Vintage movie posters are highly collectible, especially those for films released before the 1940s. Few of these early posters survived because theater owners were obliged to send them along to the next theater. A smaller variant of the poster, the lobby card (or window card), is more widely available because theaters were allowed to add their names to the cards and keep them.

Beginning in the 1940s, theaters were able to buy additional copies of the larger sized posters, known as one-sheets, and keep those, too. These later posters are generally marked with the year and edition number.

Movie posters were originally produced purely as advertising, so even the major studios rarely saved posters from their films. Thus, movie posters from the 1920s or earlier are almost nonexistent today. It wasn’t until the release of Star Wars in 1977 that a strong interest in owning original movie posters became widespread.

The movie posters most sought by collectors tend to be from science-fiction films, followed closely by those from horror flicks. Sci-fi posters from the 1950s are especially in demand (The War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still), and the most popular era for horror posters tends to be the 1930s (Frankenstein, Dracula).

Posters for genre movies such as film noir, independent films, and B-movies are also especially desirable. In some cases, these posters are more collectible than ones with star-studded casts because the artwork can take center stage. That said, there are exceptions to every rule—the original 1941 Bill Gold poster for Casablanca is not only graphically compelling, it features Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman at its center.

Other categories of vintage movie posters include musicals (An American in Paris, Singin’ In the Rain), Bollywood (Pyaasa, Shree 420), the Beatles (A Hard Day’s Night, Yellow Submarine), James Bond (Dr. No, Goldfinger), and French New Wave (Jules et Jim, Breathless).

Most collectors seek vintage movie posters because of their passion for a particular actor, director, or film, but some collectors like to acquire posters based on the poster’s d...

As for Reynold Brown, his posters for such forgettable films as Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Love-Slaves of the Amazons were far better than the movies they advertised. On the other hand, sometimes the stars aligned, as was the case in Brown’s posters for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Ben-Hur.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Steve McQueen Film Poster Site

Steve McQueen Film Poster Site

If you're a Steve McQueen fan, this site can't be beat. Roger Harris has put together a definitive collection of Mc… [read review or visit site]

Gallery Of Surf Classics

Gallery Of Surf Classics

Maynard Eshelman's gallery of over 250 classic surf movie posters and lobby cards from the 1960s. The highlight of … [read review or visit site]

London Transport Museum Posters

London Transport Museum Posters

A must-see collection of 5,000 vivid, colorful British posters from the early 1900s onward. Browse by artist (over … [read review or visit site]

Steven Hill's Movie Title Screens Page

Steven Hill's Movie Title Screens Page

If you're the type who likes watching the titles and credits at the beginning of movies, you'll love this site. Ste… [read review or visit site]

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Wish you'd visited San Francisco in the late 1960s? Get a quick hit with this comprehensive collection of psychedel… [read review or visit site]

USSR Posters

USSR Posters

Ben Perry's Flickr photoset showcasing almost 1500 Soviet propaganda, advertising, theatre and movie posters from 1… [read review or visit site]

Cinema Treasures

Cinema Treasures

This user-contributed database of classic movie theaters currently lists over 17,000 theaters worldwide. Browse by … [read review or visit site]

Warner Bros. Title Card Gallery

Warner Bros. Title Card Gallery

Dave Mackey's filmography and title card gallery for 35 years of Warner Bros. cartoons. Browsable by year or alphab… [read review or visit site]

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library's impressive Digital Gallery offers free access to over 500,000 historical images inclu… [read review or visit site]

Steves Disney Collection

Steves Disney Collection

Steve Lee’s large collection of original Disney art: pencil drawings from animated features produced during W… [read review or visit site]

