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Finding Aid for the Collection of Motion Picture Lobby Cards, 1913-
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Collection of Motion Picture Lobby Cards,
    Date (inclusive): 1913-
    Collection number: 65
    Extent: 110 boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: The collection consists of primarily of American motion picture lobby cardsdating from 1913 to ca 1980s.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Performing Arts Special Collections, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Arts Special Collections Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Performing Arts Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Donation; 1982, 1985, 1988.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Collection of Motion Picture Lobby Cards (Collection 65). Performing Arts Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles.


    Lobby cards were introduced in the 1910s as promotional tools in movie theatres. The first lobby cards were 8" x 10" (the size of a contemporary motion picture still) black and white or brown and white until the introduction of color cards in about 1917. They increased in size to 11" x 14" and eventually became a standard part of promotional materials sent to theatres for advertising their coming attractions. By the 1920s, lobby card sets included eight cards: seven scene cards and a title card. The title card included major credits for the film; the remaining scene cards depicted key scenes from the films they advertised. The scene images were often the product of a still photographer who accompanied the cast and crew to shoot both film stills and images for the theatre lobbies. Occassionally, for major releases, Hollywood studios would sometimes issue sixteen card sets, including two title cards and fourteen scenes. Lobby Cards are no longer used in U.S. theaters and are rarely produced for today's films.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of motion picture lobby cards dating from 1913. Includes primarily American titles with an average of 1-7 items per title. All cards are color and measure 11x14 inches. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1950s on.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Arranged alphabetically by title.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Advertising -- Motion pictures.
    Lobby cards.
    Display cards.