About 90% of the movies made before 1929 are lost forever

Recognizing the importance of film preservation is a relatively recent phenomenon in Hollywood. Early motion picture film was especially prone to destruction by fire thanks to its nitrate base. And early films that haven't yet been destroyed by fire can deteriorate in any number of other ways. In fact, it's estimated that over 90 percent of all movies made before 1929 are probably lost forever.

From The Film Foundation, a preservation organization:

Half of all American films made before 1950 and over 90% of films made before 1929 are lost forever. The Film Foundation supports "hands-on" preservation and restoration to ensure that these films - these works of art, historical records, and essential representations of our culture - will survive for future generations.

Below we have a collection of movie posters from Hollywood's lost Golden Age.

Factually is Gizmodo's new blog of fun facts, interesting photos, and weird trivia. Join us on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: French actress Renee Adoree and MGM cameraman John Arnold circa 1925 via Getty Images


13 Enchanting Posters From Hollywood's Lost Years

Most of the movies made before sound hit the big screen will never be seen by our eyes. According to Martin Scoresese's Film Foundation, half of the films made pre-1950—and more than 90 percent of those made before 1929—are lost forever. And while not all of them are lost, you'll probably never see the films that remain, since they're rarely screened. Their posters remain as last relics of Hollywood's beginnings.

Often, these glittering adverts are just as much art as the forgotten films themselves. These are some of our favorites:

Bungalow Boobs, 1924

Image credit: LAPL

Cabaret, 1927

Image credit: LAPL

Doctor X, 1932, is actually not lost. It was preserved in 1978 and done up in technicolor when a print was discovered in Jack Warner's personal collection.

Image credit: LAPL

1928's Red Hair is lost, save for a color sequence preserved at UCLA's Film and Television archive.

Image credit: MoviePosterShop

The Impossible Mrs. Bellew, 1922

Image credit: MoviePosterShop

Only one reel of 1923's Flaming Youth survives. It's kept at the Library of Congress.

Image credit: Flickr

All that remains of 1926's The American Venus are two trailers and two clips, housed at the Library of Congress.

Image credit: Benny-Drinnon

The Sea Hawk, 1924 (not lost)

Image credit: Wikipedia

In the Palace of the King, 1923

Image credit: Wikipedia

Hollywood, 1923

Image credit: Wikipedia

There is no known copy of Tip Toes (1927) in existence today.

Image credit: eBay

Tenderloin, 1928

Image credit: FilmPosters.com

Any good posters we missed? Show us below.