More Lobby Cards – “Sweet Music”

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 295

If you couldn’t already tell, I love vintage movie memorabilia. When it comes to Ann Dvorak, I will collect anything that was put out to promote one of her films. Old movie advertising art came in all shapes and sizes, but lobby cards are especially fantastic.

For those of you new to the hobby, lobby cards were issued for just about every feature film (and some shorts) and usually came in sets of eight including a “title card” and seven scene cards. In the 1930s, the images on the cards were usually hand tinted and frequently had attractive border art. The great thing about lobby cards is that they are small (11″x14″) and easy to pop into a frame and display. Because they were printed on a heavy card stock, they tend to stand the test of time really well and are frequently some of the easier pieces of memorabilia to locates.


However, there are always exceptions to every movie memorabilia rule and there are a handful of Ann Dvorak titles that  I have had trouble finding cards on. For a number of years, I had very little on the 1935 Warner Bros. musical Sweet Music. A few years back, these two cards popped up on eBay, and even though they are kind of trashed, they are the only lobby cards I have ever seen from this film and am grateful to have found them.

If memory serves correctly, these cards were used as insulation in a 1930s house and were found during a remodel. While this may sound crazy, it happens more often than you might think and many fantastic collections have been recovered this way.


  1. Mike October 22, 2013

    I have purchased reprint posters over the years, and have them hanging in “hobby lobby” frames in my basement, computer/storage room, and office at work. Mostly from film noirs and 30s screwball comedies. I have also bought a bunch of Bruce Hershenson movie poster books and checked out prices at auctions and ebay. And made the decision I wasn’t going to make the plunge for the real things. But whether intended or not, you have me thinking twice with lobby cards. In fact, I was going to mention yesterday after viewing those splendid cards from the Chevalier film, that cards mite be the way to go for the novice collector. Perhaps focusing on a particular genre or lesser known star (Ann Dvorak), and setting budgetary limits, one could keep the hobby “under control” financially.

    I (and I’m sure other movie fans) had to make the same decision with accumulating a personal film library. I did tape a bunch of movies off tv in the VCR days, but rarely watch them anymore. Now, as long as I know a film will pop up on TCM sometime in the future, I won’t purchase a copy. I will dvr and not delete certain titles. But even then there are exceptions; I can’t imagine not owning dvds of certain noirs or definitive performances from my favorite actresses.

    In any event, your posts about the collector’s world have been fascinating to follow and read.

  2. admin October 22, 2013

    As long as you don’t have your heart set on lobby cards from “The Wizard of Oz” or Universal horror films, they can be a great intro to the hobby. They were produced for every film and once you get into the late 1930s/early 1940s when the National Screen Service took over production and distribution, the cards are pretty easy to find.

    Back when there were still movie memorabilia shows, dealers would have $1, $3, and $5 dollar boxes. I’ve picked up a handful of non-Ann cards over the years just because they were pretty and cheap. A friend of mine used to buy cheap cards which he laminated and used as place mats!

  3. artman2112 October 22, 2013

    boy i sure like that first card!!!

    i love LC’s, they are hung ALL over my house…i have gone through phases…Ann Sheridan. Eleanor Parker, Olivia DeHavilland, John Garfield…even a few Cagney (sadly, not the pre-code stuff), Clara Bow and now some Warren William, Loretta Young, etc, etc i mostly focus on the WB studio (yes i have some Ann D now too, lol)…its amazing how many still survive in decent shape. the larger posters are printed on such cheap ass paper, but LC’s, window cards, half sheets and inserts were thankfully printed on heftier material…the big problem with all this stuff for me is that framing it can get awfully expensive!

  4. Mike October 23, 2013

    ah, the ancillary costs of collecing – storage, professional framing, insurance, etc.

    BTW, when the royalty checks start rolling in, perhaps Ann’s biographer can take a short leave of absence from her library job and take that program on the history of Hollywood movie poster/lobby card art on the road. As previously promised, right?

  5. admin October 23, 2013

    Sure, though I think the royalty checks may only pay my way to San Diego. 😀

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