Gone are the days of strolling down Jamaica Avenue in Queens to this little hole-in-the-wall movie material store packed to the gills with window cards, photos, posters, albums and what-have-you on my favorite films. I could go in there with $20 dollars and leave with a treasure trove of movie stuff.
Then there was the flea market at Aqueduct Racetrack (every weekend when there weren’t races). There was this guy who sold 8 x 10 movie photos. He had literally thousands of pictures that he sold for around $5 – $7 a piece! Well the flea market is still there, but the movie material has all but vanished. It’s very hard to find actual locations anymore where you can buy low-cost movie memorabilia. Due to hard economic times and rising rents these stores are as obsolete as the items they sold. It seems the internet has stepped in, these days, to take over what has been a diminishing hobby and managed to revitalize interest in movie collectibles.
When I need a photo from the movie Jaws, I simply scour the net to find a place that sells it. One popular place for movie related items has always been Movie Star News, even while I was growing up back in the eighties. They use to sell by “catalogue only” back then (and even their catalogue is sold as a collectors item now). Their stuff is a bit pricey, however, and their website is not very conducive to searching for particular stuff.
Another site I found in my searches, this one is fairly new but is growing bigger everyday, it’s called Movie Photo Store ( http://www.moviephotostore.com ). They primarily sell photos from movies but am starting to see other rare little gems on there, as well. Unlike Movie Star News they sell film magazines, movie books, rare press books, stickers, and have even seen clippings packs on certain actors (great for scrapbookers like myself). Surprisingly, even their rare items are cheap! I’m not going to get into specifics about which items I found on there that were extremely under-priced in fear of them raising prices, but trust me when I say I was able to pick up some nice collectibles for myself and other stuff that I actually resold for a nice profit! They package everything well and delivery was fast. I’ve also requested items NOT listed on their site and they were somehow able to find some rare pictures for me (I’m a huge Steve McQueen fan and am always looking for stuff on him). I commend these guys on being extremely helpful via email with quick responses and above average movie knowledge. This site has become my new favorite site for movie merchandise and is a permanent bookmark on my computer.
There are dozens of movie memorabilia outlets online other than the above mentioned. You might also check out Moviegoods, they specialize in posters, mainly, but have a wide selection of them available. For my interests, however, I prefer Movie Photo Store. They are closest related to the boutique memorabilia shop that I grew up with. I hope to see more brick and mortar shops back in the future, but until then I’ll have to utilize cyberspace for my collectibles.