Collecting African American Movie Memorabilia

African Americans have made an enormous contribution to American culture as actors, dancers, singers, and musicians. Whether it’s African American movie posters, movie star photographs, lobby cards, marketing materials or film scripts, these visual affirmations of their artistry and success have grown ever more popular as objects to be collected by both private and institutional collectors.

African American Heritage

Since our inception, WalterFilm has been actively involved in searching out and offering both archives and individual pieces that capture our country’s rich African American film, stage and musical heritage.  What you see here is but a tiny sampling of our vintage original movie memorabilia that reflect African American cultural history.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

UNCLE TOM’S CABIN (1927)  Original souvenir program for silent film adaptation of Stowe novel, which offered significant roles for African American actors, who rarely got to do much of consequence in American cinema of the 1920’s.

Nicholas-Brothers

THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS, a collection of 10 vintage photos of the legendary dancing team.

HI DE HO (1947)  This is one of three scarce lobby cards from this Black cast musical which starred Cab Calloway (his only starring role in a feature film).

THE GREAT WHITE HOPE (1970)  Two vintage 14 x 11” double weight photos by Lawrence Schiller, of James Earl Jones in his career-making Broadway stage triumph in the role of Boxer Jack Johnson.

JOSEPHINE BAKER in LA CREOLE (1934)  Baker made an indelible impression on Parisian audiences in THE 1920’S, and, within a decade, she had become a recognized star of the French musical theater.  Here, we have a scarce vintage French 8 x 7 “ photo of her in a revival of a Jacques Offenback operetta at the Theatre Marigny.

DUTCHMAN (1967)  British quad poster, film adaptation of the trenchant novel by then-Leroi Jones, who subsequently changed his name to Amiri Baraka.  So here we have a rare poster for a film adapted from a significant piece of 1960’s African American theatre.

THE BIG TIME (1929)  Very early vintage 8 x 10” photographic portrait of Stepin Fetchit as he was about to emerge as one of the first African American “names” in the motion picture industry.

SHAFT (1971),  the original MGM presskit, which contains a slew of printed promotional text and a generous suite of 23 vintage 8 x 10” photos.  SHAFT is one of the mythic films of the 1970’s Blaxploitation film era.

THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1938 (1938)  Vintage 8 x 10” photo of an African American dance number from this Paramount musical film.

PLAIN AND FANCY (1955)  Vintage 10 ½ x 13” photo by the legendary African American photographer Gordon Parks of Barbara Cook and Shil Conway in this short-lived Broadway musical.

THE EMPEROR JONES (1933)  Vintage 10 x 8” photo of Paul Robeson, who made a great name for himself, first on stage, and then, after, in this film adaptation, of Eugene O’Neill’s play.

ONCE UPON A TIME…WHEN WE WERE COLORED (1994)  Vintage script for this critically acclaimed film script about African American life in the Mississippi Delta in 1946.

HALLELUJAH (1929)  Two vintage photos, one of King Vidor and crew, all knee-deep in a Southern swamp, as he directs this classic Black cast talking film; the other, of Vidor, which shows actress Honey Brown, who was supposed to play the female lead role of Chickie, but was replaced before shooting commenced, by Nina Mae McKinney.

These are all simply representative examples of what is a rich and fascinating area for collecting. We at WalterFilm invite you to explore it in our African American Collection.

WalterFilm published this post originally at: http://blog.walterfilm.com/african-american-movie-memorabilia/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Advertisements

Hollywood Movie Memorabilia Boutiques

Collectibles and Hollywood movie memorabilia can be searched and seen in online boutiques or hobby craft stores. Through the help of internet and the world wide web, unique memorabilia can be found online. Only search for movie props or memorabilia in the Google search box, and you’ll be amazed by the results you’ll see.

Hollywood movie memorabilia that is posted online encourages collectors and Hollywood fans alike to engage and share in this passion. It’s also a way to sell or trade collectible items from different parties or collector.

In the city of Angels, there’s a lot of vintage stores to shop in. Since Los Angeles is home for movie productions, it’s also the perfect destination to shop for one-of-a-kind Hollywood movie memorabilia. There are all levels of memorabilia to choose from that include rare, quality and vintage productions to mass produced, copied products.

