There was a time when the movie poster was considered a viable means of promoting a film, and studios didn't need to rely on social media, endless television adverts, or other gimmicks. Austin's Mondo
and other artists/organizations are reviving the beauty of a bygone era when illustrated images of moving pictures would wow audiences before even stepping into the theater. Countless snapshots from films have been embedded into our collective cinematic unconscious thanks to these posters – a filmic history catalogued forever.
Dwight M. Cleveland, AKA one lucky S.O.B., got his hands on a piece of movie history when the Chicago-based renovation and development company president uncovered a goldmine of film posters inside a Michigan home. The previous owner, who ran a movie theater during the Depression era, used the posters to insulate the walls of his home.
Cleveland, already a collector since high school, now has 11,000 posters. Fifty-five countries, 83 Oscar best picture winners, and AFI's Top 100 list are just a few pieces of film history represented in his collection. Cleveland probably has more posters of Star Wars than George Lucas himself, totaling over 45 different versions.
Jealous? Now's your chance to own Cleveland's collection. "The fun part was seeking out these posters, but now I’ve found pretty much everything I’ve wanted to find,” Cleveland recently told the L.A. Times
. He's been searching for a buyer for two years, and wants to pass on the entire lot to one person. He'd rather they go to a university, film studio, or museum in the United States (due to the artwork's historical ties) so the posters can be available to the public. If that's not possible, he'll be dividing them up amongst auction houses.
You have another month or so to gather your $3.5 million and give these beauties a home. Check out a few pieces from Cleveland's amazing collection below.