Gotta Dance! The Art of the Dance Movie Poster

The centuries old Roy Jones House has been home to the California Heritage Museum since 1979. Intended as a sanctuary for California culture, former exhibits have included local themes such as, “Skateboard,” “Mexican Calendar Girls,” and “Lights! Camera! Glamour!” Currently, the main exhibit is “Gotta Dance! The Art of the Dance Movie Poster,” which consists of over 90 different movie posters, many of which were created for foreign audiences as early as 1925. The posters range in various languages, like Italian, Swedish and French.

Just as films are used as a medium to display an actor’s talents, movie posters were once a testament to the poster artist’s creativity. A movie poster used to set the tone and feeling of a film. They were the equivalent of today’s movie trailers.

The magnificent illustrations and vibrant colors of the movie posters bring across a vivid impression to mesmerize the viewers. But, having a quality movie poster is no longer common in film advertisements.

The risqué, illustrated posters display curvaceous hips, and legs of semi-nude actresses, leaping and twirling through the air. In one poster, a woman is dancing amorously with a man in a black tuxedo, while her pink nipples are clearly visible underneath her white dress. The movie posters have a sophisticated sex appeal.

A small section of the museum serves as a mini-theater where museum-goers can sit and watch snippets of classic movies, commentary by directors, actors, and those who enjoyed the films from back in their day. This is a film buff’s chance to have an immersive experience with classic movies and the history behind them.

For anyone looking to uncover some of the mystery of Old Hollywood, the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and student admission is five dollars. “Gotta Dance!” ends on September 30.