Friday, October 3, 2008

Movie Poster Paradise

All things considered, the most comprehensive and informative movie poster site on the internet today is L.A.M.P. - which is an acronym for “Learn About Movie Posters.” Exploring this site is a mesmerizing experience for movie fans because in addition to showcasing American movie posters for inspection and sale, there are also international versions, poster auctions, top selling posters, tips on collecting, guidelines for determining the market value of posters in your own collection, information on how to preserve posters, a newsletter and countless features on every facet of the poster hobby and business.

Collectors and researchers will appreciate how the search options extend beyond the usual alphabetical and “by dealer” categories to include searches by poster year, type, size, country and artist. The LAMP site itself is a growing database of 60,000 movie posters currently for sale, but it’s also a portal to 30 associated movie poster sites around the world with over 4 million posters in stock and available for sale.

An “Introduction to International Movie Posters” section provides a valuable primer for learning how to navigate the otherwise intimidating global movie poster marketplace. And by purchasing from authorized LAMP Dealers, customers get a 100% money back guarantee and the satisfaction they are dealing with some of the most reputable dealers in the business. For visits and transactions on international poster sites, LAMP provides convenient “world time clock” and even a “world currency exchange” section.

Some collectors prefer the thrill of the auction and the bidding process to try to get a desired movie poster cheaper. LAMP provides links to two dozen recommended online auction dealers and offers a primer with warnings and tips for avoiding the potential pitfalls in experiencing a safe and successful transaction. For example, a novice might unknowingly overpay for an original Gone With the Wind poster knowing only that the film was released in 1939. LAMP offers this valuable insight on that particular film:

Not all original one-sheets for a particular movie, such as Gone With the Wind, are valued equally. In this case, Gone With the Wind, which was initially released in 1939, was re-released to theatres in 1940, 1941, 1947, 1953, 1954, 1961, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1980 and 1998. Each time it was released, the studios issued newer versions of the movie poster and related paper items. All of these issues are ORIGINALS and are legitimate movie art, but their value as collectables differ with each issue. In this case, the earlier releases are much more collectable and consequently more valuable than the later releases. The year of the release of the "paper" and not the initial release of the movie is the key factor and should be considered when assessing a poster’s collectability and value.

On the LAMP home page you will find links to daily and weekly online poster auctions. Currently the Tuesday auction ending 10/7 contains 253 Japanese posters, while the Thursday auction ending 10/9 has 565 American insert posters.

One interesting section lists posters that have sold for large amounts, and you can click to look at the poster and what it sold for. One fascinating factoid answers the question “What is the most expensive movie poster in the world?” The answer is the silent 1927 film Metropolis, which was also one of the most expensive silent films ever made. In 2005, a California collector bought 1 of 4 remaining copies for a record setting $690,000.

The LAMP site provides information and pays homage to the many unheralded artists around the world who create and produce movie posters: Without sound or movement, a movie poster must attract the viewers’ attention, and somehow portray the whole spirit of the movie at a moment’s glance. A great deal of the success or failure of the film rests on the movie poster artists' ability to entice the viewer to want to see the film.

LAMP currently has over 1500 titles linked from their archive to IMDB (the Internet Movie Data Base), and is continually adding more.

Bijou salutes this ambitious site and recommends a visit. (For what its worth we have no financial affiliation with LAMP, we just like to take every opportunity to promote people and businesses involved in preserving and perpetuating our classic movie heritage)

LAMP is a portal to a movie poster paradise populated with awesome movie art and hard-to-find information for collectors, hobbyists and those who love movies. The enormous collection of imagery and information available on this site is testimony to the continuing success of LAMP’s stated mission: “A little bigger, a little better each day - saving the past for the future.”

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