Exhibition detail


Poster before the Curtain – Czechoslovak Theatre Posters

Aero Cinema, Prague (20. 5. 2020 - 20. 8. 2020) —

Just as film posters were artistically exceptional, so were Czechoslovak theater posters in the second half of the twentieth century, shining on walls and in the theaters halls. Among the leading creators of theatrical posters were: Josef Flejšar, Jaroslav Sůra, Libor Fára and Milan Kopřiva.
Our collection includes more than 1000 sorts of theater posters sorted by the particular theaters.

Their design was done by leading domestic artists as well as in the case of film posters. The artists collaborated with theaters sometimes not only on the poster, but also on stage or costume design. Theatrical posters were printed in very little quantity in comparison to the film posters (the average number of theatrical posters was only three hundred pieces), which makes them very rare. A significant difference was also the fact that in some cases, they were printed in B1 format (100 × 70 cm). Thus, they were larger than classic A1 film posters and their promotional impact was also better thanks to that (not to mention much better print quality of many theatrical posters, on which was the screen printing technology used – better than the offset technology used for film posters).
Theatrical posters in the Aero cinema is thus presented by Libor Fára’s poster: Crime and Punishment: F.M. Dostoevsky (Fára was the prominent author in the Činoherní klub in Prague from the 1960s); the legendary poster of one of the most talented artists of post-war Czechoslovakia, Jiří Balcar, who tragically died in a car accident in 1968, for Václav Havel’s famous production: The Garden Party at the Na Zábradlí Theater from 1963. Milan Kopřiva, who has worked for the Semafor Theater for many years – and later also became an excellent writer – designed the posters for Othello and Poets and Peasants. Jaroslav Sůra, the author of more than six hundred posters, designed a poster for Hoffmann’s short stories in his own unmistakable way. At last, but not least, Eva Švankmajerová worked with Laterna magika on The Lost Fairy Tale.
The Czechoslovak theatrical poster “survived” for several years longer than the film one (with the closing down of the Central Film Rental in the early 1990s, the film posters were no longer commissioned to the domestic artists) and the commercial poster tradition was adopted from abroad. Some domestic theaters commissioned the designing of art posters even in the 1990s and after 2000. From this section, the exhibition presents a poster by Zdeněk Ziegler for Rhapsody in Blue for the Karlín Music Theater (1995) and two posters for the South Bohemian Theater in České Budějovice – Jiří Šalamoun: The Barber of Seville and Radomír Postla: Falstaff.

The exhibitions being held in Aero, Oko and Světozor cinemas in 2020 are supported by the Prague’s City Hall.