Homage to the Boarding Pass Wallet

The Weird and Wonderful World of Airline Collectibles.

November 20, 2015

YOU KNOW WHAT I MISS? Airline ticket wallets. Once upon a time airline tickets were issued by hand, and were often several pages thick, while boarding passes came in the form of cardstock keepsakes. When you checked in at the airport, the agent would arrange this paperwork in a paper or cardboard wallet — sometimes they called it a “ticket jacket” — emblazoned with the carrier’s logo and colors, and hand it back to you. Have a nice flight, sir. It was a small but classy touch, and a helpful way of organizing your documents. Today’s electronically issued tickets are mere receipts that can be folded into a pocket, and the boarding pass has become a similarly flimsy scrap, rendering the jackets all but obsolete. I don’t imagine this saves much money, since they couldn’t cost more than a penny each to manufacture, though if nothing else I guess it saves a few trees.

When I was a kid I had a pretty good collection of ticket jackets from airlines around the world. I had a big timetable collection too, and those are another thing I miss. Timetables. Three or four times a year airlines would publish thick booklets containing their entire network schedule — arrival times, departure times, aircraft types, etc. — plus a wealth of other information. There were seating diagrams, addresses and contact info, and, my favorite, the fold-out route map. They were useful to frequent flyers and they made neat collectibles.

Airline timetables. Author's collection.

Airline timetables.   Author’s collection.

For the most part timetables have been relegated to virtual status on airline websites. Hard copy versions haven’t totally disappeared, but you need to look overseas to find the few that are still out there. I’m not sure who still prints them. The newest one I own is about ten years old. Curiously, looking at the various carriers’ current online versions is something of a sentimental journey, as the basic format has hardly changed. Several of the major carriers’ online timetables are laid out exactly like the printed versions 25 years ago, with the identical fonts and typefaces!

1983 Pan Am timetable with route map.

1983 Pan Am timetable with route map.    Author’s collection.

Airline collectibles. I wonder sometimes how much my old archive would be worth, if only it still existed. Inside a gray metal footlocker once resided a good fifty pounds of airline memorabilia that my friends and I had stockpiled during our weekend forays to Logan Airport in the mid and late 1970s. We’d rummage through kiosks and weasel our way onto parked jetliners. Virtually anything wearing an airline logo was snagged and hoarded: timetables, booklets, luggage stickers and tags, silverware, pins, inflight magazines, barf bags, playing cards.

We’d also write to airline offices the world over. “Dear South African Airways, could you please send us some timetables, pictures of your aircraft or other items for our collection.” Amazingly effective this was. A few weeks later a fat manila packet would arrive jammed with posters, pictures, promotional brochures, you name it.

All gone. Gone because, for reasons that I can’t today fathom, I threw it all away.

I was 18 or 19 when I did it. The locker, a gray aluminum chest the size of a large suitcase, still sits in the attic of my parents’ house in Revere, Massachusetts. It’s covered with luggage stickers from Braniff, Eastern, Piedmont and North Central. It goes BOOONG! when you bang on it. Because it’s empty. The bottomless echo of a teenager making another bad decision.

Among the few things I hung onto are a small handful of timetables, and a sizable library of airliner postcards, which I still actively curate. Their portability, if nothing else, inspired me to save them. Postcards, yes: years ago airlines would publish and distributed postcards showcasing photographs or drawings of their aircraft. Photo on the front; blank space for writing and postage stamp square on the back. I’ve got about 500 in all, from Aeroflot to Air Zimbabwe, some of which, according to eBay and the people who sell and trade such things, are worth $20 or $30 apiece.

Here are two examples, front and back. The LOT card, showing a Tupolev Tu-134, seems to be celebrating the airline’s 60th anniversary. It says “Blue Nile International Service” along the back of the Sudan Airways 707:

LOT Postcard

Sudan Airways Postcard

I’ve got an Avianca card of a 747 on its first trip to Medellin, Colombia, marked “Historica fotograica,” and a Laker Airways DC-10 that includes a little balloon picture Sir Freddie himself, his smile beaming skyward and his autograph reproduced across the bottom. And look at this one. It’s a watercolor painting of the Brussels Airport, put out by the old Belgian carrier Sabena. I’d date it to the mid-1970s judging from the planes:

Sabena Watercolors Postcard

Several of my cards are renderings like that one, done in watercolor, oil or acrylics. One of them is an Aeroflot Tu-114 done in charcoal and pencil, the AEROFLOT typeface straight out of 1957, the effect all Sputnik/Gary Powers/Oswald. Where did such wonderful things come from? Who designed them? Were they commissioned? Was somebody actually paid for this work?

