Buying and Selling Collectibles: Old Posters

About the hobby of collecting, buying, and selling old and used items for fun and profit, in this case old posters.

Posters. Remember old theater posters? They stood out on the street, in big glass frames, picturing scenes or stars from the theater's current movie. Showhouses discarded them by the ton. Today, movie buffs pay up to $75 for some. A 39" by 30" full-color poster of Hoot Gibson riding a bucking bronco is in the $50-$75 category. It dates from 1935. A poster advertising Reckless with Jean Harlow is worth $55. Humphrey Bogart posters are all highly collectible. A 35 by 14 incher for All Through the Night commands $20-$25.

W.W. I. was the 1st "poster war." Brightly colored lithographs went up all over the U.S., seeking not only volunteers but buyers for bonds, books for camp libraries and so on. All original W.W. I posters have become valuable, some more than others. "PRO PATRIA! JOIN ARMY FOR PERIOD OF WAR," 40" by 26", is worth $20. A $75 value is placed on a poster bearing the slogan "AMERICA'S ANSWER TO THE KAISER," 45" by 36". "BOOKS WANTED FOR OUR MEN IN CAMP AND OVER THERE," 38" by 25", retails for $30. One of the most valuable, worth $150, is a small poster titled "SAVE FOOD," which measures 20" by 13".

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