“Do you mind if I put up a poster?” It is a phrase I have spoken many times. Depending upon which local establishment I am standing in and depending on whom I am speaking to, I may or may not feel confident in my play. Is it a worthwhile project? Their enthusiasm and willingness to put up a poster greatly affects my feelings at that moment. Sometimes I feel like I am wasting their time, taking them away from other costumers. Am I interfering by asking for an 11 by 17 inch space on their bulletin board?
Putting up posters is one of the oldest forms of advertising in the theatre world. It is also facing the prospect of extinction. I have noticed this in and around London Ontario and I assume it also applies elsewhere. In recent years with the high turnover of businesses on Richmond Row, where you used to be able to put up nearly twenty posters you now can find around seven establishments willing and enthusiastic to put up a poster for your show. The same goes for other parts of the city. The current attitude seems to be that someone coming by to put up a poster is taking up space otherwise intended for paying customers.
Perhaps I should not be too general though. Of course there are the steadfast places that are always willing and excited to get another poster: record stores, book stores, museums and non-profits. The new hotspot for putting up posters is quickly becoming the Old East Village, with so many great new restaurants and businesses opening up. Continue Reading