer=&CategoryNumber=&Source=&ItemNumber=

http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Down-Rio-Dolores-del/dp/B000H6SXT2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1262742029&sr=1-1

Sherry, Denver W. “Collecting Mini-Window Cards” <http://www.icollectmovieposters.com/start-articles/Article.aspx?id=4&gt;

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