Appraisal FAQs

Is there a charge for an appraisal?

We will provide a complimentary appraisal for up to 10 items. Please be aware that the response you receive is the equivalent of a verbal appraisal and will not have value for insurance, tax deduction, or estate evaluation purposes. These types of appraisals require different methods of calculation and presentation and there is a charge for those appraisals. Please contact us to discuss your items and options.

How can one tell if a poster is original?

As far as movie posters are concerned there are so many variables to look for in authenticating a poster. Poster size, texture, and copyright info can usually help determine the age of most film posters. Many of the earlier vintage posters produced before 1940 had studio logos but were often not dated. After 1940, National Screen Service distributed most U.S. film posters, and these were dated and coded at the bottom of the poster. All posters from this period were printed on flat or matte finish stock paper. Almost all of the larger size posters were folded. And generally, all of the larger posters were able to be folded down to an 11” X 14” size.

Beginning in the early 1950’s only one studio began producing glossy finish posters and that was Disney Studios. Many of their posters produced from the 1950s through contemporary times were produced on what is called a glossy “clay coated” stock paper. Not until the early 1960s did the other studios start producing posters on glossy stock and only the one sheets (27” X 41”).

Were any of the posters from the Golden Age of Hollywood or later reproduced?

In the 1960s and 1970’s several companies, the most prominent being Portal Publications and Celestial Arts reproduced a number of vintage movie posters. Several aspects of these posters make it easy to identify them as reproductions. First, their size — 24″ x 36″ — a size not produced by any movie studio for display in theaters. The standard “one sheet” size movie poster was always 27″ x 41″. Second, at the bottom of the poster was clearly printed “copyright Portal Publications,”  It had the original release date of the film, but it still is not an original. These posters were printed on a flat stock, which does make them appear now as “old,” but they are not original and are virtually worthless.

Do reissue posters from films have value?

Re-release or reissue posters are still “original” theater-used movie posters but have considerably lesser value than a first release poster. Most often you can determine a reissue by looking at the bottom of your poster in the right-hand corner. There will usually be an “R” in front of a year number — as in “R56” — if it is a reissue. Other clues are phrases such as “An Encore Hit,” “Brought Back by Popular Demand” or “Nothing Cut But the Prices.” Newer posters from the 1990s on, produced on glossy stock, have been “bootlegged” in the thousands, so it is very difficult to determine authenticity.

What makes a Movie poster valuable?

Value is determined by a combination of factors, the most important being the title of the film. The most desirable posters are those from the most universally loved films such as Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, it’s a Wonderful Life, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Goldfinger. The second deciding factor in desirability is the graphics on the poster. Often the title of a film poster might not be of importance, but the graphics can be gorgeous. The poster might be illustrated with beautiful graphics or depending on the artist, of which many well-known illustrators of the twentieth century worked on posters, which could make the poster valuable. Finally, the Condition is of great importance. These three factors are usually the most important in determining value.

How is the value determined in today’s market?

As the old saying goes. “Something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.” There are no real price guides today and one can go to various auction websites or eBay to try and determine value, but they change as markets change. That is why you come here to get the honest appraisal of a world’s expert in the field.

Are newer Movie Posters of any value?

Absolutely, yes! But know that newer posters are more common than older posters so will often not generate the value of earlier posters. But bear in mind that all collectibles are and will always be part of what is called a generational shift. Some posters that were much more valuable from the Golden Age of Hollywood haven’t held up in value as well as classics from the 1950s through the 1980s.

What do I need to do to get an appraisal from you?

Send me several images of the poster(s) with dimensions. In this way, I can give you an honest evaluation of the poster(s).

Will you pay me cash for the posters?

I will also pay you cash for your posters. When I give you an appraisal it is for an open market value, meaning what you would receive if auctioned, minus the approximately 40% in fees the auction house takes, which includes the seller’s fee you pay, and the buyer’ premium the buyer pays. In selling to a dealer, typically they will offer you less than 50% of the market value. I will offer you 60-70% of that value, minimum, and it would be immediate cash. If you receive another opinion, all I ask is that you give me first refusal to meet or beat that price. If you agree I will send you a FedEx label with which to ship the item and once received and inspected and all as we discussed, I will immediately wire it to your account, send a cashier’s check, or whatever your preferred method.

Do you appraise foreign country release posters?

Absolutely. With images and sizes, I would evaluate and give you an honest current market value.