Saturday, August 17, 2013


Exhibitor Books were a tool used by movie studios to market their product and to increase interest and excitement in their various films. They were usually comb-bound and oversized to maximize the appeal to prospective theater owners to show their movies. Universal Studios was very adept at hyping their ofttimes lower-budget fare by using this form of marketing. Sometimes just the star power of a Chaney or Karloff was good enough. The use of bold and colorful text and graphics (one could say garish for their monster films) emblazoned across a double-page spread only added to the anticipation.

Here are sample pages from the various years that Universal issued Exhibitor Books. While not hard to track down on the web, included is the page from the unproduced, unreleased Karloff/Lugosi vehicle, THE MONSTER OF ZOMBOR slated for the 1940 - 1941 movie campaign.

Of particular note is the page for the 1931 production of FRANKENSTEIN where the ad copy clearly announces that Bela Lugosi is to play the monster! 

Also note the lurid illustration for MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, with the nude woman lying helpless in bed and completely under the spell of Dr. Mirakle.

1925 - 1926

1931 - 1932

1940 - 1941

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