Silent-movie poster could be worth $500


April 16, 1995|By Anita Gold | Anita Gold,Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service

Q: Where can I find out more about old movie posters? I have an original poster from the movie "Sunrise," with Janet Gaynor, produced in 1927, which received an Oscar that year. This is the picture that was sent to Washington to be placed in the movie archives. The child in the picture is me. How can I find out the value of my poster?

A: The value of an original movie poster depends on its size, condition and desirability. To check out your poster for its value, or to sell it, write Ken Kapson (who deals in original old movie, circus, theatrical, magic and World War I and II posters) at P.O. Box 14803, Chicago, Ill. 60614; state the size and condition of the poster, and enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply.

According to Mr. Kapson, if your poster is a one-sheet example measuring 27 by 42 inches and is in fine condition, it would be worth over $500, but if it is smaller it would be worth less. Mr. Kapson also says that early posters from the silent-film era are not as much in demand as the more recognizable ones dating from the talkie era. When motion pictures first had sound, moviegoers could hear their idols schmooch, pant and rant, which is what put the kick in the flick and made the posters more popular to collect.

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