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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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Easy Rider Original Italian Movie Poster
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Easy Rider Original Italian Movie Poster
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$3506 Bids
Movie Posters and Framed Drawing
Feb 23, 9:00 AM EST
Movie Posters and Framed Drawing
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$505 Bids
Steve McQueen "Bullitt" 1968 Movie Poster
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Steve McQueen "Bullitt" 1968 Movie Poster
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$2755 Bids
Original Dr. No James Bond 1/2 Sheet Poster.
Feb 24, 11:00 AM CST
Original Dr. No James Bond 1/2 Sheet Poster.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $800- $1,000
$4255 Bids
Collection of Three Hell's Angels Original Movie Posters
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Collection of Three Hell's Angels Original Movie Posters
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$2754 Bids
"Brannigan" John Wayne Original Artwork of Tower Bridge & One-Sheet Poster 1975
Feb 24, 10:00 AM MST
"Brannigan" John Wayne Original Artwork of Tower Bridge & One-Sheet Poster 1975
by Britannic Auctions
Est: $60- $70
$904 Bids
Mad Angels and The Wild Angels Movie Posters
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Mad Angels and The Wild Angels Movie Posters
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$2254 Bids
The Kid From Cleveland 1949 Original One Sheet Movie Poster 49/522
Feb 24, 9:00 AM EST
The Kid From Cleveland 1949 Original One Sheet Movie Poster 49/522
by Dana J. Tharp Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1003 Bids
Two Reproduction Movie Posters
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Two Reproduction Movie Posters
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$1503 Bids
CRY DANGER Original Theatrical Three-Sheet Movie Poster, RKO 1951, U.S.
Feb 26, 7:00 PM EST
CRY DANGER Original Theatrical Three-Sheet Movie Poster, RKO 1951, U.S.
by Kensington Estate Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1103 Bids
Moving Pictures Poster
Feb 26, 11:00 AM AEDT
Moving Pictures Poster
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD202 Bids
"You Only Live Twice" James Bond Insert Poster.
Feb 24, 11:00 AM CST
"You Only Live Twice" James Bond Insert Poster.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $250- $400
$1202 Bids
"Goldfinger" James Bond Insert Poster.
Feb 24, 11:00 AM CST
"Goldfinger" James Bond Insert Poster.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $250- $450
$1602 Bids
Nightmare on Elm St 1984 Original One Sheet
Feb 25, 10:00 AM AEDT
Nightmare on Elm St 1984 Original One Sheet
by Sydney Rare Book Auctions
Est: AUD100- AUD150
AUD802 Bids
Die Wilden Engel and The Wild One Original Movie Posters
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Die Wilden Engel and The Wild One Original Movie Posters
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$1002 Bids
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" Indiana Jones Poster.
Feb 24, 11:00 AM CST
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" Indiana Jones Poster.
by Direct Auction Galleries, Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$701 Bid
Stallone 80s Movie One Sheets x2
Feb 25, 10:00 AM AEDT
Stallone 80s Movie One Sheets x2
by Sydney Rare Book Auctions
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD401 Bid
Lethal Weapon I and II One Sheet
Feb 25, 10:00 AM AEDT
Lethal Weapon I and II One Sheet
by Sydney Rare Book Auctions
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD401 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Movie Posters


Fairhill Auction LLC

Fairhill Auction LLC

Sydney Rare Book Auctions

Sydney Rare Book Auctions