1930s ORIGINAL VINTAGE STILLS OF MOVIE FRONTS UP FOR AUCTION AT HERITAGE Heritage Auction Galleries is offering a selection of original stills featuring dressed for first-run movie theater fronts from the 1930s.
Dallas (March 28 2011) Starting in the 1920s each of the major movie studios set up an exploitation department as part of their publicity and promotion operation.
Tasked with using available resources for visual presentation of a movie's release, the department would work with theater owners across the country, creating elaborate fronts for the first-run of their major features.
Currently up for bids ( and ending this Sunday, April 3rd ) is the first of a selection of original 8 x 10 black and white glossies illustrating the art of showmanship during its golden age.
Culled from the collection of Rudy Franchi, long time entertainment memorabilia appraiser on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow, a new group of stills will be offered in Heritage's internet auctions over the next several weeks. The auctions start Sunday evening and end the following Sunday.
Among the films featured in this week's batch are 42nd Street, Dawn Patrol, The Spoilers, Movie Crazy, Sign Of The Cross and Footlight Parade. To view the auction lots, click on the URL linked to this press release.
In the world of movie collectibles, this material is usually referred to as lobby art, even though most of the material surrounds the entrance to the theater. In the case of large city movie palaces, the decor often spread to the entire front of the theater building.
The actual lobby art was often created by local artists, working with air brushes and jig saws. Surviving examples of these collectibles are often offered on their own at auction.