Loading Spinner

Movie Posters

Since the early days of filmmaking, movie posters have served as focal points to advertise a theater’s upcoming and feature films. In the early 20th century, they were produced in small numbers, and theaters had to use or rent posters directly from movie studios—passing them back to the studios or designated exchanges once finished with the respective film. This process, however, soon evolved.

Around 1940, the National Screen Service was formed, taking over the printing, distribution, and redistribution of movie posters in the United States. In the 1980s, movie studios regained control and distribution of posters, mass-producing them affordably enough that theaters did not have to return the pieces.

Those who take up collecting movie posters do so for many reasons, perhaps for love of a particular film, admiration for an actor or director, or even enjoyment of a poster’s graphic artist. Care should be taken to assure posters are correctly identified as originals, since commercial reprints are not considered collectible items.


Quick Facts

  • A rare movie poster from Fritz Lang’s 1927 film “Metropolis” was auctioned off at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles in December 2012. The poster, along with a handful of other rare posters and memorabilia, was won by collector Ralph DeLuca for $1.2 million
  • In the early 20th century, movie posters were sometimes used to insulate dwelling walls and floors. Valuable stashes have been found during a number of modern-day home remodels
  • Older posters were often folded and shipped to theaters, not rolled. Older posters may also have a tanned appearance since they were printed on acidic paper

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Original "Alexander: The Man Who Knows" c1920s Litho Magic / Mentalism Poster
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Original "Alexander: The Man Who Knows" c1920s Litho Magic / Mentalism Poster
by Regency Antique Books
Est: $100- $200
$37514 Bids
Tokyo Joe Humphrey Bogart THREE SHEET
Dec 09, 3:00 PM EST
Tokyo Joe Humphrey Bogart THREE SHEET
by Plain City Auction
Est: $10- $500
$125 Bids
Tote of Approx 190 70s and 80s One Sheet Movie Posters
Dec 09, 3:00 PM EST
Tote of Approx 190 70s and 80s One Sheet Movie Posters
by Plain City Auction
Est: $10- $500
$553 Bids
bp parity badge
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Dec 07, 10:00 AM PST
THE WIZARD OF OZ
by Bonhams
Est: $600- $800
$7002 Bids
Lot of 9 James Bond "Thunderball" Lobby Cards.
Dec 03, 11:00 AM CST
Lot of 9 James Bond "Thunderball" Lobby Cards.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $300- $400
$802 Bids
Original 1973 LeMans Steve McQueen Window Card HTF
Dec 09, 3:00 PM EST
Original 1973 LeMans Steve McQueen Window Card HTF
by Plain City Auction
Est: $10- $500
$62 Bids
Inferno One Sheet Robert Ryan Rhonda Fleming
Dec 09, 3:00 PM EST
Inferno One Sheet Robert Ryan Rhonda Fleming
by Plain City Auction
Est: $10- $500
$112 Bids
James Bond 007 "Diamonds Are Forever" Movie
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
James Bond 007 "Diamonds Are Forever" Movie
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £60- £80
£402 Bids
James Bond 007 "The Spy Who Loved Me" Movie
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
James Bond 007 "The Spy Who Loved Me" Movie
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £70- £90
£402 Bids
2 STERLING SILVER BROOCHES LOT 670
Dec 04, 5:00 PM EST
2 STERLING SILVER BROOCHES LOT 670
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
bp parity badge
Bond, James - Affiche.
Dec 04, 11:00 AM CET
Bond, James - Affiche.
by Art Atelier
Est: €200- €300
€601 Bid
bp parity badge
RENDEZVOUS SET OF LOBBY CARDS
Dec 07, 10:00 AM PST
RENDEZVOUS SET OF LOBBY CARDS
by Bonhams
Est: $300- $500
$3001 Bid
GRP inc Cinema Daybill Posters x six and movie
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
GRP inc Cinema Daybill Posters x six and movie
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £20- £30
£101 Bid
PAIR inc Cinema Posters x two Confessions
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
PAIR inc Cinema Posters x two Confessions
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £10- £20
£51 Bid
The Return of the Pink Panther cinema poster
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
The Return of the Pink Panther cinema poster
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £20- £30
£101 Bid
Cinema Posters x two Atlantis The Lost Continent
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
Cinema Posters x two Atlantis The Lost Continent
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £10- £20
£51 Bid
GRP inc Adult themed cinema posters x five
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
GRP inc Adult themed cinema posters x five
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £30- £50
£151 Bid
GRP inc Clint Eastwood cinema posters x four
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
GRP inc Clint Eastwood cinema posters x four
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £20- £30
£101 Bid
GRP inc Military and Western cinema posters
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
GRP inc Military and Western cinema posters
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £20- £30
£101 Bid
GRP inc Cinema Posters x twenty includes
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
GRP inc Cinema Posters x twenty includes
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £20- £30
£101 Bid
GRP inc Cinema Posters x twenty two includes
Nov 29, 10:00 AM GMT
GRP inc Cinema Posters x twenty two includes
by Vectis Auctions Ltd
Est: £20- £30
£101 Bid
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS LOBBY CARDS & POSTERS
Dec 18, 10:00 AM EST
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS LOBBY CARDS & POSTERS
by White's Auctions
Est: $50- $100
$301 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Movie Posters


Plain City Auction

Plain City Auction

Bonhams

Bonhams

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Millon Riviera

Millon Riviera