Perhaps the very first movie poster was the one created by Jules Cheret, in 1890, for a short film called Projections Artistiques. The lithograph poster depicted a young girl holding a poster announcing the times of the show. Two years later, he created another poster for Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique called Pantomines Lumineuses.
However, it is the poster for L’Arroseur Arrosé (also known as The Waterer Watered and The Sprinkler Sprinkled) a 1895 short black and white silent film, that is considered the first poster ever designed to promote an individual film. Although posters had been used to advertise cinematic shows since 1890, early posters were typically devoted to describing the quality of the recordings and touting the technological novelty of these shows. This poster for L’Arroseur was different, illustrated by Marcellin Auzolle, and shows an audience laughing in the foreground as the film and is projected in the background onto the cinema screen. It shows the moment the gardener is splashed in the face and is also the first movie poster to depict an actual scene from a film.