What Is My Movie Poster Worth?


When seeking out the value of a poster, it is important first of all to determine its actual authenticity and whether the release date makes it an original or re-release item. Paper size, texture and copyright info usually determine age of most film posters. Many of the earlier vintage posters produced before 1940 had studio logos and copyrights but were often not dated.

Several aspects of these posters make it easy to identify them as reproductions

First, their size - 24" x 36" - a size not produced by any movie studio for display in theaters. The standard "one sheet" size movie poster was always 27" x 41". Second, at the bottom of the poster was clearly printed "copyright Portal Publications". Re-release or reissue posters are still "original" theater used movie posters, but have considerably lesser value than a first release poster. Most often a reissue can be determined by looking at the bottom of poster in the right hand corner. There will usually be an "R" in front of a year number - as in "R56" - if it is a reissue. Other clues are phrases such as "An Encore Hit", "Brought Back by Popular Demand" or "Nothing Cut But the Prices".

Poster Value

For movie posters, value is determined by a combination of factors, the most important being the title of the film. The most desirable posters are those from the most universally loved films such as Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, or It's a Wonderful Life. The second deciding factor in desirability are the graphics on the poster. Often the title to a film poster might not be of importance but the graphics can be gorgeous. The poster might be illustrated with beautiful art-deco graphics or depending on the artist, of which many well-known illustrators of the first half of the twentieth century worked on posters, it could make the poster valuable. Finally the Condition is of great importance.The top horror and science fiction film titles have always generated the highest prices and continue to do so. Other genres and stars that receive high value include Film Noir, the Marx Brothers, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Douglas Fairbanks, early Walt Disney cartoons and other classic animation, and Alfred Hitchcock.

Determine Value of Poster

As with any collectible, prices for movie posters fluctuate wildly.

Movie Poster Grading


A never used poster. May show minor signs of age and wear at folds due to storage. No holes, no tears.

Near Mint

A generally unused poster with fresh, saturated colors. May have minimal tears at folds. Has no significant holes, no paper loss, may have minor tears along edges, may have fine pin holes.


A poster with bright colors, clean, with general signs of use. May have minor tears at folds with minor paper loss, may have fine pin holes. May have restoration.


An average poster with overall fresh color. May have tears, minor paper loss, minor hazing. Paper may be brittle due to age, may have minor stains. May have a small amount of writing in an unobtrusive place. May have medium or major restoration.


A poster with faded colors and brittle paper, showing significant signs of use. May have tears and paper loss. May have tape, writing, stains in image area. In need of restoration or had major restoration.


A poster that is worn, torn, and/ or damaged. May have staining, cracking, dry rot, and/or large tears. May be heavily soiled, may have pieces missing. In need of major restoration.

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