Ad Slick Rarities --- Laura
Ad slicks are single sheets, usually about nine by twelve inches, which are made up of various sized ads for newspapers, heralds, flyers --- any publication where promotion for an individual movie is needed. Having conferred with good friend and noted expert Dr.Karl Thiede (he’s worked in this field for over forty years), I learned that the slicks generally preceded the standard pressbook which was issued for features (and many short subjects as well). They were an alternative advertising resource for theatres, sometimes used when the pressbook was not yet available, and in many cases, the ad art used for the slicks would be completely different from the campaign reflected by the pressbook. These ads for Laura are by way of example. If you’ve seen ads and posters for that feature, chances are they weren’t anything like these, and that’s what I like about slicks. They’re always unpredictable. Sometimes they surpass the pressbook ads. In any case, they offer an interesting spin on the familiar art and graphics we continue to see for various classic titles. From time to time, we hope to present more of these. One interesting irony we’ll note for the record, and that’s the fact that ad slicks have now taken the place of pressbooks. Contemporary exhibitors need nothing beyond a choice of small newspaper ads to sell their product locally. Grassroots showmanship is long gone. All that remains is that single sheet to promote the arrival of a new movie. A comparison, for instance, between the 1933 King Kong pressbook and the puny scraps furnished to exhibitors for the recent remake would be a thing too depressing to contemplate.