Use This Site to View and Download Thousands of Historical Movie Posters

Movie Posters: They don’t make them the way they used to. Sure, small independent films can do something interesting (usually with a yellow background), but posters for big blockbusters tend to be pretty formulaic . The first few decades of cinema, however, were a different story.

With hand-drawn illustrations and lettering, collages of black and white photographs, or mid-century geometric graphic designs, all of these works of art are works of art in their own right. While some of the movie posters have long been hung in dining rooms or hung on the wall of a dorm room, there are so many for us to enjoy. Here’s what you need to know about a website with a large collection of classic movie posters that are also free to download.

What will you find in the collection

The University of Texas film poster collection at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin contains nearly 10,000 digitized film posters from the silent era. We first learned about the online archive from a post by Kevin Kelly in the Recomendo newsletter .

Much of the collection (and some of the most interesting posters to watch) came from the Interstate Theater Network – a network that once included nearly every cinematic in Texas. Posters, movie stills, lobby cards, and press books span the 1940s to 1970s with a particularly extensive collection of 1950s and 1960s films, including musicals, epics, westerns, sword and sandal films , horror films and counterculture.

How to search, view and download old movie posters

There are several different ways to access posters in a collection. Whether you’re searching or browsing, you’ll want to start from this page of the collection website .

The search function works just like any other library, including the ability to perform advanced searches, but browsing is the funnest. In addition to viewing each image page by page, you can also narrow it down and view specific genres such as crime, science fiction, erotica, action / adventure, and horror.

Click on any poster to see a larger version, print or download for free. There are three size / resolution options for each poster. Please be aware that Harry Buyout Center does not own the rights to these posters and they are for personal and educational use only. If you have any specific usage questions, please contact Harry Buyout Center directly .

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