Beginning in the late 1920s or early 1930s and continuing on into the late 1930s, the Chilena Tobacco Company of Chile issued at least 69 different movie star card sets. These cards show mostly Hollywood stars. Chilena seems to have had a monopoly on the cigarette industry in Chile at that time, or at least a monopoly on the movie star card inserts.

There were two main types of movie cigarette cards issued in Chile - black and white or color cards. The black and white cards are small cards with blank backs. These cards are photographic images, with some sets using a glossy surface. For each of these sets, the stars are identified on the front along with the series letter and card number. Some of these identified the cigarette brand or manufacturer, some did not.

There are several long-running groups of series among the black and white issues. Most of the sets identified as "A" to "Z" sets in my checklists contained a circle on the front with Chilena identified as the issuing company. These are all 96-card sets, probably issued over a period of time spanning the late 1920s or early 1930s through the mid-1930s. Many of the sets (maybe all) were issued in at least two styles: a) flat finish with a yellowish tone, or b) glossy finish with a grey tone. The subjects appear the same with either style. I am not sure what these two different styles mean. It could be that these sets were issued one way first, then reissued in the other style later. Or it could mean two different printers were used and the cards were issued in both styles simultaneously.

The four sets identified with the cigarette brand name Populares had series letters of M, N, O, and P. Populares was a brand name of Chilena. It is possible these were intended to be continuations of the "A" to Z" series, since that run of sets ends at "L" before a final run of "X," "Y," and "Z."

The group of sets identified as Serie A through Serie F appears to continue with the sets identified as Polo G through Polo Q.

The Valentino Serie B through Serie D sets show a small picture of Rudolph Valentino and were apparently issued with Valentino brand cigarettes, another brand from Chilena. The set in my checklist identified as Valentino Serie A set makes no mention of Valentino, but the style of the set is virtually identical to the Valentino Serie B through Serie D sets, so it is assumed this was the first set in this run of sets.

There was another black and white set identified as Escenas A. This set showed a scene from a movie with the movie title identified in its Spanish translation. The stars were not identified on the cards for this set.

The color sets from Chile are very beautiful cards. Whereas there is some reuse of pictures among the British sets, the Chile cards show mostly unique pictures which add a lot of variety to a card collection.

There is a long run of color series titled 2a Serie through 22a Serie. It is unknown if there was a 1a Serie. It is possible the set identified as Esta Serie in my checklists was considered the 1a Serie by the card issuers. This run of sets was probably begun in the early 1930s and continued on into the late 1930s. Most of the early sets showed mainly individual movie stars, mostly female. The middle sets changed to show mostly movie scenes. The last few sets changed again, to mostly show pinup-style pictures of actresses. Starting with the 9a Serie, La Ideal was identified as the cigarette brand for these cards. In the earlier series', the brand was unidentified on the cards.

The Okey Serie F and G sets have a very similar appearance to the La Ideal sets. Okey was another Chilena cigarette brand, and these were issued at the same time as some of the La Ideal issues. I haven't seen Okey Serie A-E cards, so it is unknown if those series were issued or not.

In general, cards from South and Central America are very difficult to locate. With the advent of the internet, these cards are surfacing more often than in the past.

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