An interesting selection of movies became popular mainly due to availability. These genres include Hollywood action and horror, low budget American straight to video features, Bollywood films, Hong Kong martial arts movies, and of course an ever-growing selection of native Ghanaian and Nigerian features.
As more people gained interest in this rising business, competition arose. Mobile cinema operators found a need to set their products apart, so an advertising motif came into play. With no affordable access to printing, the hand-painted movie poster was the most logical advertising vehicle. Skilled local artists were now part of this growing entertainment industry in Ghana, and they surely brought their own distinct touch to each film they were called upon to promote. It was very common for the video operator to explain to the artists what to paint or give them reference material which might not exactly be in the movie. Often time extra violence, horror or sex was added to these painted posters in an effort to sell more tickets!
By sewing together used flour sacks, a perfect sized canvas for an over-sized movie poster was created. The ruggedness of these posters is immediately noticed. Though a specific poster might only be 15-20 years old, it’s appearance will far surpass it’s actual age due to the elemental toll one takes from constant transit, being rolled, folded, left in the sun, rain, etc. Today access to printing is far less expensive and home viewing has become more accessible to the general public in Ghana. By the mid to late 2000’s the mobile cinema had all but passed away, but these hand-painted movie posters remain a wonderful, tangible product of the time. Many of the same artists from Ghana’s former mobile cinema continue to paint movie posters as art with Deadly Prey Gallery on a commission basis to a growing worldwide audience today.