Cinema hoarding: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond; Chapman, E Otto New Zealand...


Cinema hoarding: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond

About this object

Painting of actress Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in ‘Sunset Boulevard’ (USA 1950). The painting formed part of an advertising display on the Wellington [Majestic] theatre frontage where the film screened in the early 1950s. It was painted by E Otto Chapman, a commercial artist who made advertising displays for Kerridge Odeon’s four Wellington cinemas - The Majestic, Embassy, Regent and St James - from 1940 until the late 1970s. Situated in a studio above the Majestic Theatre, Chapman worked from small black and white publicity stills of the films’ stars to create huge colourful hoardings.
With the advent of multiplexes in the 1980s, hand made cinema hoardings largely disappeared.
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision holds a several other displays painted by Chapman, along with scrapbooks containing mementos and records he retained about his career.


Chapman, E Otto New Zealand

Maker Role


Date Made


Medium and Materials

Tempera on paper

Place Made

New Zealand


94 x 83cm (WH)

Subject and Association Description

E Otto Chapman was born in Dunedin. In 1929 he was employed as an artist by NZ Railways in Wellington, where he worked for 5 years. Subsequently he worked as a commercial artist in Wellington. He won a number of local and international poster competitions in his early to mid career.


E Otto Chapman Collection

Credit Line

E Otto Chapman Collection

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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