Aeroflot Tu-114 Postcard

Some airlines were astoundingly prolific with their postcards. Lufthansa produced hundreds of them. The U.S. majors did too. My favorites are the 1960s and 1970s-era cards: the 707s, DC-8s, Caravelles and 747SPs; the old Soviet Tupolevs and Ilyushins. I especially savor the tarmac shots where the jets are surrounded by activity: workers and tug-tractors and baggage vehicles all stirring about. I love the action and drama these scenes suggest, all of the logistical and human effort that goes into getting a plane off the ground. They’re vastly more interesting than the dime-a-dozen shots of a plane aloft, nose-to-tail against a sunset or a bank of clouds.

Artistically speaking, the Eastern Europeans seem to have put the most thinking into their cards. My collections spans dozens of airlines across six continents, but it’s those from the old Soviet Bloc that are the most nuanced and creatively designed. Maybe this was a minor form of Cold War propaganda, the Eastern carriers outdoing their Western rivals in one of the only ways they knew how. Check out these examples from Romanian carrier Tarom, and the former East German airline Interflug; the Tupolev’s underbelly in black-and-white, when it didn’t need to be:

Tarom 707 Postcard

Interflug Postcard

You’ll find very few airline pilots who collect such things, or even know they exist. Most pilots aren’t into airlines per se and know relatively little about them. But to me these picture cards are poignant historical markers. Not just the airline industry’s history, but my own. They are like slices of my adolescence. They take me back to junior high school, to those critical formative years of my airline nerdity. If my apartment ever caught fire and I was allowed to save one thing, my box of postcards might be that thing.

A handful of airlines still do postcards. I was excited, last spring, taking a TAP (Air Portugal) flight from Heathrow to Lisbon, to discover a display of cards for the taking, in a plastic holster mounted on one of the cabin bulkheads, each with a picture of an Airbus A320. I grabbed one. Actually I grabbed two.

Here’s an online database of airline postcards both old and new, some of which I own.

Aside from the postcards I’ve been slowly rebuilding my memorabilia collection. I’ve got some menus, a few timetables that I bought online (including a few that I’d owned previously, before the great purge of 1985 or whenever it was), amenities kits and silverware and luggage tags. Most of it is newer material that for me lacks the meaning and sentimental associations of my earlier and collection, but this time I promise not to throw it out.

I also have this. It’s a wooden sake cup from the inaugural flight of the Boeing 747-400:


Northwest Airlines, some of you might recall, was the launch customer for the 747-400, back in 1989. That spring, they had been using the jet on domestic “proving runs” mainly between Minneapolis and Phoenix. Finally on June 1st, they inaugurated international service. The first departure was flight NW 47, from JFK to Narita. My friend Ben and I were passengers on that flight. It was the day after my 23rd birthday. I still have my commemorative sake cup. The 747-400 is no longer the preeminent or the most popular long-haul aircraft. That would be its slightly smaller brother, the 777-300. But there are still more than five-hundred -400s in service. And I had a seat on the very first one.

Which brings us to the strange object you see below. This was sent to me about five years ago by Peter Hughes, the bassist for the Mountain Goats and an Ask the Pilot aficionado, who’d found it at a flea market. It is what it appears to be: a small plastic doll, about three inches tall, encased in a transparent shell, like a miniature trophy case, adorned with ’60s-era airline logos, including those of BOAC, Pan Am, and the beautiful JAL crane (still in use, miracle of miracles). It says “Cragstan” across the bottom, which I take to be the name of the company that produced the thing. The doll is supposed to be a stewardess, possibly? I don’t know, but I dig owning it:

Strange Airline Doll Toy


Help support the author’s postcard habit by ordering a copy of his book

Related Stories:


Back to the Ask the Pilot Home Page Visit the Blog Archive Back to Top!
45 Responses to “Homage to the Boarding Pass Wallet”
You are viewing newest comments first. Click to reverse order
  1. Peter says:

    When I was a wee lad, in the early 60s, my family moved to Australia for three years. I still have, in the back of a closet somewhere at home, a vinyl overnight bag from QANTAS, which I successfully pestered my parents to buy. That it is still usable, is a testament to how well built these things used to be.

