“The Day Earth Stood Still” Lobby Cards

Value (2013) | $10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
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GUEST:
These are what they call lobby cards. Back in the '50s and '60s, when the movies came to town, they would display these on the movie marquees. They all came in sets of eight. I saw this movie back in 1951, and then back in the early '70s, I think it was, I was looking in a magazine and some dealer had these for sale, so I bought them, and I paid maybe around $40. I've kept them all these years because I like the movie.

APPRAISER:
I like the movie, too. I was so excited when I saw them because it's kind of a family favorite in our house. You mentioned that they are lobby cards. They made lobby cards even before the '50s; they were making them for many years. And you're right, they come in sets of eight. And the one that we have in the center up there in the top is the title card, and then all the other cards here show different scenes, so they call those scene cards. They are numbered one through eight. That's an important thing, because I can tell you that I don't think I've ever seen a complete set of eight together in one place. The condition looks very clean. You've kept them very well since you purchased them.

GUEST:
They've been kept in a drawer.

APPRAISER:
The film itself is one of these iconic science fiction classic films, 1951, the Cold War era, everybody's a little on edge because it's the atomic era. This film really had such an amazing message at that time, which is that there are beings somewhere else in the universe that have more power, and if we don't change our warring ways, they demonstrate that power by showing us that even though they're peaceful, they have the power to destroy us.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
One of the things that's become popular now is they started grading lobby cards much in the same way they do baseball cards, comic books. So without having an official grade on these, it's difficult to place exactly a fine point on the value, but due to the fact that they all look very good and I would expect them to grade high, and the fact that you have the title card, which is the most expensive one, and the fact that they're all together as a group, I think they're worth more than if you were to add up the values of each of them individually. So as a group, at auction, I would expect them to sell between $10,000 and $12,000 for the set.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And I love them.

GUEST:
Oh, yes.

APPRAISER:
You said you saw the film in 1951 when it came out?

GUEST:
Oh, yes. That would make me about 13, I guess-- 12, 13.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, and how much were tickets for a film back then?

GUEST:
Oh, for kids, they were nine cents! (laughing)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
The Collector's Lab
Los Angeles, California
Appraised value (2013)
$10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
Event
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)
Period
20th Century
Material
Cardboard

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