Roger Paulson has been collecting movie posters since the 1970s. Tracing a career in the theatre business, his archive is a reflection of the popularity of American movie-going from the 1940s through the present. Starting simply, by saving posters from careless disposal at theatres, the collection doubled in size before 1980, when several large acquisitions arrived from another collector in Canada. Those came from a long-closed rural theatre in the U.S. which had substituted posters as insulation in its walls. When finally discovered prior to the theatre’s demolition, it was one of the last large treasure chests of pre-1960 movie memorabilia.
Within Paulson’s collection are many classic posters which depict the film genre now known as “film noir.” Many such films were low budget B-pictures, produced for the bottom half of double features. They were often found in second run low admission downtown theatres. The strongest marketing tool for these theatres was a wildly colorful poster full of action and sex which drew from heavy sidewalk traffic.
Cinemaniac! is the business Paulson established to handle gradual dissemination of the posters. Prime examples of the movie posters which propelled film noir through the 1940s and 1950s can be seen in the show at Angst Gallery from November 4-26. Many of the posters displayed will be for sale along with original theatre Lobby Cards, which combine movie art graphics and actual scenes in a convenient 11”x14” size for display. All of the materials in this showing are genuine motion picture posters produced by film studios for use in theatre engagements.