Hollywood Movie Memorabilia

Hollywood Movie Memorabilia and Surprises

If you’re a great fan the old Hollywood age, you’ll be surprised to know that there are boutiques or exhibit showrooms that cater this niche. Do you love the movie Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, AnnaKareNina, and movies from the early 1900’s? A few specialty shops from the original movie collection niche showcase costume sketches, movie scripts, set designs, posters, photographs, and promotional items from Hollywood since the late 1800’s until present day.

Anything that is involved in the movie-making process can be considered movie memorabilia. Those that are vintage and original increase in value over time.

Considerations Before Purchase

If you’re a fan or an avid Hollywood collector yourself, you can safeguard your interest by learning the basics of buying vintage Hollywood movie memorabilia. Trading and buying from eBay or Etsy may be the economical but can also cost you in authenticity or quality.

It is highly recommended that you shop with known curators, exhibitors or specialty stores. Assurance of item authenticity is guaranteed. You can request official documents for item validation.

If you’re looking for unique, one-of-a-kind movie memorabilia online, WalterFilm.com has an online portfolio of original vintage movie posters, movie star photographs, movie lobby cards, movie scripts, rare books and several memorabilia related to movies.

About WalterFilm:

WalterFilm provides the finest selection of original movie star photos, movie scripts & rare books, lobby cards, vintage movie posters and Hollywood movie memorabilia that focus on the glorious history of the European and Hollywood Motion Picture Business. Visit the website at https://walterfilm.com to learn more.

Collecting Academy Award Memorabilia

Collecting vintage original movie memorabilia is a great way to enjoy the movies that you love and have made an impact on your life. And there are so many ways you can go about it. Many collect favorite vintage original movie star photographs, or a film genre or movie scripts, movie posters, lobby cards or a whole range of motion picture marketing materials and move related merchandise.

Academy Award Memorabilia
Peter O’Toole in the Academy Award winning film, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

Collecting vintage original movie memorabilia is a great way to enjoy the movies that you love and have made an impact on your life. And there are so many ways you can go about it. Many collect favorite vintage original movie star photographs, or a film genre or movie scripts, movie posters, lobby cards or a whole range of motion picture marketing materials and move related merchandise.

With the Academy Awards once again in the air, and Turner Classic Movies presenting their yearly “31 Days of Oscar” series, we are reminded of a popular aspect of our business, collecting vintage original Academy Award winning memorabilia.

Academy Award Winning Poster Collectors

In fact, WalterFilm has a video featuring collectors who focus on vintage original posters from Academy Award nominated and winning films.

oscar-nominated film posters

Academy Award Winning Collector Choices

The Academy itself has made a point of collecting a “one sheet” from every Best Picture winner.  That is a rather daunting task for a collector other than the Academy, as some of the early titles are near impossible to find. But more possible would be for a collector to begin collecting original lobby cards or photographs from each of the winners–photos of each of the actors or directors who won…

…or a great scene photograph from each of the winners.    Some collectors even collect photos of the Award ceremonies and of the winners with their awards.

How The Academy Awards Began

The Awards themselves started as a simple dinner party at which the talent of the industry set out to honor what they felt was the best in that year’s creative film making.  It took a while for it to build and for the winning of an Award to mean continued employment in the industry.  The simple dinner and dance (with a few bits of entertainment and speeches) gave way to a theatre presentation in the 1940s and then the gala televised event we have to this day starting in the 1950s.

Vintage Original Academy Award Winning Memorabilia

Amongst the Academy Award winning memorabilia we have are original exhibition photographs from GONE WITH THE WIND (Best Picture 1939);  Pressbook from SUNRISE (Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production 1927) (original photo from CASABLANCA (Best Picture 1943);  Behind the scenes photo for THE LOST WEEKEND (Best Picture 1945); Pressbook for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (Best Picture 1953); vintage original press kit from THE GODFATHER: PART II (Best Picture 1975) as well as items from many Academy Award winners in other categories, including  CHINATOWN, GASLIGHT, MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, PINOCCHIO, THE WIZARD OF OZ and many others.

