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FAQs

A movie poster for the film Flubber

 

Can you...?

If it's movie poster related, the answer is probably 'YES'. Just ask and we’ll try and make it happen.

 

How do I know that I can trust you?

We are just normal people, passionate about original movie posters and providing amazing customer service. Like you, we shop on-line and we have also had bad experiences. We try really hard to make sure your poster buying experience is a fantastic one. We treat each and every order as if you were face to face, from the moment you find us, to the moment your poster arrives in your hand. 

Don’t just take our word for it, check out our customer reviews.

 

How much is shipping outside of the UK?

Shipping inside the United Kingdom is free for all posters. For all other locations, we charge a small flat fee of £30. That doesn’t always cover our costs, but we think it’s important that you can see the total price before you buy and this keeps things simple.

 

Can I come and see a poster?

Yes, of course! Like many galleries today, we do not have a physical store on a high-street. However, just let us know if you would like to come and see us. We would be delighted to spend as long as you need to look at any posters that have caught your eye. (We also make a mean coffee, tea or juice.)

We are based near beautiful and historic St. Albans in Hertfordshire, just north of London, close to Junction 6 of the M1 and Junction 21a of the M25.

If you aren’t able to visit us, do contact us. We may be able to come to you.

 

What does your guarantee mean?

Our guarantee means your purchase of a poster is risk free.

We only source from reputable sources, many of whom we have dealt with for years.

We are extremely confident of every poster we sell. If we are ever in doubt, we do not add the poster to our Catalogue. 

If, having purchased, your poster is ever found to be anything other than a 100% original movie poster, return the poster to us and we will refund you, including your shipping costs.

 

What is an original movie poster?

An original movie poster is a poster that was issued by a movie studio, or by another company authorised by the studio, for display in a cinema, or for promotional use at the time of a film’s release.

Posters that were made to be sold to the public are classed as reproductions or reprints and are not classed as original movie posters, even if they were printed around the time of the film’s release.

Film posters may be updated (for example, to reflect awards, or reviews). A great recent example is for the film “La La Land”, where the original ‘pre-awards’ poster is actually quite rare.

Some films are also re-released (consider the original Star Wars films, or many Disney cartoons, for example). Posters for re-released films are also classed as original movie posters. (Where a poster is for a re-release of a film, we always try to describe it as so.)

Older posters, produced for films prior to the mid 1980s were usually (but not always) issued folded while newer posters are almost always issued rolled (but again, not always).

Usually, the older the poster, the rarer it is, but again, there are exceptions to the rule. The film “Moon” (Duncan Jones, 2009) is a great example of a recent film poster that is a super piece of minimalist design, and really hard to get hold of.

All told, an original movie poster should link directly to the movie studio that released a film.

Here at Art of the Movies, we are passionate about posters that invoke a response, be that due to a memory of the film, or as a reaction to a super piece of art or design on the poster itself.

 

Why should I buy an original movie poster rather than a reproduction?

A vintage original movie poster has a direct connection to the film that it was created to publicise. The production team will have considered numerous designs, potentially working with a variety of artists. The poster they finally selected represented everything they wanted to say about their creation. It was, perhaps, as important as the film itself.

The posters we sell (we do not sell reproductions) extend that connection. They have been distributed to cinemas and have told a story to the public. Then, when the film closed, someone cared for them. They weren't binned. They weren't pulped. Someone loved them enough to save them, and, perhaps, to cherish them, often for decades.

That history, sometimes visible in the form of wrinkles or pin-holes, can be felt in the poster. It is as much a vintage piece as your favourite 1960s sideboard or Victorian fireplace. It has an honesty and an originality that can't be gained from a reproduction.

 

Are movie posters an investment?

We've explored this topic in a blog post. Here is a summary...

As with any art or piece of décor for your home, you should buy what you love. A trophy piece of art, bought only for its value, will not bring you the long-term enjoyment of a piece of art that you feel a connection with.

That said, uncertain returns in the financial markets have contributed to many considering art as a potential investment vehicle. This has lead to fine art records being broken at auction houses, and, the rebirth of the art print market. Even a print on paper from a modern, non-traditional artist, such as Banksy, will now cost many thousands of pounds.

