Movie Memorabilia, ca. 1935

Value (2010) | $25,000 Auction$28,000 Auction
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GUEST:
These belonged to my late husband's great-aunt and her husband, who owned movie theaters in northwest Iowa. They had 11 at one time.

APPRAISER:
Really?

GUEST:
This was the '20s through the early '50s, I believe.

APPRAISER:
Well, you brought a large selection here. There's a whole bunch in this folder.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Plus there's production yearbooks, lobby cards, one-sheets. These are called window cards.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
They were sent to the movie theaters for the theater to mark here the name of the theater and the play dates. And then they would go out to local stores and give them this to put in their window-- hence the name-- and give them a couple of passes to the theater.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
That type of thing. And they were always on a light cardboard, and most of them, the early ones, were silkscreened.

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm.

GUEST:
They're a very pleasant format for collectors because they're smaller than the large posters...

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
But they have very strong graphics, so window cards are very popular. Now, a full window card measures 14 x 22, and this is a complete window card for the original 1937-38 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film was in release for, like, three years. Most of the window cards were in the later part of the run, and this is most likely a '39. This piece would, at auction, sell for $4,000 to $5,000. Now, this is a common occurrence with window cards-- they're trimmed. People liked them, but they didn't like all this writing at the top, so they would take the top off and then you get a 14 x 17.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Now, strangely enough, it does not really detract that much

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
from the value, because collectors know that the only thing up here...

GUEST:
Was blank.

APPRAISER:
Was either blank or there was some writing in it. Now, this is from the general release of Gone with the Wind. Gone with the Wind opened up in limited engagements with an intermission.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It got the... really the posh treatment. MGM was really treating it as a special movie. But then it went into the regular run, what we call a grind run, where it showed all day long. And this was their tag line-- "nothing cut but the price."

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Even though it was showing in your movie theater all day long, it was exactly the same one that was showing before. So this dates from about 1940. And as a trimmed lobby card, it would sell for $1,500 to $2,000.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This one is from 1939, and it's a very desirable image, very desirable poster, and would sell for about $2,000 to $2,500. Now, the Wheeler and Woolsey Hold 'em Jail is from 1932. And there is almost no paper on this.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
We have found almost nothing on this title. In many cases, something like this, when it comes up for auction, it will become the guide for all the other people who find material related to this film.

GUEST:
Sure.

APPRAISER:
So it's a rather important piece and would sell in the $3,000 range.

GUEST:
My.

APPRAISER:
Now, I went over the entire portfolio with another appraiser, and we came to the conclusion this would sell in the $25,000 to $28,000 range at auction.

GUEST:
Well, Ola, who was the theater owner, would be thrilled.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
Los Angeles, CA
Appraised value (2010)
$25,000 Auction$28,000 Auction
Event
Des Moines, IA (August 07, 2010)
Material
Cardboard

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