Aka handbills, heralds, flyers, they were made to advertise the upcoming releases in Spain.
The origin of this collectibles is in the arrival of cinema to Spain, in the early twentieth century, when the prior leaflets to promote circus, bullfighting and theatrical representations, were also adapted for the cinema. Up to 1920, the film screening was a huge event itself, no matter what the movie was, that’s why in the programs there were no images, just the date and place of the projection. These early programs were made in cardboard, wich explains the high value they have nowadays, as they are difficult to find.
In the 20’s, first images appeared, usually movie stills, highlighting the director and the artistic value. They were created by the distributor or the cinema, with aditional information about upcoming releases.
The 1930’s were the golden era of Spanish programs, with a lot of different formats: double, punching programs, etc. Hollywood stars were used to attract the audience, the star-system was born and imposed its rules to promote the films.
During the 40’s, the 9x13cm format becomes the standard, made of paper, not cardboard. This is the format that will be used up to the end of programs, in the early 70’s. Many of them reproduced the poster with a blank space in the back for the cinema to post information.
There were many designers and illustrators, but some are usually highlight for their career and the quality of their job: Josep Renau, Jano, Soligó, Mac and collective MCP.