American Film

In the age of eBay and ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, it’s fun to look back at Mark del Costello’s prescient pictorial piece, “Big Boom in Movie Posters,” that appeared in the July/August issue of American Film™ in 1979. Readers who began to collect film art when that story ran 34 years ago have done very well indeed. Del Costello refers to “rare” posters fetching up to $6,500; today, there’s an eBay listing of $50,000 for FLASH GORDON’S TRIP TO MARS. Even a relatively inexpensive ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN lists for $18,000 – that’s $360 a foot! Of course, there are many more posters available for under $5.00 of the 284,071 current eBay movie poster listings, but those are reproductions. Debi Jacobson, owner of L’Imagerie Gallery in North Hollywood, began selling movie posters in 1977. “For anything really important, the boom is still there,” she told us. Her 6,200 square-foot building is packed with original film art and, while many collectors use eBay rather than visiting poster galleries or websites like hers, Jacobson advises that “people have to educate themselves to make intelligent decisions about film posters,” warning of the potential for fraud. Of course, monetary value is one thing, but the gorgeous images accompanying del Costello’s article remain impressive simply as works of art that preserve and amplify our deepest movie memories.