It might sound a bit strange to many but if you are to believe many in this ever popular market, classic movie posters are a great, hassle free and enjoyable investment.
Remember Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, an actor synonymous with not just the Dracula role but early horror films? A classic horror movie poster from the 1931 movie, of which only 3 originals have surfaced, recently sold for over three hundred thousand dollars at an online auction house. Not too shabby for a movie poster.
There are a few factors affecting the prices of classic movie posters. Firstly is the rarity of the poster as posters from the earliest periods of cinema, as exemplified in the case of the 1931 version of Dracula, are extremely hard to find, especially one in good condition.
The formatting of the poster is also important as different sizes and shape represent different periods of cinema from different countries over the last century. Again this means many rare posters also come in a discontinued format. There is a healthy market online for posters known as daybills, one sheets, inserts and half sheets. All these posters were produced in small volumes unlike today’s films where a print run for a worldwide release runs into the hundreds of thousands.
Another factor, and we know you have been waiting for it, is the movie itself. A classic movie produces classic movie posters and they are always in high demand especially originals and not dime a dozen reprints. Think of original posters from such classics as Gone with the Wind, Scarface, Rebel Without a Cause and On the Waterfront. Recent online auctions have sold original posters of the Marlon Brando classic for over $2500.
The fourth factor affecting classic posters are, and we can combine two here, is the star and the design of the poster. Obviously big stars create big demand. Posters from classic Jack Nicholson films like Easy Rider always demand a star quality premium. Posters from films where the star is deceased commands even more. Marilyn Monroe, Boris Karloff, Cary Grant and James Dean are just some of the big names whose status after death has led to original items associated with them to skyrocket in value.
These factors are just a few of the circumstances affecting classic movie posters an investment. For cinema buffs this is a great way to combine your love of cinema with making money in the future, and as the classic poster industry grows and the classic era of cinema ages, these investments will only become more precious.