Collecting Movie Memorabilia

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Own and Preserve

a Piece

of Cinematographic History

 

Collecting film memorabilia became widespread in the 1970s, although the expansion of the movie industry dates back to the 1920s.

Sentimental value and nostalgia are usually at the root of this branch of collecting. When you put  a poster of a movie on your wall, one that holds special significance for you, it will bring back fond memories every time you look at it.

How to Start

The task of collecting movie memorabilia became much easier with the rise of online marketplaces. For example, bidorbuy has a section devoted to movie memorabilia, where you can get a variety of objects associated with your favourite films or film stars.

If you are serious about collecting movie memorabilia and are looking to build a collection of rare items that will appreciate in value over time, it is a good idea to organise your collection around a theme that interests you. You can opt to focus on musicals, silent movies, Oscar winners, Japanese anime, and so on.

Once you decide on a theme, you need to do in-depth research, because only well-informed collectors are able to make the right choice and possibly a good investment when buying an item.

What to Collect

You can collect a variety of items associated with your theme. Some of the popular movie memorabilia collectibles include:

  • Autographs: Original autographs are preferred among collectors, although reprinted ones can also be of value.
  • Posters: Again, original posters are what to look for, but reprints have their place in a well-rounded collection too. Avoid posters that have stains, creases or tears.
  • Costumes: Costumes worn in movies or for special events are among the most iconic and valuable examples of film memorabilia.
  • Photographs: Publicity shots and still photographs featuring actors are sought-after. Good condition is paramount!
  • Movie props: Props that were actually used in a movie can fetch high prices. You will more often come upon replicas, which are also fine to collect, as long as you know what you are buying.
  • Figurines: Figurines of characters from films are popular among both movie memorabilia collectors and collectors of figurines.
  • Promotional items: T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, fridge magnets, drinks coasters and other promotional materials are unlikely to bring you a significant return on your investment, but are fun to have around.
  • Industry magazines: They may not fetch high prices, but industry magazines are a valuable part of your collection because they can provide deeper insights into your chosen theme.
  • Scripts, storyboards and original art: The value of this kind of memorabilia can be entirely sentimental – or they can fetch very high prices.

 

        

 

How to Care for Your Collection

It is important to take good care of your movie memorabilia. The exact steps depend on the type of collectible item.

Posters, photographs and other paper-based items must be kept away from acids and moisture. They should be framed by a professional or kept in acid free clear bags.
Figurines should be kept dust-free. It is best to display them in a closed glass cabinet or in their boxes, away from sunlight, heat, and moisture.

Special care must be taken with caring for, storing and displaying movie memorabilia costumes.

 

Notable Movie Memorabilia

Although many people begin to collect movie memorabilia for pure fun and joy, many items end up becoming very valuable. Here are some of the most expensive ones:

  • In 2016, the dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang at President Kennedy’s birthday fetched $4.8 million, breaking the record held by the halter white dress the same actress wore in The Seven Year Itch.  The famous white dress sold for $4.6 million in 2011.
  • In 2005, a poster of Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece Metropolis sold at auction for $690,000.
  • One of several statuettes modelled for The Maltese Falcon and handled by Humphrey Bogart was sold for $398,500 in 1994.
  • Marlon Brando's annotated script from The Godfather sold for $250,000 in 2005.

 

Collecting film memorabilia is a way to own and preserve a piece of cinematographic history. Thanks to millions of movie memorabilia collectors, stars like Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and many others will always be alive.

 

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