What Are Quad Film Posters?
Quad film posters are a particular type of film poster which originate from the United Kingdom. They are also known as British Quads and UK Quads.
They are landscape in appearance and measure thirty inches by forty inches. Although some can be a little smaller in size, especially certain titles made for the London underground which are around two inches smaller on both sides. One particular example of this is the quad for John Carpenter’s Halloween.
In the early days of the Quad film poster they measured a vertical thirty inches by forty inches. Hardly any of these posters have survived due to the paper shortage after World War II. Around 1941, the Quad poster started to be displayed horizontally and the slow phasing out of the vertical quads began.
Up until around 1980 printing companies like W.E.Berry, Stafford and co (later to be acquired by Lonsdale & Bartholomew in 1961) and Haycock Press Ltd used to fold their posters after they came off the press. These were then distributed to cinemas nationwide.
Most posters after 1980 were still folded but there are a lot more examples of rolled posters from this era than before 1980. Rolled posters before 1980 are scarcer, however some do exist as they were kept back by employees of the printing firms. These were passed to studio executives and even given to the artists who created the posters.
It is extremely rare to find rolled posters previous to 1950 and I have only seen a few dozen of these in my twenty years of collecting.
Print Runs of Quad Film Posters
Print runs for posters varied from three thousand to ten thousand plus. This was dependant on the title and how many cinemas picked the film up. A film like Star Wars for example, would have had print runs of over ten thousand. Independent distribution companies would re-release films to small cinemas with a re-release poster. These can be very scarce and more often than not have a less desirable image than the first release poster.