    I still remember: DC to LAX, LAX to Hawaii, Hawaii to Fiji, Fiji to Sydney and then to Canberra. Now, it’s one hop from LAX to Sydney.

    • Peter says:

      …and, yes, I got both wings (long gone) and at leat one trip into the cockpit. Those were the days.

      It was Pan Am, I believe, across the Pacific.

  2. Jim says:

    About 6 years ago I started a collection of “First Flight Covers” – mail carried on inaugural flights. Quickly I had Pan Ams China and Yankee Clippers, the first flight from Key West to Havana, first 747, first 747 around the world etc. I now collect playing cards from defunct US carriers. Air Florida is hard to come by. Peoples Express does not seem to exist.

    And i have a NY Shuttle “The Flying Nosh” and shares in Pan Am. The history.

  3. Varun Dambal says:

    I agree with your views especially timetable books. I still believe printed timetable books can make a comeback as it serves as a handy information tool

  4. Ben Miller says:

    Your article got me looking at timetables online…I agree they’re amazing and fun to look at.

    One question…in DAL’s November 2015 timetable they have the aircraft for the Atlanta to Sydney flights listed as a B-737 or B-757…for a flight of over 9000nm. How does that work??? Or is it a misprint? Or did they invent aerial refueling for civilian airliners?

  5. Mitch says:

    many timetable images can be found at http://www.timetableimages.com/

    there are many propliner postcards starting at: http://imageevent.com/constellationpostcards

  6. william staines says:

    These sleeves would contain the flight coupon which would be removed at the gate and sent with the rest of the flight’s coupons to the revenue dept. God help you if you lost it on the way to the gate!

  7. Randy says:

    Love this article. I, too, threw out cartons and cartons of memorabilia (train related in my case) around 1985, and regret it to this day.

    You might be interested to know that JAL still offers postcards. In the old days they would mail them for you, but not any longer.

  8. Cryoruggie says:

    For what it’s worth, I framed my PanAm Frequent Flyer award that I got just before they stopped flying. Pretty neat – all silvery – the award has not only the flight, but had a bunch of other coupons that were attached. Like a Hertz coupon.

  9. Tim Howe says:

    The Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda Illinois is home to one of the largest post card collections. Perhaps they’d be interested in curating an exhibit of your treasures?
    Tim Howe

  10. I used to have stacks and stacks of those boarding passes and I can’t believe I threw them out. I’d love to look through them and see where I was at a given day…lots of adventures. And I miss the holders too…all that ephemera. I don’t remember the postcards though. You know what’s awesome? Some airline still give the wings to kids. Good ones–metal and not plastic.

  11. Martin says:

    Oh, the 1983 Pan Am route map…

    Tenth grade. As a result of family tragedy, my grandparents had had to give up their retirement to raise me. One day, a cousin in Sydney invited them for a visit, and that turned into plans for the three of us to spend half a school year there. But I remember biking home from school on a September afternoon, 1983, and my grandfather saying, “We were talking to our travel agent, and she said it would not cost that much more for us to get an around-the-world ticket. However, that would mean that you couldn’t go to school in Australia, you’d have to take your books from here with you, and take all your exams the week we got back. What should we do?”

    My grandfather was a crafty man. He and Grandma got the chance to take the retirement trip of their dreams (plus one adolescent). I got … the Pan Am route map, and a few weeks to help figure out which dots we’d land on. I still remember the awe of looking out at the little islands of northern New Zealand as we made our descent toward Auckland, and thinking, “This is the other side of the world.” And sliding off the left side of the Pan Am map, onto affiliate carriers, such as helping my Nepali seatmate try to fold a watch with a stiff metal strap into a cigarette box on the flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu, and looking out the window to see Mt. Everest. And finally hearing “Little Pink Houses” in my head as we came low over Long Island, disembarking to the crusty terminal at JFK, and thinking … there are more dots on that map.

    • Stephen R. Stapleton says:

      I am jealous to read of someone who flew Flight 1 & 2 in Pan Am’s glory days. You are a very lucky man, though I must say, having to lose your parents so young is an extraordinary steep price to pay. You have my envy and my sympathy.

      • Nicholas Robinson says:

        For several years, Flights 1 and 2 were the ONLY flights I ever took. My father was with Pan Am in Calcutta.

