Will Seippel | August 3, 2023

Pictures can humanize history, revealing the faces and emotions of those who lived in the past. In my latest Antique Talk video, I discuss the worth of a collection of vintage movie photographs, which play a crucial role in preserving and portraying a classic era. Some of these hold considerable value, especially those from silent films and early talkies leading into the Golden Age of Hollywood. While this video provides insights and examples of the factors influencing the price of old movie photographs, you may still wonder, “Where can I find one?”

Phantom of the Opera (1925) lobby poster Hollywood movie photograph
This Phantom of the Opera (1925) lobby poster exemplifies a vintage still photograph initially promoted the silent film, but it is now highly sought after by collectors as memorabilia. In 2017, it sold on eBay for $499.
Image Source: WorthPoint®

Finding Vintage Movie Photographs

Old movie photographs can be found in various places, both offline and online. By purchasing these moments of iconic film stars frozen in time, you are preserving their stories and impact on the Hollywood film industry.

Here are a few places where you can search for old studio movie photographs:

  1. Online Auctions: Online marketplaces like eBay often have dedicated sections for movie memorabilia, including old movie photographs. In 2019, this ink-signed Wizard of Oz photograph sold on eBay for $4,749.
  2. Specialty Websites: Some websites specialize in selling movie memorabilia and vintage photographs, such as Reel Art Press and Movie Market.
  3. Film Memorabilia Stores: Look for specialty businesses that sell film memorabilia and vintage photographs. They might have physical locations or online shops.
  4. Antique Stores: Antique shops or flea markets might occasionally carry old movie photographs.
  5. Film Festivals and Conventions: Events focused on cinema and film culture often have various vendors selling movie memorabilia, including vintage photographs.
  6. Auction Houses: Major auction houses occasionally hold old auctions featuring movie memorabilia. In 2018, this collection of Old Hollywood film stars signed photographs sold for $1,600 by Julien’s Auctions.
  7. Film Collector Fairs: Events and fairs aimed at movie collectors often have vendors selling vintage movie posters.
  8. Flea Markets: Flea markets are known for offering a wide variety of items, and occasionally, you might come across valuable old movie photographs of local celebrities.

Happy Hunting!

Whether you’re on the hunt for old movie photographs to enrich your movie memorabilia collection or considering them as potential investments, conducting thorough research beforehand is crucial. It’s essential to have a general understanding of an item’s value and authenticity before making a purchase. Additionally, leveraging the WorthPoint® Price Guide can be beneficial to see what comparable items have sold for. Remember, old movie photographs are more than just pictures; they are artifacts that capture the magic of cinema and the unforgettable moments in film history. The real deal is undoubtedly worth the hunt!

Will Seippel is the CEO and founder of WorthPoint, the world’s largest provider of information about art, antiques, and collectibles. Individuals and organizations use WorthPoint, an Inc. 500 Company, to seek credible valuations on everything from cameras to coins. WorthPoint counts the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the IRS among its clients.