What Is A "Reprint" Movie Poster?
The basic definition is that these are NOT original posters printed directly by the movie studio to display in a movie theatre or use for promotional purposes. If you should have a question on whether the poster you are acquiring is indeed an original, please ask whoever is offering it to you for clarification. Here is some information that might be helpful.
Reprint movie posters are made by various poster companies that acquire the licensing to reproduce the image. Words used by dealers and sellers to define them are usually - Reprint, Reproduction, or Commercial. Watch out for vague wording and phrases like "features the original art", or "original studio issued movie poster". Yes, reprints do feature the 'original art' as the same image is reproduced. The 'original studio issued' phrase is a tricky way of saying licensed. It is doubtful that either of these phrases defines an original poster produced for promotional use.
The main differences between originals and reprints are sizing, copyright information, and sharpness of text print:
Size: Originals are always 27x40 inches (give or take a 1/8 inch) or 27x41 inches on older titles. Reprints will vary from 11x17 inches and up to 27x40 with many size variations in between.
Copyright: Originals will usually say PRINTED IN THE USA at the bottom. Reprints will sometimes have the licensing company name (ZigZag, Scorpio, Film Freaks, Funky, etc).
Text: You can usually tell a poster is a reprint by looking at the credits & small print text at the bottom. Some reprints are produced by taking a picture of the original and then using that picture to make the posters. This can cause credits and other small text or logos on the reprint to be a bit grainy or washed out. The credits and small text or logos on originals are sharp and solid. This technique can have the same affect on the images shown on the poster as well.
Sometimes the quality of the reprint is as good as the original as printing technology and reproduction techniques are getting better all the time. Without having them side by side, it may be impossible to tell the difference. Again, if you should have a question on whether the poster you are acquiring is indeed an original, please ask whoever is offering it to you for clarification.
Thanks to Cinemasterpieces for this info:
ORIGINAL MOVIE POSTER (USA) Definition
A poster that was issued for a movie by The National Screen Service (NSS), by a movie studio, or by another company authorized by the studio for promotional use or display in an actual movie theatre at the time of the films original release. Older posters prior to the mid 1980's were usually (not always) issued folded while newer posters are always issued rolled. Original movie posters are printed in limited quantities. Usually, the older the poster, the rarer it is. Original movie posters USUALLY have an NSS information tag and number printed on them at the bottom. HOWEVER, this is not always the case. There are plenty of original movie posters that do not contain NSS info. And, to complicate matters, just because a poster has an NSS tagline, NSS number, and a GAU logo, does not necessarily mean it is an original movie poster. There are MANY reprints that have printed this information on the poster to make it appear more authentic.
Double or Two Sided Posters? Picture every poster as having a front and a back. On most posters, there is an image on the front and the back is white. On double sided movie posters, if you look at the back, you will see the image from the front as if it was "bled" through the white paper, thus producing a reversed image. This process makes it easier for light to show through the poster when it is diplayed in a movie theatre lobby light box.
Thanks to mymovieposters for this info:
Double Sided & Rolled Movie Posters
"Modern" double sided movie posters (as we know them today) were first introduced at the beginning of 1988 by Universal Pictures. It was with their theatrical release of "Biloxi Blues" on March 25th. The NSS number was 880116. Currently the film studios print hundreds or thousands of original posters per film, depending on the release strategy of the film and the size of both the studio and the budget of the advertising campaign. Originals are generally produced both single and double sided. Smaller studios may only print single sided, due to printing costs. Collectors prefer the double sided version as the chances of it being an original are greater. Reprints are also produced both single and double sided, though far more often they are single sided. Some double sided reprint titles include Revenge Of The Sith, Spiderman, and Saving Private Ryan.