I had this poster for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) when I was 11 or so. It was goddam gigantic. It took up nearly an entire wall in my room.
It wasn’t store bought; it came from a theater. My father used to do something that was pretty damned cool for any parent to do — he’d occasionally ask the manager of a movie theater to save their in-house advertising for my favorite movies. (I don’t know how things are done nowadays, but back then they’d just throw them out after using them.) Then my Dad would hand the guy $10 or $20 for one of these, or maybe the manager would just give it to him.
Sometimes that meant a truly industrial-size poster, like this one. Sometimes it meant one of those huge cardboard stand-up advertisments. (I could only have a couple of these at a time … I had a small room.)
I also had a cardboard stand-up for “Colors,” the 1988 film depicting Los Angeles gangs — but my older brother brought me that one. It had nearly life-size cutouts of Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, the movie’s police protagonists. I don’t know why the nerdiest kid in East Coast suburbia was so taken with a movie about inner-city West Coast gangs, but that movie meant a lot to me.
Come to think of it, a lot of people were talking about “Colors” back in the day. It was a big deal. It was considered pretty edgy at the time, the critics loved it, and I’m surprised I never heard about it again after the close of the decade. Its soundtrack had a damned good title track by Ice-T, too.
The poster below was my favorite, though. To this day, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is probably my favorite film of all time.