  12. Jay Becker says:

    Very interesting article about airline collectibles. You inspired me to go through cartons in my basement containing things from past years and I discovered some of the things you mentioned. Though it is tempting to see about selling these things (assuming anyone will pay for them), I also am not happy about parting with them. Yet, if something happens to me, the kids will come in here and throw everything out. If these airline things can’t be sold is there some place that they can be donated? I could do that if I knew these materials had a good home. What do you recommend?

  13. Stephen R. Stapleton says:

    I think printed time tables made sense in an era of significant government regulation of airlines. Before deregulation, when flying was vastly more fun and considerably more expensive, opening a new route or closing an old one could take years. Government regulators did not move quickly, so changing routes was not undertaken lightly.
    These days, routes are cancelled at the drop of a hat. Two weeks ago, a friend was flying to Atlanta on Delta from Sacramento and the route was dropped in the 14 days between she bought her ticket and she showed up. She was re-routed from Sacramento to LA and then onto Atlanta. Dear old Tower once cancelled a flight from New York to San Francisco after I’d showed up at the airport and checked in. Not enough people made the flight, so Tower put us all off until the next day. If one were to print a time table today, it would be obsolete before the proof was finished, let alone sent to a printing press.

  14. Don Beyer says:

    The best timetables were in the railroad timetable format. It was really easy to see the point to point flight itineraries before the hub and spoke system. Such flights in 1967 as;

    UA 746 0n a DC6 Milwaukee-Chicago-South Bend-Fort Wayne-Cleveland-Pittburgh-Washington-Baltimore.

    North Central 458 on a Convair Minneapolis-Wausau-Stevens Point-Green Bay-Sheboygan-Milwaukee-Chicago.

    Braniff 235 on a BAC111 Chicago-Kansas City-Wichita-Oklahoma City-Dallas-Houston-Corpus Cristi-Brownsville.

    And dozens more on every airline.

    • Rod says:

      Yes, it beats me how airlines made a profit in pre-hub’n’spoke days.
      I guess people didn’t mind spending a lot of time on airplanes either.

  15. arnold says:

    I used to do the same thing as you did at JFK but in the 60s. I especially liked the free city maps of Scandinavian cities from SAS, each one a different color. Saved too, and also sadly purged.
    But I take offense at the word “weasel” oneself onto the airplanes. Not only were the ticket agents and stewardesses delighted to welcome us aboard after a flight, but the the pilots too wouuld beckon us into the cockpit and let us sit in their seats as they explained the dials.
    No weaseling was needed.
    And is my olfactory memory fooling me, but did the planes smell different back then?

  16. Stephanie says:

    For years, my grandparents had a set of Northwest Orient silverware that they’d “acquired” over time during their frequent flights from NYC to SEA. I don’t think my mother kept it, alas.

  17. RenaissanceLady says:

    My mother still has some of her old Braniff memorabilia, including a few old timetables. When I was a child, I would browse through her collection and dream of being a world traveler.

    My father also worked for Braniff, being the person who would send the timetables and other information to potential clients. (Dad was almost 58 years my senior, having taken time off from Braniff to enlist in the Navy during WWII. We still have an old photo of him at the farewell party they launched for him.)

    Unfortunately, most of this old memorabilia is worth very little — except to me and a few others in the family. Prior to my dad’s death, I had bought for him an authentic WWII-era advertisement Braniff and its pilots. This only cost me a few dollars as I was the only bidder. I still go on eBay periodically to see what else I can find, most of it selling for almost nothing.

    If it weren’t for Braniff, I wouldn’t exist. My parents met while working for that airline. I can therefore deeply sympathize when you talk about these keepsakes as being ‘poignant historical markers’ that had a significant role in your life. I actually miss getting real tickets in a ticket jacket and how important that made me feel.

    Thank you for another wonderful article,
    — Rachel

  18. Eduardo Lopez Morton says:


    Wonderful article, I still remember the first time I flew trans-Atlantic (BA), and they gave us youngsters (my brother and me) a deck of cards depicting many airplane types from British and BOAC. We also got a bag with different goodies: A map of London (kid version), some metal (!) wings to pin on our sweaters (we didn’t take ’em off), and several games / books to while the hours away.

    I still hoard whatever I can put my hands on whenever I board a plane, from safety cards to postcards to menus to information leaflets.

    Honeymoon coming up next February, I am ashamed to confess how excited I am to get to know so many new airlines to me, from Singapore to China Eastern. Fiancee can’t quite comprehend it.

    Thank you for keeping us posted on your comings and goings! It’s always a thrill to get the newsletter on my inbox!