For a sampling of WalterFilm’s vintage original Academy Award winning memorabilia, please take a look at this link: https://walterfilm.worldsecuresystems.com/film-category/oscars-academy-awards

WalterFilm published this post originally at: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-academy-award-memorabilia/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Roles of a Contemporary Art Curator

A contemporary art curator is responsible for managing, assembling and displaying photographic collections. They are usually in charge of exhibit collections in art galleries, conventions, and museums. Another aspect of their  job description is to interpret art. They typically curate content, write essays and labels that support the art exhibition.

Contemporary Art Curator Duties

contemporary art curator

There’s more to it than managing collections and implementing successful art exhibits. More of their responsibilities involve:

  • Manage art collections – The contemporary art curator is an experienced professional who knows how to record and put into catalogs the items within a collection. They are also responsible for acquiring a new set of art collections.
  • Research and authentication – Intensive research is required to validate the value of an art collection. Curators are also expected to seek and present adequate documents that will support an item’s authenticity.
  • Planning and implementation of an exhibit – One of the core responsibilities of a contemporary art curator is to conceptualize, plan, setup and manage an art exhibit. They are the people behind the acquisition and presentation of high valued art that came from crowd-sourced prominent artists or public museums. This job can be a fun and a  dreadful experience at the same time. But a successful art event is worth all the trouble and stress.
  • Publication – Art curators, in general, should be knowledgeable of the art market and possess in-depth knowledge of their art collections. They help in creating content for publication and give insightful information to journals and books.

Contemporary art curators have their niche or specialty. Some have invested their time learning and loving the art of clay or molding. Some curators may be into vintage movie posters and old Hollywood memorabilia. Others may be fond of collecting and evaluating priceless painting from the 17th century.

No matter what niche an art curator is interested, their core roles and responsibilities remain the same. If you have a valuable collection and would like them to be exhibited, contact a local contemporary art curator to assist you. He or she can be able to set your collections in their coming exhibits which can attract buyers and collectors.

About Walter Reuben and WalterFilm:

Walter Reuben is a contemporary art curator of vintage original Hollywood photos, movie posters and lobby cards.  He is an expert in rare books and original movie scripts. Some of his specialties include African American Hollywood memorabilia.  WalterFilm provides the finest selection of original movie star photos, movie scripts & rare books, lobby cards, vintage movie posters and Hollywood movie memorabilia that focus on the glorious history of the European and Hollywood Motion Picture Business. Visit the website at https://walterfilm.com to learn more.

Collecting Movie Star Photos – An Introduction

Collecting vintage photographs and movie star photos is a worthwhile hobby. Today, one can appreciate an old picture because of it’s exciting imagery, subject matter or the history it shows. For old Hollywood enthusiasts, it can be a means of collecting a memorable  scene within a movie that can be valuable. There’s always a reason for obtaining movie star photos and it can be for a personal or subjective reason.

Rare movie star photos can be precious. A signed Hollywood star photograph can be worth thousands of dollars, but that’s not always the case. Several considerations or factors can affect the value of an old photo.

An Introduction to Collecting Movie Star Photos

Movie Star Photos

There are several types of printed photographs from the 19th century. There were CDV, ambrotype process, tintype, cab cards, and the most expensive of them all, the daguerreotype. A collector should also be familiar with these types as it can be a factor as well on how valuable the movie star photos are.

Other factors that can affect the value of a vintage photograph for movie star photos are:

  • Condition: The less creases and handling marks, the higher the cost
  • Rareness: Fewer copies mean higher value
  • Originals or reprints: It is self-explanatory that an original photo is more expensive than reprints. However, reprints are widely used as publicity or movie advertisement and are reprinted in a certain number. They can also be valuable.
  • Signed: Movie star photos that are autographed by an actor or actress themselves are very much valuable.
  • Photographers: The works of highly respected photographers such as George Hurrell, Cecil Beaton, Floyd McCarty are famous back in the day. Knowing who took the photographs can give the collector an idea of its value.

Movie Stills and Movie Star Photos

Photo stills from a movie are a visual history of motion pictures. Almost every aspect of the film is captured in this medium, which is unique. Most photo or scene stills are captured by photographers as snap images of the process to showcase the making of a movie.

As for movie star photos, it is common in Hollywood’s photography studios to shoot glamour and pin-up-style photography of the stars. These images are used to promote an actor or actress and their role in the movie.