Over the past ten years, there has been an increasing interest in movie posters. They are recognised as an affordable and accessible art form with an extremely wide range of aesthetically pleasing choices. Prices for old posters are rising, as are the values of posters from the most popular films of the last 30 years.

However, as with all investments, there is no certainty. We hope that you will enjoy looking through our Catalogue and will find at least one poster that you love, to hang and enjoy in your home. If the market does continue to move upwards, so be it. If not, you will have had many years of enjoyment from a stunning piece of art, and that, is priceless.

 

So what should I expect?

Remember that you are buying a unique piece of movie history.

There are rare occasions, highly sought after by collectors, where a movie poster has survived through the ages in perfect, or near perfect condition. These are the ‘unicorn posters’ and they command a very significant investment.

The vast majority of posters will have originally been folded and may have spent a few years on someone’s wall, or in a loft. They will carry the signs of that. We will always accurately describe them to you.

Conservation techniques, such as linen-backing (see below) can work wonders on folds, wrinkles and tears. (Many of our posters are linen-backed, and again, we’ll always tell you that.)

If desired, restoration can also be undertaken to address issues that particularly offend the eye.

But, fundamentally, we do not sell reproductions; we only sell original pieces, sourced from around the world. They will have lived (in many cases for 50 or 60 years) and just like us, they may carry a few wrinkles and scars.

That’s part of their story. Like a beautiful piece of antique furniture, that’s what makes them unique.

 

What is linen-backing and can posters be restored?

The following explanation is a great one, from the International Vintage Poster Dealers Association…

Linen Backing is a conservation method used to mount and preserve vintage posters so they can be displayed or framed without compromising value. Damaged posters are stabilized through linen backing and restoration to protect the poster from further damage. Linen backing holds the poster flat and smooth allowing it to be easily handled, stored or framed.

Most vintage posters have suffered tears, folds and losses over the years. This makes them look frayed and irreparable. Don't let this discourage you. An experienced restorer is capable of bringing a damaged poster back to life. Folds can be easily flattened once the poster has been linen backed and tears can be positioned back together. This first step of the linen backing process is the back-bone of bringing your poster back to life.

Once linen backed, these folds and tears can be made to virtually disappear when a restoration artist carefully restores colour loss using coloured pencils and watercolour paints. Losses can be replaced by using a piece of another poster to fill the loss. Most expert restorers have a large archive of scrap posters, which can be used to replace most losses. A properly restored poster can look dramatically better than its former self.

If a poster from our Catalogue is not linen-backed, we can arrange that for you. The same is true of restoration. We work with superb paper conservators and restorers, recognised by the Institute of Conservation Register of Accredited Conservators (ICON). 

 

How do you rate condition?

Condition rating scales are always subjective. We encourage you to use the photos we provide (which are always of the actual poster you are purchasing), rather than the text.

That said, condition rating is commonly used, and so we do provide ratings. 

We follow the rating of the largest auction house. In summary:

Fine

This item is in really excellent condition! It has the most minor of imperfections, but has survived in really wonderful condition! (This is reserved for the ‘unicorn posters’.)

Very Good To Fine

This item has only a few VERY minor imperfections.

Very Good

This item has survived in pretty good condition, but has some relatively minor imperfections. If they are within the image, they are not very distracting at all, or they may be in the blank borders, where they will not show when the item is displayed.

Good to Very Good

This item has some clear imperfections. If they are within the image, they are likely noticeable, but not very distracting, or they may be in the blank borders, where they will not show when the item is displayed.

Good

This item has some significant imperfections. If they are within the image, they are likely quite noticeable, and they may be in the blank borders, where they may be more significant.

Fair

This item has major significant imperfections. If they are within the image, they are likely quite noticeable and distracting, and they may be in the blank borders, where they may be even more significant.

Poor

This item has REALLY major imperfections. If they are within the image, they are likely quite noticeable and distracting, and they may be in the blank borders, where they may be even more significant.

But please do use the photos we provide. Close inspection of those will tell you a lot more than a short condition rating.

 

Have another question?

We are here to help, just ask us!