The Sell, Boy

In "100 Things About Me #107" and "'House of Hits,' Then and Now," I wrote about one of my hobbies.

I am fascinated by movie advertising in all of its forms, especially coming attractions trailers, print campaigns, and posters.

As early as age 8, I spent more than an hour some days analyzing the movie ads in the local newspaper.

Indeed. I remember the first of those extended sessions like it was July, although it was the July in 1960. I thumbed through "The Atlanta Constitution," spreading the entertainment section and myself across our living room floor. From the prime vantage point of elbows on the carpet and palms under my chin, my eyes landed and focused extensively on "The Bellboy."

My memory is the above advertisement was the opening "Now Showing" placement for the first-run engagement at the Fox Theatre. "The Bellboy" filled a quarter page of newsprint, a large amount of display space in the era. I was captivated by Jerry Lewis' image, of course, plus the comic illustrations and font styles, all of which made a big impression on me.

I checked the papers each subsequent day, watching the art change through various designs from the Paramount Pictures marketing department. I had to wait six weeks, perhaps, for "The Bellboy" to brighten the screen at my local theatre. These publicity diversions kept me energized during the interim.

I saw the motion picture in three different theatrical situations during the decade and have watched it umpteen times on television. I remain very fond of the film, these advertisements, and the full-color poster originals in my collection.

Before writing this piece, I had not planned to view the movie, but I found myself slipping the DVD into the machine. I settled back on the couch. The brisk 71 minutes flew by, as did the previous 50 years of fun.

"The Bellboy" has never let me down and, so, I tipped the guy.

"The Bellboy" ads courtesy of Emulsion Compulsion

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