- Theatrical advertising during the modernist period consisted largely of newspaper notices and large bills posted on walls of downtown buildings. Ads in the 1870s tended to be simple notices of the title of the work and the time and place of performance. The 1880s and 1890s brought more text, often describing the scenic thrills, emphasis on the stars, a schedule of performances of the plays in repertory, and occasionally some artwork. The name of the playwright virtually never appeared. Newspapers were also full of paid puffs, little snippets of promotional material disguised as reporting. Electricity led to lighted marquees on theatres in the 1900s. Although radio became widespread in the 1920s, it was not readily used as a medium for advertising theatre.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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