In India, not every cinema can afford official movie posters, which turns out to be a good thing. Instead what some theatre owners do is turn to skilfully hand drawn posters that in my opinion look better anyways. I can’t seem to find too much about the business, but sounds like some Ramachandraiah is the owner of this little enterprise and has been doing it since he first bought his lithograph press in 1971. The prints only use around five colours, but each one is so unique and interesting that you won’t even notice.
The artist responsible for these gems is Raju, who along with Ramachandraiah came up with the low budget ad campaigns for local theatres. His process varies; sometimes he’ll trace a poster, other times he’ll eye ball it and add things he thinks fit. The translations of the movies don’t always work in Hindi either, so it’s up to the two to find a happy medium between poltergeist and ghost chicken. Raju is a machine too, he can allegedly draw up a poster in a matter of a few hours and makes about 12 posters a week.
The sidewalk posters are everywhere apparently, to the point where they’re considered an urban blight no better than graffiti . The posters come 20 x 30 inches and are made on the cheap which makes it easy to cover the town in them, usually under cover of darkness since they’re doing it illegally. People there don’t really find anything interesting in them either, I guess the focus is on more glitzy and glamorous ad campaigns. It’s a shame really, here they are surrounded by beautiful art and all they want to see is glossy board room dung. But on the bright side at least they’re making their rounds on the glorious internet, all thanks to Andy Deemer; an explorer of the Orient and a man with an eye for cool things.
Check out the full gallery of these awesome posters on the next page.