Vintage original movieposters are desirable collectibles, as well as an eye-catcher if framed and displayed. Much has vanished or been destroyed over the decades, for some posters for classic only a couple are known to exist, for others titles more survived. What once was meant for advertising purposes only when the film was screened at cinemas now often has a cultural resemblance today.
Prices on original movieposters for classic films, corresponding with poster artwork and rarity, are strong today and kept rising over the past 25 years. We too are paying higher amounts for classic and sought after material, through our contacts, at auctions, or buying whole collections etc.
Original posters were sent folded already to cinemas up to the 80s, so folds are not to be considered as a defect. Furthermore older posters are printed on non-glossy paper (offset or litho), so foldmarks most times are not that heavy than on newer glossy posters.
Some films were being re-released to cinemas after one or two decades, so the distributors created new posters for that release (Re-release posters). These most times have a different image or artwork, and are usually easier to obtain today than the earlier 1st release ones, also resulting in a lower price.
On prices and collector’s value, some say posters movieposters also have investment quality: The asking price of a vintage movieposter is resulting from these four aspects:
Status (awareness) of the movie/actor/director/genre today
Image and artwork
Rarity of the poster
Besides German we are offering a huge selection of international posters. It can be very interesting to see how different countries approached a movie graphically.
I would like to highlight some of my favorites: Firstly Eastern European posters, especially from Poland, Czechoslowakia and East Germany for example, acknowledged in various exhibitions and publications already. Poster artists there had more freedom in creating an image that resembles a film, not having to show the stars, and as such often resulting in a graphic interpretation of the theme of a movie. These works were up to date or sometimes almost ahead of their time in an artistic sense, thanks to artists like Lenica, Swierzy, Gorka, Flisak, Klimowski, Starowieyski, Vyletal, Ziegler and many more.
On German posters from the “classic era” of the 50s and 60s there is the more naturalistic and often beautiful approach to portrait the stars and captivating key scene(s) of a movie, done by collected poster artists like Dill, Rehak, Peltzer, Goetze, Wendt, Williams, Schulz-Neudamm. From the late 50s on, posters for the “arthouse” related distributors Atlas and Kirchner, were done with a different, more artistic and almost symbolic approach to a movie, and are highly acclaimed today. Artists to name here are Hillmann, Fischer-Nosbisch, Schmidt, Blase.
Last but not least we have a strong interest in Japanese movieposters. Those captivate with their unique foto-collage images, skillfully playing with senses of scale, layout, and Japanese letters in between. There is a book out now ‘The Modern Japanese Movieposter’, available here on request also.
There are much more interesting and beautiful posters from around the world of course, one would not want to miss a French grande or Italian foglio, or country of movie origin US and UK paper of course!
Original vs. Reprint
The material you will find here was originally produced as advertisement for movie theaters. We do not deal in reprints or reproductions. The year from which a poster dates is mentioned in the item description at right besides the size.
For several popular titles there are also reprints, sometimes easily to spot (incorrect smaller size, new glossy paper, unsharp dotty print), sometimes not so easily.
There are some posters that were obviously made to pass as an original and to fool buyers, I have the following examples in mind:
some German 50s posters (approx 10 titles) like for Frankenstein, Bus Stop, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dr. No: these have slightly more unsharp/dotty printing and not as strong colours, but are on seemingly older/aged paper.
Apocalypse Now black style German: On an original there is a small printed white spot lower left (some sweat from Brando maybe) that was left out on the reprint, which is also on plain white paper, mostly rolled or folded but you can see it was rolled once.
Bullitt German 1st release A1 size: On an original the title is strong red, on the reprint more brownish. Otherwise almost identic!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 80s rerelease: There is a reprint on more glossy and thinner paper, and more dotty printing.
as well as several US titles. Difficult for example is, if you are not experienced (I see these at first glance): Star Wars (1977) various styles, Pulp Fiction, Lost in Translation style B, and these minty white US inserts for some classic 70s and 80s titles.
If you do not find what you are looking for please contact us and we will try to make you an offer.
Furthermore we own a huge collection of stills (US b/w stills and German lobby cards) that is scheduled to be offered soon via kinoart.net.
We are always interested in acquiring quality movie posters from around the world.
Posters were meant to be used, so often show some signs of usage. If a poster is rolled or folded is marked as such. Many original movieposters only exist folded, especially up to the 80s most were sent folded to movie theatres already.
Some say small defects add to the charme or history of a vintage poster (defects are taken into account in the asking price of course), others mostly look for perfect condition copies, which can be a difficult task due to the rarity of many, especially older posters. Posters can also be restored (linen or paper-backing).
We use these international standard shortcuts for poster grading (near mint-very fine-fine-very good-good-fair or alternatively: Condition C10=best to C1=worst). Additionally please look at the enlarged image if one is available/was uploaded yet. If you want a more detailed description please ask.
near mint (C9-10):
Generally unused in perfect condition, may have the slightest of storage wear. Often unfolded, if folded the folds are very clean without additional wear. Sometimes a very Fine poster can also be near Mint as in the past we used very Fine as the best condition grading!
very fine (C8-9):
Can have minimal wear / signs of use (small pinhole marks, slight fold wear if folded, some border or small fold tears) Sometimes a very Fine poster can also be near Mint as in the past we used very Fine as the best condition grading and not every listing was changed!
A poster with some general usage wear such as some border tears, pinhole marks, or tape marks, and/or some fold wear or tears if folded. Not severe, still fine for presentation (framed) or for collecting in general.
very good (C6):
A used poster with some of the following defects: pinholes, tears, wrinkling, tape marks, stains, or minor paper loss (crossfolds or corner chips) may occur.
Significant wear or signs of usage. Possible paper loss, tape, tears, stains, or fragile paper in general, or writing on front. May still be presentable if framed or needs to be restored/backed.
Below average, major defects. Normally we don't have items in this condition.
This process is most common for the preservation of movie posters at this point. A linenbacked poster is easy to handle, can be rolled and also perfect for framing. The poster has usually been double-backed, first to a thin acid-free paper and then to stable cotton canvas. It usually also gets deacified in the process and cleaned. Restoration such as tape and stain removal, replacement of missing paper, touch up at foldlines etc. are also done during the process. If you want to have a poster linenbacked you are interested in from our inventory please ask, but note it can take some time and additional costs are involved. We don’t do this ourselves but send it to our professional restorer, either in France or the US. For costs please inquire (for example from 80 Euro for a US 1sheet upwards depending on condition/work that has to be done). Part of our linen-backed posters were acquired on linen already, others we had linenbacked mostly because of condition issues.
Poster has been backed on thin acid-free paper. The result is a poster that still feels like a poster, if backed on thin paper, for US halfsheets and Inserts sometimes a thicker paper was/is used. Should only be used for smaller formats. Same restoration can be done as above.
If a posters is repaired (e.g. some tears fixed with acid-free tape on the back) or linenbacked, it’s usually taken into account in the condition grading, if any restoration is visible.