Photo stills and movie star photos are a collectible form of art. Capturing moments during the old Hollywood era is art itself. It has piqued the interest of many and is now becoming highly collectible.

About WalterFilm:

WalterFilm provides the finest selection of original movie star photos, movie scripts & rare books, lobby cards, vintage movie posters and Hollywood movie memorabilia that focus on the glorious history of the European and Hollywood Motion Picture Business. Visit our website at https://walterfilm.com to learn more about us.

Joan Crawford & Bette Davis – Together Again

bette-joan-blog-e1499726306903-3308179497-1510255812642

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s feuding and fighting relationship in the wonderfully entertaining FX Television mini-series FEUD from producer Ryan Murphy has sparked a renewed interest in the lives and work of these legendary stars of the silver screen.  It’s this interest that convinced us to focus our attention on these two extraordinary women and put together a fabulous collection of their images and artifacts as the Current Exhibit of our new website, WalterFilm.com.

The Actresses Prepare

Joan Crawford was the ultimate movie star, she was created by the movie system, her personality cultivated and talent trained. She learned her craft during the later days of silent movies and was fortunate to become an even bigger star in talking films.

Davis was a consummate actress, theatre trained, her talent used to great advantage in early talkies, her attention to her craft and dedication to her work making her one of the biggest stars of the 1930s.

Their different approaches to film acting may have been at odds with each other, but, being under contract to different studios, they had little reason for rivalry.  Their feud, as it has come to be known, however, did start this early.

The Man Who Got Away

Franchot Tone was the reason.  Under contract to MGM, he had already made 4 of 7 films with Joan Crawford before being loaned to Warner Brothers for the 1935 DANGEROUS with Bette Davis.  He and Crawford were having a passionate affair, but Bette fell for him. Davis and Tone were both from East Coast families, with sensibilities to match.  Tone was also theatre trained and serious about acting.  He, however .was smitten with Crawford and soon after finishing DANGEROUS, they married.  Crawford was aware of Davis’ crush and Davis never forgave Crawford for marrying Franchot Tone.

Too Many Stars On The Warner Brothers Lot

BetteDavisAndCastDressRehearsalALLABOUTEVE-blogWhat truly cemented the two stars’ dislike of each other was Joan Crawford’s move to a Warner Brothers in 1944 following the end of her 18 years with MGM in 1943.  Bette was Warner Brother’s reigning female star.  She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, for 1935 and 1938.  Between 1939 and 1945, she was nominated 6 more times. The awards and nominations were important.

They now were in competition, and Crawford soon won an Academy Award for her first Warner Brother’s starring role, that of Mildred in MILDRED PIERCE.  Crawford’s star rose once again in Hollywood with her career resurgence while Davis’ roles became less invigorating and her position less prominent at Warner Brothers.  Crawford would even be nominated again in 1947.

Upon Davis leaving her alma mater after17 years, she sailed gloriously back to the top of the industry in 1950 with ALL ABOUT EVE, earning yet another Academy Award nomination.

Both stars proved to be aggressive and re-invented their images as they moved through their 40’s during the 1950s, Joan playing the glamorous cougar and Bette moving into character roles. They both would compete for 1952’s Academy Award for Best Actress. Fortunately, Shirley Booth won.  By the end of the decade they had passed their 50th nirthdays. Many of the star actresses of their class had either moved into character roles, television or left the business. While Crawford chose to retire, Davis kept busy in quality low budget films, television, and in theatre.

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane

whatever-happened

The sudden death of Joan Crawford’s  husband of three years, Alfred Steele, put her back in the market for work.  She indeed found the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE, and wanted to work with Davis, knowing that the story would work brilliantly with the two of them.  It did.

There was tension, there were problems.  They have been well documented, but both looked at this film as their new lease on a career.  Both were aware that an Academy Award, for them, meant a new lease on superior projects.  To Bette Davis, the Academy Award meant, perhaps more to her than any other star of her generation.  She put great stock in it.

She was nominated for Best Actress, Crawford was not nominated at all.  This was the huge breaking point.   Crawford seemingly purposely campaigned against Davis and commanded the backstage of the Awards ceremony with her own party, having finagled her position as presenter that night.  When Anne Bancroft won, Crawford went on stage to accept for her.