    • Randall says:

      We still have a British Airways deck of cards, probably from 2003. It depicts every aircraft that was ever part of their fleet from inception. Really cool.

  19. Steve Christensen says:

    Speaking of memorabilia, how about log books – for passengers. I few extensively back in the late 50s on BOAC, and they used to give kids a little log book that you would get signed by the captain after every flight. This was back when the cabin crew would line up at the exit as you left the plane and thank you for traveling with them. I’ve long since lost mine, but I sure wish I still had it.

    • siriusinzim says:

      The BOAC JJC – British Overseas Airways Corporation Junior Jet Club – complete with log book, lapel wings in brass and blue enamel. I’ve still got mine with Captain O.P. Jones welcoming me as a member in 1958 as a 15mth old baby ! on a Britania flight down through Africa. Maybe the earliest frequent flyer club ever complete with 100 000 mile certificates for travel on BOAC and associate airlines. Got a lot of cockpit visits by getting signatures of the Captains in the log books.

  20. Dickwaitt says:

    You didn’t mention what I considered the ultimate memorabilia – the airline calendar. Full size pages with photos of various destinations of the specific airline, I remember a Pan Am calendar including a ski resort in the Andes. They were usually seen at travel agencies but an individual could get one if he/she worked at a corporation who had someone who scheduled travel for employees, as we did.

  21. Izhar M. says:

    Bringing up some nostalgia, when I was a kid, I used to write aircraft manufacturers and ask for printed material: Boeing, Northrop, General Dynamics, McDonnel Douglas and so on. Indeed, it was an effective strategy, and, of course, non of the memorabilia survived… You can’t help it: these days all the stuff is on the web for everyone to see and take. Waiting for the mail for a picture of a 707? you’re kidding me!

  22. Kevin B says:


    Good stuff, the fact that you have some obscure international carriers makes it more interesting. You may want to check out the World Airline Historical Society at http://www.wahsonline.com – they also have a list of collectable shows.
    I have lots of boarding passes, jackets, timetables, from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I managed global travel for Merrill Lynch so I have over 180 airline menu’s, first and business class, from most major world carriers (I’ve been on 1,881 airline flights, less than you of course, but over 1,000 in first class, and Im poor)! quite a few models, including two that survived the collapse of the world trade center, from my office-15 others were destroyed-ironically one of the two is an AA 767).

    I just started a blog and gave your site a plug, and yes, I’ve bought and read your book – love it. Also I have quite a few videos and just put 2 up on utube – a typical trans-con on AA and the inaugural EWR-HKG felt on CO, where I was a guest.

    I’ve written down many of my adventures, including 9/11 and may write a book-any direction as how to promote it would be great as I have no experience in the book world. BTW-my father is a WWII pilot, 94 years young, flew B-24 and B-29 and has some great stories, including landing on grass fields with kerosine lamps as lights.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Kevin B

  23. JuliaZ says:

    I’ve got my grandmother’s collection of postcards, most from the 30s through the 80s. (I got interested and started in on collecting cards myself in about 1976; my grandmother caught the bug from me, and even though I lost interest a few years later, she did not, and she collected until her death in 1992). There are over 30,000 postcards in my closet!

    I will look through and see what airline cards I have over Christmas break. I’d love to enrich your collection since you’ll give it a better audience than my closet shelves do.

    • Elton says:

      With regard to artistic postcards, Iberia, Alia and Iraqi Airways all put out some very nice sets. Here in the U.S. artist Ropy Anderson was commissioned to do a huge set of United and Capitol Airlines postcards. He also did a set for Hawaiian. You can find views of them (and many others) at this website:


  24. David M. says:

    Hi Patrick.

    Ah, I traveled a bit KBOS-KPBI in my youth, on the “Grandma” route.

    I have very little left in the way of memorabilia from those days….A safety card from a Delta L1011 (my most coveted item), a barf bag, one or two plastic wings (remember those?) and a treasured set of Delta playing cards. (Do they give those out anymore, either?)

    I remember the postcards, too. I think I may have an old Delta one someplace. If I recall, it’s the four-photo montage with a DC-9, 727, 737, and Tristar, if I am correct. Maybe 1970s vintage.

    • Patrick says:

      I have that Delta card with the montage. It’s three-photos, not four: an L-1011, a 727 and a DC-9. And they’re not photos, they’re paintings. It came in at least two different sizes, one of which was an oversized 5 x 7.

