For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


PHILADELPHIA, February 4, 2011—The Rare Book Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library will mount a new exhibition of distinctive movie theater lobby cards beginning on Monday, February 14. Running through June 17, “Foyer Entertainment: Movie Lobby Cards from the 1930s-1960s”offers a rare glimpse of this forgotten Hollywood art form with its display of more than 50 lobby cards selected from the Free Library’s extensive Theatre Collection.

Movie posters are considered one of the earliest forms of movie art. In the mid 1910s, as bigger movie theatres began replacing smaller, make-shift nickelodeons, movie house managers requested a new type of poster to showcase inside their larger theatre lobbies and foyers. Hollywood studios responded by introducing 11×14 inch lobby cards—movie advertisements designed to lure perspective moviegoers.

“As the Free Library of Hidden Gems, we are proud of the many unique treasures housed in our collections,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. “Special exhibitions like ‘Foyer Entertainment’ allow us to share these treasures that aren’t usually on public display with as many Philadelphians as possible. We encourage everyone to visit the Free Library and enjoy this clever and entertaining exhibition of the forgotten art of movie theater lobby cards.”

The Rare Book Department will be open for special Saturday hours on March 19 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., KYW movie critic and La Salle University film professor Bill Wine will present “Based on the Book: Best-Seller Cinema,” a discussion of the psychological differences between the reading and viewing experience, and an examination of several written works—some indelible, some insufferable—that have provided the source material for thousands of movies.

The Rare Book Department is open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with free, public tours of the General Collections beginning daily at 11:00 a.m. For more information about “Foyer Entertainment” or the Rare Book Department, please call 215-686-5416 or email

# # #

The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than six million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia. For more, visit


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850