The huge success of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE gave both stars a new genre of film to excel in.  Soon some of their friends and contemporaries did films in the same horror genre.  Of course audiences looked forward to a re-teaming of Crawford and Davis.  Initially Bette Davis, seemingly putting aside her bad feelings towards Crawford relented in the reteaming for HUSH… HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE. Though Crawford finished several scenes in a very professional manner, which Davis appreciated her for, a long delay occurred due to Crawford’s supposed illness.  After that, Davis no longer had any patience and Crawford was no longer doing her job.  She was fired and replaced by Olivia de Havilland.

Whatever Happened After Baby Jane

Crawford would continue in the horror style genre through 1970.  Bette would live and work longer, making films till 1989.   Neither had much to do with each other, but both would often, when asked about the other be polite and diplomatic and express genuine appreciation for each other’s professionalism and talent.

In the end, they were two highly competitive, aggressive career women who fought to keep working, fought and pioneered for women in the industry and perhaps were more alike in many ways than either would have ever admitted.  They at least were able to appreciate each other for those positive contributions each made to the industry.

Please visit our Current Exhibition honoring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis and enjoy the many images and artifacts that cover their colorful careers.

Written by Woolsey Ackerman – Walter Film’s Hollywood Archivist

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/joan-crawford-bette-davis/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Collecting Vintage Original Movie Photographs

Greta-Garbo-sized

The video, Collecting Movie Photographs, is just one of the videos Walterfilm has produced that deal with the history of film and motion picture ephemera and is an important part of its Curatorship Program.

Casablanca
Casablanca

This current selection explores aspects of the original vintage film photography that was done by the studios for the purpose of marketing each of their motion pictures and their respective movie stars (see Greta Garbo above). You can see the original vintage movie star photos we currently have for sale at https://walterfilm.com/store-photographs and the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWcXL_OMwBs.

Motion Picture Photography As Fine Art

The story of the motion picture industry is captured in its photography. These images are not only visually document the movie industry’s history, but it is also art in its own right. Original vintage movie stills are images that have now joined the ranks of historic fine art photography. The image to the right is one the classic promotional photographs for one of the great motion pictures of all times, “Casablanca.”

These original vintage motion picture stills are collected by museums, libraries, universities and shown in art galleries. While it’s taken many years, at last, motion picture photography’s time has come. But, luckily for the collector, as of now, the prices for these original vintage movie star photos are still quite accessible.

marlyn-monroe
The Seven Year Itch

There are numerous specialty areas in the field of original vintage motion picture photography and we do our best to represent them all. These include images from International films, particularly of the 1960s and 1970s; classic original, vintage movie star photos— and in this video, Collecting Movie Photographs, we feature Joan Crawford, Jean Arthur, Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, Greta Garbo in AS YOU DESIRE ME, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Ida Lupino, Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow in HULA, and Lon Chaney in the lost film LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.

Also featured in the video are original vintage Glamour, Pin-up, Cheese Cake and Beef Cake images, as well as early Brigitte Bardot and Johnny Weissmuller for BVD!

Motion Picture Photography As Documentation

During the classic era of movie making, very little motion picture footage was shot showing the movie making process— but every aspect of production was documented with pre—production images with still photography of costume tests, make up tests, set tests, and of course on set images of the behind the scenes workings of making a movie. The above vintage original movie star photograph for sale is of Marlyn Monroe having a costume test for “The Seven Year Itch.”

There were also “candids,” and later paparazzi—

All this photography fed the countless movie magazines of the time, back when the world was about publishing and not about the internet.

Included in our Collecting Movie Photographs‘ interviews are photographer and portrait collector, Ira Resnick, known for his book STAR STRUCK; film historian and film maker Walter Reuben and photographer researcher, Woolsey Ackerman, known for his work with Turner Classic Movies.

Please click on WALTERFILM STORE’S ORIGINAL VINTAGE FILM PHOTO GALLERY to view all of the exceptional original vintage movie star photos, studio promotional photographs and original movie production stills that are represented here and are for sale.