  25. Tod Davis says:

    Thanks for the nostalgic story. I don’t think that nice document wallets would really fit in with way that airline travel has gone these days, gone are the theatre and small touches,
    But that doll thing would give a lot of people nightmares.

  26. Vijay Venkataraman says:

    I remember well when airlines would give out postures, pictures and promotional brochures to kids just for the asking. Back when major airlines still had sales offices in commercial centers a kid could walk around downtown and get quite the collection of airline memorabilia in a single afternoon. I always covered those scale models they had in window with the cutaway so you could see the interior and seating configuration. As a kid you could always count on getting a pair of wings to pin to your shirt front and maybe a junior flyers club kit with membership information.

    • Patrick says:

      Those scale models, yes! Some of those models were huge — seven or eight feet long. They must have cost tens of thousands of dollars apiece to make. Where are they now I wonder. Imagine owning one of those.

      As for the wings: For what it’s worth my airline makes plastic wings and small informational cards for crews to give to kids. I carry a bunch of them in my bag.

      • JuliaZ says:

        In January, my 6-year old got wings from the pilot of our Alaska flight from SEA to SFO (Felix’s first flight). I’m not sure who was more thrilled, him, or me. I remember well getting MY first pair of wings from an Eastern pilot in 1974 after flying on a DC-9 from EWR to TPA to see Grandma. So I guess my point is, thanks for having those things to hand out to kids, Patrick. They delight those children as much as they did us when we were little. And you’ve got to recruit new readers somewhere, right? 😉

      • Alex says:

        There are a few airline sales offices in London that still have them for example Kuwait Airlines (https://goo.gl/maps/EW4JE) and the Korean airlines office in Victoria. They do seem an echo of a bygone age though!

  27. Rod says:

    “Today’s electronically issued tickets are mere receipts that can be folded into a pocket.”

    Or inexplicably lost pre-boarding.

    “Those are another thing I miss. Timetables.”

    Me too.

    “Gone because, for reasons that I can’t today fathom, I threw it all away.”

    Bill Bryson tells of his parents throwing away his (today extremely valuable) collection of baseball cards “in an early flirtation with senility”.

    • Randall says:

      Ahhh, dementia. My mother, alone at home in the early stages of Alzheimers, cleaned house. I lost, among other things, my original ’60s Hot Wheels and track, wooden Tinkertoys, and my childhood photo and poster collection, including air- and spacecraft photos and reprints of paintings from an aerospace contractor, and an autographed photo of Craig Breedlove with the Spirit of America after his last world land speed record…

      Our kids would love all that stuff now.

      One benefit of e-tickets – if you back up, they are forever. I recently had to compile a record of my historic international travel, and e-tickets were very helpful – much easier than flipping through hundreds of old passport pages logging entry and exit stamps.

  28. Dan Ulman says:

    Getting a new timetable at FWA in the sixties was a big deal. The airport served the big airlines but also the regionals (before that became a dirty word). It was fun to think about the massive aircraft I would never see unless our trip took us to Detroit or O’Hara

    As an aside, there used to be books you could buy that gave you addresses to companies that would send you free things. At one point of time, most companies seemed to have section devoted to sending things by mail to earnest kids.

  29. JS says:

    The postcards are great! I am curious about the postmarked one, though. Those are all names of 70’s films, I’m pretty sure. “Le dernier metro” is actually a pretty famous Truffaut film (tho not one that I’ve seen). And then it looks like it’s being sent to a movie theater (“Mardi-Cinema”)? I can’t really make heads or tails of it but would love to know the back story.

    • Rod says:

      My guess is that in 1985 there was something called “Télé 7 jours” on one of the French TV channels, and that they had a film night on Tuesdays which they dubbed “Mardi-cinéma”, and invited viewers to send in their list of film preferences. (Note the word “REFERENDUM” at the top of the address.)

      • justt says:

        You’re right except that “Télé 7 jours” is a french TV Magazine (it still exists, as far as I know.)

      • Albert says:

        you’re almost there. “Mardi Cinéma” was a show on French public TV in the 80’s. On the first part of the Tuesday evening (every other Tuesday) a film was shown. Afterwards, there was trailers, movie news items etc. including a quiz where clues were shown. Viewers had to guess which films were the clues from and send the names on a postcard. Hence on the left side of the postcard you see the names of the three films and the address of the sender, so that she could be contacted by the TV team if her postcard was drawn and the answers were right. It was a fairly standard procedure for quizzes on French TV back then.