I'm working on lettering for an end title project, and in my research I discovered some really beautiful collections on Flickr and the incredible Movie Titles Stills Collection created by designer Christian Annyas. There is some really great lettering and typography used for those end titles, and I'm glad the internet exists to help keep the work alive.
Here's an explanation for why the end titles came to, well, an end:
In the early days of cinema almost every film had it’s own ‘The End’ title. The reason for this was that the credits were shown at the beginning of a film. This changed in the sixties when only the most important people like actors and directors were mentioned in the opening credits, the rest of the cast and crew would be mentioned during the (now often minutes-long) closing credits.