Sotheby’s Is Selling the World’s First Movie Poster, Which Promoted a Premiere Only 30 People Attended
The poster is an important piece of cinematic history.
Henri Brispot, Cinématographe Lumière (1896). This poster was created for the Lumière Brothers on the occasion of the world’s first-ever public film screening. It is thought to be the world’s first movie poster. Courtesy of Sotheby’s London.
The world’s first public movie screening was a far cry from today’s red carpet premieres, with just 30 people in attendance for an event that lasted some 20 minutes at a Parisian cafe on December 28, 1895. Now, Sotheby’s is auctioning the poster for that event, held by filmmaker brothers Auguste Lumière and Louis Jean Lumière. It is likely the first film poster ever made.
The design by artist Henri Brispot is one of 164 rare film posters for sale in an online auction held by Sotheby’s London beginning August 28. The poster, which optimistically predicted a much larger crowd than the premiere actually received, carries a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 to £60,000 ($50,830 to $76,240). The auction house calls it “the ultimate collector’s poster,” adding that “this exceptionally rare piece has only surfaced a few times.”
The sale runs through September 4 and also includes rare film posters from the James Bond series, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, and King Kong, among other classic movies.