THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
NAME: The Empire Strikes Back - Style "A"
DIMENSIONS: 27"x41" (One Sheet), 14"x36" (Insert), 22"x28" (Half Sheet), 30"x40" (Windowbox), 41"x81" (Three Sheet), 81"x81" (Six Sheet), 40"x60" (Two Sheet), 40"x60" (Standee Sheet), 45"x58" NYC Subway
VARIATIONS: Yes, some foriegn versions feature Boba Fett, Lando, and Cloud City in the artwork.
FOLDED OR ROLLED: Both, rolled is more rare
DOUBLE OR SINGLE SIDED: Single
REPRINTS: Yes in the 27"x40" size
This is the much sought after style A. It hit theaters in May 1980. It was painted by Roger Kastel and inspired by Tom Jung's 1967 re-release poster for Gone With The Wind. This design was quickly replaced by the much more common style B shortly after it was released. The story goes that Billy Dee Williams was unhappy because Lando was not in the art. In response the studio pulled this style from circulation. Later products which featured this art incorporate Lando into the artwork. This poster is also know as the Gone With The Wind style for obvious reasons. There are reprints and/or bootlegs known to exist so beware. There are at least 2 different print runs known for this style. The one (shown above) is the NSS (National Screen Service) version. This has the disclaimer on it saying it is the property of the National Screen Service. Most of these are folded as most posters being sent to theaters in 1980 were stilll being sent that way.
NSS Version (with autographs by Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and other cast)
The other print run was apparently for Lucasfilms and 20th Century Foxs own promotional use. These say "Empire Strikes Back One Sheet" in the bottom left border and "Printed in USA" in smaller type on the bottom right border.
Printed in USA Version
There is also a version like this that says "International Version". Most of these I have seen have been rolled. I can only assume that since these were not distributed by NSS they weren't folded. Nonetheless they are originals. Other sizes of this style include a half sheet, insert, two sheet, 30x40 and 40x60.
Style "A" Insert - There are reprints of these that are very hard to spot. Visit MyMoviePosters for info on how to spot them.
Style "A" Half Sheet - 22"x28"
Style "A" Windowbox - 30"x40"
Style "A" Two Sheet - 40"x60"
Style "A" Subway - This is the very rare style A two sheet a.k.a. the NY subway poster. It measures 45"x58". It was intended for display in the New York City subway system. It has the names of area theaters which would be showing Empire when it opened. Since they were only made for the NYCity market the print run was quite small. Combine this with the fact that they were glued to the display and either torn down or were covered over when the run was over and you can understand why there are so few left today. Other sizes of this style include a insert, one sheet, half sheet, insert, 30x40 and 40x60.
French ESB - Style "A" 47"x63"
Spanish ESB - Style "A" 27"x41"