The American Memory Project

The American Memory Project

This amazing Library of Congress site includes about a hundred photo and document collections (see complete list) o… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage 1972 Deep Throat Movie Poster Rare Original Alternate Style Rare 1 SheetOriginal Vintage Folded French Movie Poster Creature From The Black LagoonStar Wars Style D One Sheet Movie Poster Original Vintage French Folded Movie Poster Le Mepris Contempt Bardot GodardRaiders Of The Lost Arc One Sheet Movie PosterOriginal Vintage Folded British Movie Poster Marilyn Monroe Bus StopSuspiria 1977 Original U.s. One Sheet Movie Poster Ex Condition! Rare! Horror!Original Vintage French Folded Movie Poster A Bout De Souffle Breathless GodardOne Million Years B.c. Vintage Movie Poster 1966 (no Reserve)Original Folded French Movie Poster La Nuit Du Loup Garou Curse Of The WarewolfVintage Original 57-5001 Buena Vista Walt Disney Disneyland Poster 47 X 21 Empire Strikes Back Advance One Sheet Movie Poster Aliens Original 1986 Us 1 Sheet Near Mint! Science Fiction Classic!The Blob Vintage 1958 Steve Mcqueen Original 27 X41 Movie Poster Mister Babadook - 1st Run Limited Edition Pop-up Book - Signed!Vintage Original 63/6507 Buena Vista Walt Disney Disneyland After Dark Poster Grease One Sheet Movie Poster John Travolta Olivia Newton John Musical 1978Original Vintage Folded Movie Poster Dr Strangelove Strange Love Stanley KubrickAlien (1979) Variant- Laurent Durieux - Metallics -mondo Ridley Scott Stout Moss2001: A Space Odyssey*orig 1sh Movie Poster*style B*nss No. 68/103Rogue One A Star Wars Story Original Double-sided 27x40 Theatrical Movie PosterWar Of The Satellites Vintage 1958 Movie Poster (no Reserve)Silent Night Deadly Night Original 1-sheet Movie Poster Slasher Santa Horror Star Wars Original One Sheet Poster 20th Century FoxStar Wars Original 1977 U.s. One Sheet Style D Drew Struzen Art! The Giant Gila Monster Vintage 1959 Movie Poster (no Reserve)Two Star Wars Japanese Vintage Movie Poster 1977They Call Her One Eye 40" X 60" Movie Poster Thriller Christina Lindberg Horror Jaws 2 One Sheet Movie Poster The Curse Of The Werewolf Belgian Movie Poster Oliver Reed Horror 1961Vtg 1963 Steve Mcqueen The Great Escape Movie Triumph Motorcycle PosterOriginal 1983 A Christmas Story One-sheet Movie PosterVintage Thunderball - U.s. Insert 1965 James Bond 007 - Sean ConneryStar Wars Rogue One Poster - Teaser - Double Sided - 27x40Jaws One-sheet 1975 Original Nss Without Ratings BoxGremlins Mondo Poster By Matt Ryan Tobin // Limited Edition Of 275 // 24x36Star Wars Printers Proof Poster 1977 Episode Iv: A New Hope Star Wars: Rogue One Original Double Sided Ds 27 X 40 Movie Poster! DisneyRuss Meyer Super Vixens One Sheet Movie Poster High Explosive One Sheet Movie Poster Chester Morris Jean Parker Action 1943Vintage Original Edward G. Robinson Scarlett Street One Sheet Movie PosterCat Girl - Vintage 1957 One Sheet (no Reserve)Adventure Italian Foglio Movie Poster Clark Gable Greer Garson Romance 1940sLord Of The Rings Shelobs Lair Richey Beckett Blue Poster Print Mondo Art HorkeyOriginal Vintage Folded French Poster Les Nuits De Cabiria Nights Of Fellini1971 Diamonds Are Forever Window Card James Bond 007 Sean Connery Jill St. JohnStar Wars: Rogue One Original Double Sided Ds 27 X 40 Movie Poster! DisneyThe Party Original 1968 American Style B One Sheet (no Reserve)It Follows Original Uk Cinema Quad Poster 2014 RareExcalibur One Sheet Movie Poster Nigel Terry Helen Mirren Fantasy 1981Oliver Twist 1948 Charles Dickens David Lean Alec Guinness John Howard Davies Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 Original Double-sided 27x40 Theatrical Movie PosterThe Hills Have Eyes Wes Craven Suze Lanier-bramlett Robert Houston John SteadmanStar Wars:the Force Awakens-double Sided Original Theatrical Poster 27x40Manhattan One Sheet Movie PosterLa La Land 27 X 40 Original 2016 D/s Movie Poster - Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone DFamous Monsters Of Filmland Magazines #17 & #21 Bride Of Frankenstein 1962/1963Famous Monsters Of Filmland Magazines #8 & #9 13 Ghosts Lon Chaney Horror 1960Famous Monsters Of Filmland Yearbook Magazines Lon Chaney Bela Lugosi 1962/1964Phantom Planet Original 1962 1sht Movie Poster Folded Coleen Gray Ex