Thanks to Ghent Police: A unique collection of movie posters from… (Ghent)

© Ghent Archive


The collection of the Ghent archives contains about 9,000 film posters that adorned the streets of Ghent from 1938 to 1961. A selection of 155 posters is currently on display during an exhibition at the De Krook Library. The fact of keeping posters is largely due to the police officers of the time.

Finn Lackey

From Peter Pan to the latest movie with Brigitte Bardot. The many cinemas in Ghent advertised their screenings with colorful movie posters on the streets. They have one of the largest collections in Belgium in the Ghent archives, with around 9,000 posters from 1938 to 1961.

© Ghent Archive

The fact that many copies have been preserved is mainly due to the urban police. Because of the police regulation from 1856, a copy of every poster published in Ghent had to be sent to the police headquarters in Poeljemarkt. There the posters are dated. This applies not only to movie posters, but also to other advertisements. In total, 25,000 police pieces were collected, with pieces dating from 1881 to 1961.

In the 1970s, the film’s posters were transferred to the city archive, where they have been inventoried and digitized since 2018. So the bulk can already be viewed online via Image bank Ghent. A selection of 155 posters can be seen through the end of October at De Krook at the Ghent Film City Fair, in collaboration with UGent and KU Leuven. They are movie posters from Ghent cinemas, with iconic films of different genres.

In the archive, work is carried out on the preservation of posters, among other things.

In the archive, work is carried out on the preservation of posters, among other things. © Ghent Archive

© Ghent Archive

© Ghent Archive

© Ghent Archive

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Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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