In Brief

How much are your old movie posters worth?

400 rare film posters with an estimated value of £250,000 are going on sale in London next month

Hundreds of rare classic movie posters will be up for auction in London next month and are expected to sell for more than £250,000 in total.

The 400 sought-after posters will be sold during Prop Store’s inaugural Cinema Poster Live Auction on 28 June, reports Forbes

Among the items that could fetch the highest prices are a poster for Goldfinger, which is expected to sell for up to £6,000, a poster for Dracula A.D. 1972, which is expected to hit £6,000 to £8,000, and a Star Wars seven-sheet poster that is expected to be sold for up to £15,000.

So could you have an old poster worth thousands of pounds gathering dust in your attic?

Prop Store, which is hoping to make the poster auction a regular event, says it is not interested in “just any posters”, only “rare, high-quality posters and original poster artwork from around the globe”.

According to the blog Poster Collector, the most important factor to ascertain when determining the value of your poster is “the authenticity of the item and whether it was released when the film was originally released to cinemas or on a subsequent re-release later on”.

In order to establish the authenticity, the paper size, texture and National Screen Service (NSS) information are vital. The site adds that after 1940, the NSS distributed most film posters and these are dated with the year of release and the one to four digit code assigned to the film. This information is located at the bottom of the poster.

“The most valuable posters are from the early 1900s through to the 1950s. Some titles from the 1960s and 1970s can also command good prices but the value of titles from the 1980s onwards drop dramatically due to the increase in the print runs,” says Poster Collector.

Originals from the 1930s and 1940s are often the most sought after, including Wizard of Oz, Casablanca or It’s a Wonderful Life, according to Heritage Auctions. However, the site also points out that “horror and science fiction film titles have always generated the highest prices and continue to do so”.

Among the films with a starting bid higher than £1,000 in Prop Store’s auction are the Star Wars movies, Carry On films and The Beatles features.

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