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Once just a hobby for a niche of screen enthusiasts, the world of movie memorabilia has become an industry with millions in sales annually. Whether collecting costumes, press kits, props, advertising, or other filmmaking items, a collector has a wide range to choose from—limited perhaps only by budget and scarcity.
Most believe MGM set the momentum for collecting movie memorabilia when it sold large groups of stage items and costumes in 1970 to an auctioneer, who in turn sold the items for millions over his original purchase price. After that year, collecting movie memorabilia became an organized venture, with fans communicating by newsletters and eventually through internet groups and auction websites. Today, a simple online search will yield a plenty of movie memorabilia for sale, by private sellers and corporations alike.
In 2011, actress Debbie Reynolds began auctioning her collection of movie memorabilia that she purchased in 1970 from a sale of liquidated MGM goods. The final lots were auctioned in 2014
Auctioneer of Hollywood memorabilia Profiles in History's record sales include the Cowardly Lion costume from "The Wizard of Oz" ($805,000) and Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds" dress from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" ($356,000)
One of the highest yielding pieces of movie clothing ever sold was the white “subway dress” worn by Marilyn Monroe in the film, “The Seven Year Itch.” It went to a collector for $4.6 million, and the auction commission was $1 million