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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

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Adam West/ Burt Ward Auto Lobby Card
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Adam West/ Burt Ward Auto Lobby Card
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $150- $300
$806 Bids
THE INVISIBLE MAN Movie Poster Lithograph
Nov 17, 10:00 AM EST
THE INVISIBLE MAN Movie Poster Lithograph
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $100- $300
$13 Bids
Original Movie Poster - James Bond Moonraker
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Original Movie Poster - James Bond Moonraker
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $300- $500
$253 Bids
Friday the 13th Autographed Movie Poster
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Friday the 13th Autographed Movie Poster
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$303 Bids
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"The Girl and the Explorer" (1914) Large Vintage Movie Poster
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
"The Girl and the Explorer" (1914) Large Vintage Movie Poster
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$2002 Bids
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE PAPERBACKED INSERT
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE PAPERBACKED INSERT
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
Il Padrino (The Godfather) Italian Release Poster
Oct 29, 9:30 AM EDT
Il Padrino (The Godfather) Italian Release Poster
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
CINDERFELLA WINDOW CARD
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
CINDERFELLA WINDOW CARD
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
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Canadian Pacific Movie Poster 1948 with Randolph Scott [139730]
Oct 28, 8:00 AM PDT
Canadian Pacific Movie Poster 1948 with Randolph Scott [139730]
by Holabird Western Americana
Est: $400- $800
$2001 Bid
BUCK ROGERS ONE SHEET ON LINEN
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
BUCK ROGERS ONE SHEET ON LINEN
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $800- $1,000
$6001 Bid
Original Movie Poster - Burnt Offerings
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Original Movie Poster - Burnt Offerings
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $75- $150
$101 Bid
LARGE ROCKY MOVIE POSTER ON WOOD LOT 173
Oct 31, 5:00 PM EDT
LARGE ROCKY MOVIE POSTER ON WOOD LOT 173
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Original Poster from Frogs
Nov 04, 11:00 AM EDT
Original Poster from Frogs
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
RIVIERE Henri (1864-1951) – « La route de la Palue…
Oct 28, 1:30 PM CEST
RIVIERE Henri (1864-1951) – « La route de la Palue…
by LIMOGES ENCHERES
Est: €150- €200
€1200 Bids
2 SIDED SIGN MEMBER ILLINOIS POLLED HEREFORD ASSN
Feb 12, 9:00 AM CST
2 SIDED SIGN MEMBER ILLINOIS POLLED HEREFORD ASSN
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
ROCKY HORROR PICTUE SHOW 10TH ANNIVERSARY POSTER
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
ROCKY HORROR PICTUE SHOW 10TH ANNIVERSARY POSTER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$300 Bids
ET THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL MOVIE POSTER
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
ET THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL MOVIE POSTER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$300 Bids
Iconic MARILYN MONROE Seven Year Itch Movie Poster
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Iconic MARILYN MONROE Seven Year Itch Movie Poster
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$60 Bids
MARILYN MONROE Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Poster
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
MARILYN MONROE Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Poster
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$60 Bids
JOHN SHERWOOD IL TERRORE SUL MONDO Movie Poster
Nov 17, 10:00 AM EST
JOHN SHERWOOD IL TERRORE SUL MONDO Movie Poster
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $100- $300
$10 Bids
Cycles Sirius. 1899.
Nov 14, 11:00 AM EST
Cycles Sirius. 1899.
by Poster Auctions International Inc
Est: $4,000- $5,000
$3,4000 Bids
Wake Up, America! 1917.
Nov 14, 11:00 AM EST
Wake Up, America! 1917.
by Poster Auctions International Inc
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$5,0000 Bids
Tosca. 1917.
Nov 14, 11:00 AM EST
Tosca. 1917.
by Poster Auctions International Inc
Est: $4,000- $5,000
$3,4000 Bids
Ces Messieurs Dames : Maquette. 1932.
Nov 14, 11:00 AM EST
Ces Messieurs Dames : Maquette. 1932.
by Poster Auctions International Inc
Est: $10,000- $12,000
$8,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Movie Posters


Heroes and Legends

Heroes and Legends

Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

Vectis Auctions Ltd

Vectis Auctions Ltd

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales