The legacy of a movie goes way beyond the sheer celluloid. The world of cinema carries with it a whole set of paraphernalia that can be a treasure. Some items become objects of desire as soon as the movie is released, others acquire more value over time.
Luckily for us, there are institutions such as The Harry Ransom Center, the archive/museum of the University of Texas, where a massive collection of items related to the world of cinema and television is stockpiled.
The center has recently decided to digitize more than 10,000 movie posters and they are sharing these in high resolution with the rest of us, completely free.
The collection starts with the origins of the industry and spans many decades, all the way to the height of the multiplexes and modern drive-in theaters in the Seventies, and covers all genres.
This is such a huge undertaking that The Harry Ransom Center is doing this in stages. As of now, they have digitized 5,000 posters. The delicate process of photographing and scanning the whole collection is expected to be completed soon, and despite still being incomplete, the catalog is already extremely interesting.
The posters came from a collection originated by the entertainment production company of Karl Hoblitzelle who founded with his brother the Interstate Theatre Circuit, one of the biggest cinema companies in Texas, with more than 150 theaters during the Forties.
The Interstate Theatre Circuit collection has been responsible for safeguarding these movie posters over the years and has enabled the creation of digital copies from old posters that would have otherwise been lost forever.