FFF Movie Posters has specialized in selling original vintage movie posters, lobby cards, inserts and other similar promotional items for over a decade. During that time we have sold thousands of original movie posters to satisfied customers and collectors all over the world.
We do not carry movie poster reproductions, and we stand by our products that our customers buy with a money-back guarantee and certificate of authenticity, upon request.
Defining a Vintage Movie Poster
A vintage movie poster is a pictorial representation of a film featuring an image, text and sometimes other information such as the cast and rating. They are released directly by movie studios to promote and advertise films in conjunction with a film’s theatrical run.
For example, Star Wars: A New Hope movie posters released in 1977 by Twentieth Century Fox are vintage movie posters. However, a reproduction of a Star Wars: A New Hope movie poster issued by a third-party for a much cheaper price is not considered vintage.
Numerous formats, sizes and designs of vintage movie posters are distributed for both domestic and international markets. It’s easy to get lost in all the various types of vintage movie posters. Be sure to read through our informative U.S. Movie Poster Sizes and Foreign Movie Poster Sizes articles if you have questions.
How Old is Vintage?
By definition, an item that is at least 20 years old is considered vintage. The movie poster business does not strictly adhere to this definition.
Although a movie poster released in 1999 isn’t quite 20 years old, we still consider it a vintage movie poster. Our definition of what constitutes a vintage movie poster extends to virtually any original movie poster that is no longer actively in distribution by a movie studio.
Is a Re-Release Movie Poster Considered Vintage?
Yes, a re-release movie poster is a vintage movie poster.
A great example of a vintage re-release movie poster is Captain Blood starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. This swashbuckling adventure was originally released in 1935 and its posters are considered extremely rare.
However, the film was re-released in cinemas in 1956 with a new movie poster. A 1956 Captain Blood re-release movie poster is vintage and original.
If Captain Blood were re-released today and the movie studio decided to issue a new movie poster to commemorate the re-release, that poster would be considered original. It would not be considered vintage until the poster was out of circulation.
Own a Piece of History
A vintage movie poster is a unique piece of history. There will never be more original posters printed and therefore their numbers tend to dwindle over time.
Some of the rarest vintage movie posters were issued prior to 1940. During this time, theater owners were obligated to send their movie posters to the next theater rather than keep them. This resulted in much smaller print runs.
During the early 1940’s, movie studios began allowing theater owners to purchase additional one-sheet movie posters to keep. Larger print runs were ordered and additional movie poster exposure beyond cinemas began.
Why People Collect Vintage Movie Posters
There are numerous reasons why you may want to collect original vintage movie posters.
Some collectors aren’t necessarily fans of movies but love admiring poster artwork. Older poster artwork tends to be more imaginative and creative versus modern artwork.
Movie posters featuring the artwork of John Alvin (The Lion King, Blade Runner), Bill Gold (A Clockwork Orange, Casablanca), Saul Bass (The Shining, Vertigo), and many others are sometimes sought after by collectors more interested in who created the imagery than the movie itself.
Other collectors aren’t as enamored by artwork and simply want physical representations of their favorite films to proudly display in their home, home theater, garage, or other special room.
There are also investors who seek out rare vintage movie posters in hopes that they’ll continue to rise in value. For example, the death of a film’s star can cause the film’s vintage movie poster to increase in value.
Like any piece of art, a vintage movie poster makes for a great conversation piece whether it is professionally framed under archival glass and hung in a home theater, or tacked up in a garage with no regard toward preserving its original condition.
When Movie Poster Condition Matters
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That recognizable phrase may sound like a tired cliché, but in the world of vintage movie posters it couldn’t be more true.
Some movie poster collectors are sticklers for condition. If they cannot find a particular original movie poster in the best condition possible then they will pass that poster up countless times until a near perfect example is located.
Other collectors embrace the word “vintage” and don’t mind if their posters show their age. They may not want a pristine Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie poster and instead feel more nostalgia from a less expensive vintage example with creases, tears and stains.
Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer in regards to condition. Collectors like what they like and will try to purchase it before someone else does.
Where FFF Movie Posters Get Their Vintage Movie Posters
Our catalog of vintage movie posters has been carefully collected over more than a decade.
Many of the posters come directly from former movie theater owners or employees of the companies that printed the posters. These collections have provided some amazing decades-old posters in stunning condition.
Some posters came from private collections, while others were acquired from reputable dealers.
We’ve personally flown across country to ensure a special collection was carefully transferred into our possession.
Despite our large catalog of vintage movie posters, we are still looking to acquire extensive collections to add to our inventory. If you have a large collection of vintage original movie posters, reach out and we’ll be happy to evaluate it to determine if we’re interested in purchasing it.
Our Private Vintage Movie Poster Collection
The owners of FFF Movie Posters have been collecting vintage movie posters for over 40 years. It was their love of movies and movie posters that led to launching this website and business.
You can view a selection of their rare movie poster collection at the FFF Movie Poster Museum.