Posts Tagged ‘publicity photos’

Be Careful

April 19, 2012

Kerry Haggard of Commerce, Georgia was sentenced recently to 6 ½ years in prison for selling fake movie posters as the real thing. He had a New York City printing company make copies of movie posters, such as The Mummy, Frankenstein, Murders in the Rue Morgue and others, he then sold them on Internet auction sites as  authentic movie posters. His scheme was eventually discovered and he was charged and sentenced. Still, many people were fooled by these posters and lost a good deal of money because of Haggard. So, I figured now would be a good time to post some tips to keep in mind if a movie poster purchase is in your future. Yes, I’ve written about this before, still it is a good idea to know what to look out for, so that you won’t be fooled.

Know What You Are Buying
Do as much research as you can on the poster you want to purchase. Google images of the poster and search for information about the movie in question. Sometimes the actors pictured or other features in the poster can increase or decrease the value. If you going to buy a movie poster from a movie that was made before 1980, you need to learn what the dominate sizes were, how many versions of the poster were used during the film’s initial release, whether the poster was rolled or folded, if it has a National Screen Service (NSS) number and so on. There are two websites that I want to mention that can help a collector learn about movie posters, one is Movie Poster Grading Company ( and the other is the Learn About Movie Posters website(

The Movie Poster Grading Company was established so that movie posters can be authenticated with a tamper proof tag that lists identifying aspects of the poster such as the title, size, grading, history and other information. This website has a list of known fake movie posters. So, it is a good idea to check out this site before you buy a movie poster. The Learn About Movie Posters website has information about poster sizes, publicity photos and stills from movies, as well as information about preservation of the movie memorabilia and the different kinds of movie posters used in different countries. The more you know about movie posters, the less likely you are to be fooled by a fake.

Ask Questions Of The Seller
A reputable seller, whether online or bricks and mortar welcomes any and all questions, even the dumb ones. If you aren’t getting any answers, you don’t like the answers you are getting or you have a feeling that something isn’t right, don’t deal with the seller.

If A Deal Fell Through, Don’t Feel Bad
If for whatever reason, you weren’t able to get a particular movie poster and you still have your money, don’t feel too bad. If you couldn’t come to an agreement on price or other features, then it was for the best that you didn’t make that purchase. That isn’t to say that the other party was out to cheat you. Still, when making a purchase of an item like a movie poster, things should feel right. If they don’t, shake hands and walk away. Somehow you’ll get the movie poster of dreams. You just need to be patient and educated.

If Something Is Too Good…
Yes, it is cliché, yet true. If you find a Bride of Frankenstein movie poster at a flea market, more likely than not, it is a fake. If someone offers to sell you a Casablanca movie poster for $99.99, more likely than not, it is a fake. While technology helped someone like Haggard to produce a fake movie poster, educating yourself can go a long way in preventing you from being fooled by those who sell fakes.

Of course, my advice remains to not to purchase a movie poster for investment purposes, rather to purchase it for your own personal enjoyment. You can’t go wrong when you buy something that you like.

NOTE: I am not endorsing any company that authenticates movie posters, nor am I endorsing any website that has information about movie posters.  The websites and companies mentioned in this blog entry were listed for informational purposes only.


Movie Poster Grading Company

Learn About Movie Posters


Where Have All the Memorabilia Shops Gone?

March 24, 2011

An article in the March 5 Los Angeles Times talks about Larry Edmunds Bookshop. This is a combination bookstore specializing in movie books and movie memorabilia shop located on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. While pop culture is big business, the majority of the business is online and shops like Larry Edmunds are one of the few independent brick and mortar outposts in a sea of dot coms.

As you can expect, that got me thinking. While there is nothing wrong with buying a movie poster or other item online, there is something to be said for going to a memorabilia shop, looking around at the store, perusing the poster and photo files and finding an item that you always wanted and now have the opportunity to buy or finding an item that you didn’t know existed but like it enough to buy on the spot

In addition to being great places to spend an afternoon, the memorabilia shops have launched careers. The current owner of the Larry Edmunds Bookshop, Jeff Mantor, worked at the store for 16 years before buying it from the previous owners, husband and wife Milt and Git Luboviski in 1996. Movie historian and author Leonard Maltin, got his start by visiting memorabilia shops in the New York City area in the 1960’s and buying movie stills and publicity photos for between 25 and 50 cents. While selling childhood doo-dads on Internet auction sites got me started in selling movie posters, I enjoyed going to a collectibles and antique shop in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia and going through a photo album filled with vintage advertisements promoting products ranging from Spam™  to cigarettes (one such ad featured a picture of a doctor recommending Lucky Strikes cigarettes). That store is now gone and a bicycle shop is in its place and I’m willing to bet that the memorabilia shops that Maltin went to are gone as well, so that just leaves the Larry Edmunds Bookshop.

As great as the Internet is in locating and being a conduit for buying memorabilia and everything else, it’s doesn’t replace holding something in your hand and looking at it, in person. When you see something like an old movie poster or an old publicity photo in person, it is almost like going back in time when movies were the mass media and the place where our hopes and dreams where projected along with the images on the screen. The memorabilia shops aren’t just places of commerce, they are places that help to preserve a part of American pop culture. So the next time you happen upon a memorabilia shop, go inside and buy something. Not only will you be helping stores like Larry Edmunds Bookshop stay in business, you will also be keeping the awe in the memorabilia buying experience.


Cantu, Hector. “Hollywood Charms” Heritage Magazine Summer 2008, pgs. 46-51