In the first 50 years of filmmaking in the U.S., posters were considered consumables. Theaters used them to market the next film, and after the run of the show, they were often stored away, unprotected from the ravages of time.
While film fans and historians have come to realize that these artifacts are part of this country’s cultural history, the understanding comes too late for many of the posters. They are in various stages of decomposition.
The Lone Pine Film History Museum has been buying many posters that document the film history of Lone Pine, Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra and has them now stored in archival sleeves. To stabilize these posters, according to Lone Pine Film Historian Chris Langley, they must be linen-backed and framed using the best archival material.
“For the larger size posters this is an expensive process,” he said. “It costs several thousand dollars for this process on the larger posters including three sheets and six sheets.”
Neither the passage of time nor the decomposition of the posters intends to stop and wait for the museum, which is why it started a project called “Help Frame Me!”
Read more in the Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.