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-vintage-original-movie-photographs/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Collecting Original Vintage Horror & Science Fiction Posters & Photographs

Cabinet-of-Dr.-Caligari-large

Vintage Original Horror and Science Fiction Posters have proven to be among the most popular and appreciated collectibles in all of vintage movie memorabilia.  Today, with original vintage movie posters proving to be both scarce and expensive, collectors are turning to vintage original film photography that was used by the studios to define, promote and advertise their films and stars.

Museum Quality Original Vintage Horror Posters

Some of the highest prices realized in this market have been for the posters of classic titles such as DRACULA (1931), FRANKENSTEIN (1931), THE BLACK CAT (1934), METROPOLIS (1927) and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1924).  Historians, museums and galleries now feature these elusive posters which are wonderful examples of major art movements including Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern Design.

The 1950’s Reign

The vintage original science fiction and monster movie posters from the 1950s are favorites because of their mid-century design and period colors. People remember these movies from their Saturday afternoon childhoods.  Today, these posters, which in the past collectors of this genre preferred to keep in their used conditions— (if one could not find a pristine copy) — are more readily available than their 1930s predecessors, but they too are becoming scarce and expensive.

Original Vintage Horror Film Photographs

This is why the more plentiful vintage original horror movie photographs of the stars, the scenes, the publicity stills and behind the scenes views have gained in popularity and collectability. These photos capture the character’s mood, their story, the lighting and art direction—the psychology of the film and the key moments we all remember.

Show Us The Monster

However, often the posters and ad art, while playing up the horror atmosphere, would rarely reveal the monster— or, at best, a mere suggestion of it.  However, a film’s original vintage promotional photographs will often show the monster in all of its terrifying glory!

Our Current Exhibit

To view our Current Exhibit of some of the finest vintage original horror and science fiction movie posters and photographs please click on the button below.

HORROR AND SCI-FI POSTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Additional Items

We have many other items in our WalterFilm Store that deal with HORROR, SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY (including Scripts).

DEAD OF NIGHT

An extremely rare and timely piece is the British half sheet to DEAD OF NIGHT (1945).  While Universal continued its series of popular monsters and RKO released Val Lewton’s psychological horror titles, the British would not be outdone. Paper was at such a shortage, even more so in Britain, that the extremely rare print run of this poster utilized recycled paper, and therefore on the back is printed a partial poster featuring Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Dead-Of-Night

THE WOLFMAN

A photograph of make-up artist Jack Pierce putting on the finishing touches of Lon Chaney Jr’s WOLFMAN (1941) make-up is in honor of the artist who created the make-ups for all the famous Universal monsters.

The-Woolfman

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE

Zombies are implicit in the atmospheric poster art for I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

I-Walked-With-A-Zombie

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Collecting Original Vintage Horror & Science Fiction Posters & Photographs.

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-original-vintage-horror-science-fiction-posters-photographs/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Collecting Vintage Original Movie Lobby Cards

What Are Lobby Cards?

The uniquely American Movie Lobby Card was one of the first means of marketing early motion pictures. Around 1913 lobby cards came into being as small nickelodeons, where the first movies were shown, began to grow into what eventually became movie palaces. In addition to the beautiful, colorful lithographic movie posters that advertised the name of the film, there came a need to present teaser images of the movie’s key scenes, the actors and eventually the stars that became essential in promoting each film.

Vintage Original Movie Lobby Cards

The earliest lobby cards were often nothing more than black and white or duotone stills in a horizontal format, printed on card stock . By the 1920’s these initially simple photo sets evolved into a decorative art form, much like an antique Persian miniature. As color photographic printing did not exist, each color was added by hand, sometimes with a stencil and sometimes by a water colonist individually adding hues to each card. These lobby cards, of the silent era and early talkies, represent a high point in the pure aesthetics of lobby card design and are very much in demand.

Lobby Card Sets

As its name suggest, these vintage original lobby card sets were designed for display in a theatre’s lobby or foyer with the intention of drawing patrons into the theatre by presenting photographs of scenes from the actual movie. These sets were done in both an 11″ x 14″ (about 28 x 36 cm.) format and also a smaller 8″ x 10″ (about 20 x 26 cm.) version. Eventually, the larger 11″ x 14″ size became standard. A lobby card set typically consisted of from eight to twelve cards. There was one Title Card, designed to represent the entire film, which usually included images of the the stars, a brief description of the film and a list of credits, and from seven to eleven Scene Cards, each depicting an important moment in the film.

