Saturday 3 December 2016

Don't throw out that old film poster - it could fetch €5,000

Published 06/03/2016 | 02:30

The Commitments first edition
The Commitments first edition

That first edition of Roddy Doyle's The Commitments - for which you paid a few pounds back in the 1980s - could be worth rooting around your cupboard or attic for. You could sell it for several hundred euro today.

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Official posters from iconic movies of the 1950s and 1960s could be worth even more - some of these have fetched thousands of euro at auction.

For many people, the collection of film memorabilia is a simpler and cheaper way to make money from the movies, rather than investing in film companies directly.

Official film posters for pre-1945 movies can be valuable, according to Ian Whyte, managing director of Whyte's Auctioneers.

"In the old days, posters were expensive to produce, so they didn't print as many of them - and the posters are rarer as a result," said Mr Whyte. "Poster collectors are fussy though. They want the first poster produced for the film - before it received any awards."

Some Charlie Chaplin movie posters have sold for thousands of euro, as have official posters from iconic movies shot in the 1950s and early 1960s.

A Hammer Film Studios poster for the first Dracula movie sold for almost €5,000 at a Whyte's auction in May 2014. A poster for the Bond movie Goldfinger sold for €1,600 at the same action, while a Laurence of Arabia poster went for €1,300.

As for Irish films, an original prop poster used on the set of The Commitments sold for about €400 at a Whytes' auction last December. A first edition of The Commitments book - signed by Roddy Doyle - was sold for €660 at auction in November 2014.

There's often a lot of interest in memorabilia from The Quiet Man - the movie starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, which was shot in Cong, Co Mayo in the early 1950s.

An autograph book including most of the cast sold for €600 at a Whyte's auction back in March 2014. Some promotional posters of the movie have fetched similar sums.

Even John Wayne's battered suitcase which was used in The Quiet Man - and which had no handle - fetched a tidy sum when it was auctioned some 30 years ago.

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