FAQ : Selling Original Movie Posters


At RalphDeluca.com, Movie Posters Are Part of Our Heritage!

Are you a relative or friend of a poster designer, artist, printer or distributor? Were you or anyone you know an owner, projectionist, or employee of a movie theater or movie studio? Do you collect movie posters? If so let me know what you collect. Below are some frequently asked questions that might contain the information you want. If not, don't hesitate to me.


Who are you, Ralph Deluca?

I am the guy who buys vintage movie posters - an avid appraiser and collector expert if you will. You can find out more about me on my page entitled: About Ralph DeLuca.

You can also read some news articles about me and my purchases:


Why did you start this site?

I love old films and old movie memorabilia.
To help me discover more items, I created this site to let people on the web know about me and my passion for collecting.  No one will pay better for old movie art, photos, concert photos and film.


Do you sell classic movie posters?

No, not on this site.  I'm basically interested in purchasing your original movie art/ memorabilia and I will pay more.


How do I find out original movie poster values?

Movie poster values are very subjective. There  are no up to date printed price guidelines for movie posters.  Movie poster values are usually determined by a combination of factors. The most important factor is the title of the film. A second important factor is the poster's graphics. There are examples of a movie poster being valuable due to its stunning illustration/ graphics created by a well known first half of the twentieth century illustrator, rather than because of the film's title. The third important factor is the condition of the poster. 

When determining values for your posters or prints one must take into consideration the size, age, and condition. Some posters from the 1950's are worth more then a poster from 1920 depending on the title.

Vintage movie posters and other memorabilia from the early 1910's through the 1950's usually command the highest prices, although some posters from the 1960's also can fetch good prices. HOWEVER, the value of movie titles from the 1970's up to the present drop dramatically due to the increase in the print runs, which is one reason why I DO NOT BUY ANY MOVIE POSTERS AFTER 1970. 

If you would like to know more about selling your original pre-1970 movie posters, please CONTACT ME NOW and I will get back to you right away.


Why don't you buy movie posters of films released after 1970?

Prior to 1970 a normal movie poster print run would range from 3,000 to 5,000 per poster. It's hard to believe, but from the early days through the 1960's most posters were simply thrown away after the run of the film​. Starting in the 1970's through to the present day, the film poster print runs have racheted up to 15,000 to 30,000 for a poster title. Consequently, there are far more first release movie posters available, diluting their value.  The 1970's mark the beginning when all types of poster collecting really took off. The trend continues through today. 


 What genre of films generate the highest prices?

The top horror and science fiction film titles pre 1970's typically offer the highest prices. Howevr, having said that,  there are other genres and stars that receive high value as well.  Film Noir, the Marx Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, James Dean, Douglas Fairbanks, Marilyn Monroe, early Walt Disney cartoons as well as other classic animation are a few examples.


Should I consign my movie posters to an auction house or a dealer?

Well, this is one choice, but I wouldn't recommend it. Why not? Well, there are fees involved, it may take a long time time  to sell your item, and it may take a  long time for you to receive the money for your movie related item, if and when it sells.


Should I list my posters on an online auction site?

Again, this is certainly an option, but I wouldn't recommend it. Auction sites haven't traditionally done a very good job at keeping fakes and scam artists out of their listings. And although you may be legit, a lot of serious poster buyers are really hesitant and careful about buying vintage movie memorabilia via auction websites.


How will you get your cash to me, if you buy a movie item?

Contact me with your preferred method of payment. Upon agreement of a deal, you'll be paid within 24 hours or less. Please contact me for more details.


What if my poster is not in mint condition?

This is ok. While a movie poster is worth more in mint condition, I still may be interested in what you have. Remember, it doesn't cost anything to talk to me about your movie memorabilia items.


Is my poster an original authentic movie poster that was meant to hang in a movie theater?

It depends. Call me to be certain, but here are some things to look for in an authentic movie poster:

  • Poster Size: Originals are generally around 27" x 40". Even older titles are usually 27" x 41".
  • Poster Copyright: Most of the time if your poster is original, it will say 'Made in the USA' near the bottom of the poster.
  • Poster Text: Check the small print on the bottom of the poster. If it's really grainy or harder to read than normal, it's most likely a reprint.

Again, though, to be sure, give me a call!


Does Portal Publications print authentic movie posters?

Absolutely NO! In the 1960's and 1970's there were several companies that reproduced a number of vintage movie posters. Portal Publications is the most well known. Their movie posters  are NOT ORIGINAL. From a collector's point of view they are virtually worthless.

It is easy to identify Portal Publications' posters as reproductions. First, is their size of 24" x 36" which is a poster size not produced by any movie studio for display in theaters. The standard "one sheet" size movie poster is usually 27" x 41". Second, at the bottom of the poster there is clearly printed "copyright Portal Publications". Although the poster may have the original release date of the film, it still is not an original. Third, these posters were printed on a flat stock, which makes them appear to be "old", but they are only reproductions and not worth anything to a serious collector.


What exactly is an original (authentic) movie poster?

Typically, this term refers to a poster that was produced by The National Screen Service (NSS) (which closed shop in 2000), one of the movie studios, or by a third company authorized by the movie studio. The posters are for promotional use and/or to display in the theatre when the film is originally released. While a lot of original movie posters will have a NSS number on the bottom somewhere, not all of them do. Also note that sometimes reprint posters include this information to make their reprint look more authentic. If you're unsure or want more info, give me a call or email.


What  are re-release or reissue movie posters?

Re-release or reissue posters are still considered "original" theater used movie posters. However, they are considerably less valuable than a first release poster. You can often determine a reissue by looking at the bottom,  right hand corner of the poster. There will usually be an "R" in front of a year number such as  "R62", if it is a reissue. There are often phrases found in the poster's graphics such as  An Encore Hit, Nothing Cut But the Prices, or Brought Back by Popular Demand, which are also clues that the movie poster is a reissue..


Are movie posters supposed to be folded?

Prior to 1985 or so, this was a common practice. Now, however, all authentic movie posters are issued rolled up. So, depending on the age of your movie poster (what movie it's for), having been folded may or may not be a factor in its value. Give me a call to be sure.


How can I get a fair appraisal of my movie poster collection?

It's as simple as contacting me! However, before contacting me, please take a look at my page titled: THINGS I DO NOT BUY!


How will I ship the items to you?

Unfolded posters should be shipped in reinforced, heavy duty cardboard containers or FedEx tubes. For folded posters, stills, press kits and lobby cards, you should use heavy-duty cardboard reinforced envelopes. Please take the time to carefully package items so they arrive in the condition you send them in.


Do you pay for shipping costs?

If I purchase your vintage movie item, shipping costs will be included in the money I send you.


Are movie posters considered antiques?

Depends on who you ask and what you mean by 'movie poster.' Some old original movie posters may well be considered antiques.


What are boxing style concert posters?

Early American boxing posters were printed on heavy cardboard stock most of the time. They had a plain style, using a simple text layout. You could see them on telephone poles in the past, advertising boxing matches. A 'boxing style concert poster,' then, usually refers to any type of cardboard poster that doesn't have a psychedelic look and feel to it.




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