America Movie Memorabilia

Value (2008) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

My grandfather ran some theaters, and he just put this stuff back over the years and kept all of it.

So, he was the manager or projectionist?

Uh-huh, he was the manager. He worked in one when he was a teenager growing up back in the early, I don't know, '20s, '30s. And then, he had a drive-in and then a cinema that he ran in the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s.

So, he was in the business for 60 years.

Yeah, quite a while.

Well, this is... represents 60 years of movie history. In the movie business, they had to promote the movie, and two ways they promoted it was in the theater and out of the theater. Most of these things are from in the theater, and it started off with these things called lobby cards. This lobby card from Charlie Chaplin, it's from the early 1920s. Extremely rare and, by itself, would sell for $1,000. This one right down here is part of what's called a serial. And the serials would go... every Saturday morning, kids would go to the theater and they'd watch several serials. They'd be like three- to ten-minute segments of a movie, and you'd have to go back next week and see another. And this is a fun one, because it has "The Devil-Ape of Bomo." You know, they would make up all these fun comic book-like things for kids. And this lobby card has been trimmed, so it's worth a little less.


This one's probably only about a $100. Now, in the '30s, they printed lots of them. They're a larger size. In this whole stack, you have some that are worth $50 and some that are worth $10. Now, most of the 1930s pieces you have are in the lobby stills stack. And lobby stills were also placed in the movie theater, but they would show several scenes from the movie to get you excited. And the stills started being published in the late '20s, and they still do them today. Now, these ones right here are King Kong. Now, if they'd been the original King Kong from the 1933, they'd be worth hundreds of dollars. But these are the re-issue from 1956, and the way you can tell is because it's listed as "R56" and it was the 263rd movie that came out that year. Now, that brings me up to this one. You have the full, complete set of East of Eden in color. Now, that's James Dean, and this is a very important movie. So this lobby card set would sell for $1,000... Wow. For the six cards you have in there. And you have the entire gamut of movie stars-- you have Elvis, you have Marilyn, you have John Wayne. I want to get to the big piece, and that's that one right there. This is the first Star Wars from '77. It was the 21st movie to come out. That's the first printing of the poster. That poster is worth $2,000.


All together, your collection of everything I've looked at here is worth between $10,000 and $15,000 at the auction market.

Wow. Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Hudson, MA
Appraised value (2008)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)

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