Here in New York City a new and startling disease has sprung up. Applying a descriptive name to it seems something of a task since one will insist it should be ‚Color-Madoritis‘, another will suggest ‚Poster Bug‘, while a third will insist that just plain ‚Damphool‘ best describes the malady. The writer, however, is inclined to think that ‚Posteritis‘ fills the bill better than anything else as a descriptive term to be applied to the new, strange affliction that is rapidly fastening its fangs on New York City moving picture theater managers. It must be admitted that one or two neatly printed, framed posters adds to the attractiveness of the average theater front, besides giving the prospective patron an idea of what particular brand of joy awaits on the inside. It does not follow, however, that because one or two posters look well, half a dozen or more are going to thrill the passing throng with admiration or cause them to be bitten by the Buy-a-ticketus-bug. Nay, nay, Pauline! Not so! On the contrary, a front plastered over with posters - posters on the walls, on the ticket office, on easels and on lien extending across the front, presents almost anything else than pleasing, attractive appearance. In the amusement world the great spread of banners almost invariably proclaims the sideshow - the fake. At any rate such a display immediately predisposes the average man or woman to look askance and wonder when he or she buys a ticket whether or no they will, later on, have cause to remark motto voce themselves ‚stung‘! The writer has, heretofore pointed out in the columns the fact that it is quietly rich, dignified front that predisposes the passer-by to enter; not the garish, poster-plastered, cheap-looking, tawdry get-up, supplement by a shrill phonograph or leather lunged barker. If the show is really good the regular patrons will very soon discover the fact and the casual passer-by will enter more readily if the front be decorated in quietly rich way, than if it be plastered with cheap looking posters in all the colors of the rainbow. The writer has, here in New York City, on Fourteenth Street not far from Broadway, counted sixteen posters on one fron at one time. Nor was this all, since, in one instance at least, but three of the posters really had any connection with the films what made up the programme. The rest of the marvelous display was a lie! Time, time and again have I passed fronts carrying five, six and eight posters, some on the walls, some on a line strung across the front and others on easels. How awful it looked! Whether the show inside was a fake or not the front said it was plainly enough! Had these posters been well and neatly framed, under glas, the effect would not have been so bad, though even then it is doubtful if more than two posters can be used to advantage on any store-room theater front or more than four on a front of larger size. Nor is there need for multiplication since four will usually cover the show pretty well. Be that as it may, the displaying of posters of subjects not being shown, unless plainly labeled as future programme, is a rank swindle. Petty tricks of this kind will injure the business of any house in course of time and not only will it hurt the individual house but it will injure the business as awhole.
(Excerpted from F.H. Richardson ‚Posteritis‘ - Movin Picture World 6 (1910), p. 987)