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A Long Time Ago, in an Attic Far, Far Away …


If you’ve been following the last few blog entries, you know that I recently sorted through a pile of ancient artwork in my parents’ attic. Well, along with the good, the bad, and the funny, I discovered a bunch of posters. Unfortunately, most of them have been stored in rolls for the past thirty years, so they’re horribly wrinkled. I suppose you might be able to iron them, if you were so inclined.

(Did I just say thirty years? Yikes.)

Some of the posters were just atrocious, like this one for the 1982 Who tour, apparently sponsored by Schlitz. The question is, could an uglier poster have been designed? I think not. I must have picked this up at the show, which I barely remember, at Shea Stadium, with the Clash for openers.

Who Tour 1982

I don’t have the ticket from that concert, but I did find this ticket instead. It’s for the 1981 showing of Abel Gance’s Napoleon, which played here in Oakland again this spring, newly restored, to much anticipation. I didn’t get to see the film here, but I remember seeing it at Radio City with my parents.

Napoleon Ticket

I’d been telling a few people about the New York showing but had no idea that I’d run into my old ticket and a poster. Another rolled-up one. Argh.

Napoleon 1981

If the state of these posters is depressing you, rest assured, not all of them looked this bad. I found several from my days at Videomsith (in Boston) that were clean, flat, and unfaded. A few were even mounted. Like this one from 1995, in excellent condition.

Star Wars on VHS

There are four amusing things about this Star Wars poster, two of which are in the tag line. For one thing, as we all know by now, this was definitely NOT the last time the trilogy would be trotted out for sale. Little did we know, however, that when Lucas said, “The original one last time,” he really meant, “before I make prequels that change EVERYTHING.”

OK, that’s two. #3: The word “trilogy.” Remember when there were only three? I wish I’d never heard the word “midichlorian.” No wonder people wax nostalgic about the good old days. And #4, the unwritten element here: videocassette. We’re talking about the great and glorious days of buying your movies on spools of tape.

Maybe we should re-think that nostalgia.

Here’s another good one for the WABAC Machine. Notice that the words “On Videocassette” are nearly as big as the title.

12 Monkeys

And then there was this Friendly’s ad. We had a Friendly’s down the street when I was growing up, though it closed a few years ago. I don’t think I saved this poster on purpose. At the time, it probably wasn’t funny—well, not in the hokey way it is now.


It reminds me of New Zealand, without the sheep.


From → Movies

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