Building A Vintage Lobby Card Collection

There are as many reasons to collect lobby cards as there are collectors. Since lobby cards are small, they are inexpensive to frame and by comparison to vintage original posters and photographs, much less expensive to collect. A display of framed lobby cards can be both beautiful and impressive. Here are some of the basics:

  • THE BEAUTY — Collections can be built of lobby cards that are gorgeous. This would most often be cards dating from the 1920’s and 1930’s. These can encompass very obscure movies, with no familiar stars but with a phenomenal image.
  • THE SUBJECT — Many people enjoy collecting lobby cards on a specific subject. A few examples the area of interest could be: 1950’s science-fiction, African American film, LGBTQ film, horror, westerns, or pre-Code movies. This specifically refers to American films made between 1929 and 1934, after which a rigid morality was imposed by a new Motion Picture Production Code. During that five-year period, lobby cards and posters’ artwork was often very bold and sexually suggestive. And when it comes to specialized collecting, pinpointed subjects can include: hockey, boxing, Ireland, cigarette smoking, robots, aviation, circus, just to mention a few.
  • THE ACTOR — The actor is the star of the movie and many collectors focus excursively on that actor, such as Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, Dorothy Dandridge, John Wayne and Bela Lugosi, which, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • THE STUDIO — There are also collectors of the films of one particular studio such as MGM, Paramount, Fox, and, of course, Universal (a particularly popular studio with horror collectors because they produced so many of the historical classics in that genre).

Please check out our video Collecting Vintage Movie Lobby Cards.

collecting-lobby-cards

WalterFilm’s Vintage Movie Lobby Cards

As one of the world’s premier resource for anyone interested in collecting vintage original lobby cards, we have an exceptional inventory of individual Title Cards and Card Sets that include a range of film titles across decades of production. Here is a sampling of a variety of our lobby cards and to view our entire collection.

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-vintage-original-movie-lobby-cards/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Movie Lobby Cards – Vintage Promotional Movie Material

Movie lobby cards were one of the most popular vintage promotional material used by movie studios when promoting a film. These promotional materials were printed in different sizes that were either displayed in theaters or distributed to those people who watched the film. Originally a vintage movie lobby card was published in black and white.

The card usually has the title of the film along with a photo of a scene within the movie. It’s significantly similar to a movie poster but differs in size.

Movie Lobby Cards

Collecting Movie Lobby Cards

Since 1910, the production of movie lobby cards advertised a movie. It is released in different sizes and can also be categorized into different types:

  • Window Cards – measures about 14 inches by 22 inches
  • Inserts – measures about 14 inches by 36 inches
  • Lobby Cards – measures about 11 inches by 14 inches
  • Mini Lobby Cards – measures about 8 inches by 10 inches

Collectors of movie memorabilia are fond of collecting vintage movie posters and lobby cards. Most of the time, savvy collectors aim to attain the complete set of lobby cards. A collection of lobby cards may comprise of 4, 8 or 16 different cards that also includes the film’s title card.  In most boutiques and auctions, a complete set of movie lobby cards are likely to sell. The lobby cards may carry a high value depending on its condition and rareness.

When buying a lobby card, one should consider that card’s popularity, protection, and authenticity. Some individual movie lobby cards can be precious especially if the image highlights the essential plot of the movie. One should also consider the current condition of the card. A lobby card that is laminated can affect it’s value. As a buyer, make sure to look carefully and ask the seller how the card is preserved. Lastly, some movie studios reproduce versions of vintage movie lobby cards. Note that an original card will always be valued over a reprint or reproduction. Seek for authenticity papers from a seller.

Collecting movie lobby cards is a fun and worthwhile hobby that enables one to appreciate a retrospective view of the film’s history. Due to its rareness and classic piece, collecting them is enjoyable. See and experience it yourself!

About WalterFilm:

WalterFilm provides the finest selection of original movie star photos, movie scripts & rare books, lobby cards, vintage movie posters and Hollywood movie memorabilia that focus on the glorious history of the European and Hollywood Motion Picture Business. Visit our website at https://walterfilm.com to learn more about us.