Movie Poster of the Week: Movie Marquees

Announcing a new blog devoted to the “electric tiaras” of the movie theater.
Adrian Curry
Above: a theater advertising Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951).
If there’s one thing I love almost as much as movie posters (at least as far as the world of movie advertising goes) it is the movie theater marquee. I am particularly attracted to marquees in their more elaborately designed and outlandish incarnations, but I am also fond of photographs of marquees simply as a record of a moment in time when a particular film was out in the world. (One of my personal favorite Movie Poster of the Week posts was this examination of a 1930 photo of Times Square theater signs.)
Over the past few years on Tumblr I have been collecting some of the best images of movie theater signage through the ages and today I am launching Movie Poster of the Day’s sister blog Movie Marquees.
In Maggie Valentine’s The Show Starts on the Sidewalk: An Architectural History of the Movie Theatre she writes: “The marquee was always the most important and distinctive feature of a movie theatre.... The marquee created a visual landmark, extending from the facade so that the building stood out physically and aesthetically from all others on the street. In the 1920s and 1920s marquees were dark, flat, delicately decorated sources of detailed information... but during the 1930s they were transformed into what Ben Hall has called ‘electric tiaras.’ Bold and bright, the later marquees were outlined in moving lights, known as ‘flashers’ and chasers’ that danced in the reflections of windshields.”
I have posted ten of my favorite marquee images here and you can see many more on the blog.
Above: a marquee for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960).
Above: Robert Doisneau’s photo of a marquee advertising Julien Duvivier’s La Femme et la pantin (1959).
Above: Orson Welles arriving at the premiere of Citizen Kane (1941).
Above: the premiere of King Vidor’s Duel in the Sun at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard (1946).
Above: a photo by John Dominis of a movie theater in Taichung, Taiwan in 1959.
Above: Ralph Crane photo for Life Magazine of the marquee being constructed for Helmut Kätner’s The Devil’s General (1955).
Above: Times Square billboard for Martin and Lewis in Sailor Beware (1952).
Above: Paramount theater marquee advertising Leo McCarey’s Ruggles of Red Gap (1935).
Above: Times Square marquees in 1954 for George Cukor’s A Star is Born and Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront.
All photos have been reblogged from Tumblr and are linked to their source on the blog. Follow Movie Marquees here.


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