Unprecedented movie memorbilia collection to be auctioned in December

Modern Screen

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a movie memorbilia collection some say is second only to that of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be auctioned off in mid-December of this year.

At that time, The Collector’s Book Store on Hollywood Blvd. will sell its stock, which includes a million film studio publicity stills, 50,000 original movie posters and 20,000 vintage fan magazines, 150,000 original negatives, 50,000 color slides, scripts and contracts signed by stars such as Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor (and her parents).

Retired collectibles dealer Malcolm Willits assembled the massive collection during a 43-year-period. When he opened the store in 1965, the studio system disintegrated and many were just throwing away publicity materials such as stills, posters, and press kits. The store acquired much of that material.

Also, stars would sell the store their entire personal collections of material. Some, such as Mae West, would come into the store, yank unflattering pix from the bins and offer to replace them with better shots, which she did.

Certain rare, high value items in the collection such as stills shot by well-known glamor photographers will sell apart from the bulk of the collection.

The rest will go in large lots, folders of publicity stills sold by the filing cabinet letter, each drawer containing 5,000 photos, for instance. Out of my league, but we may all end up buying material from the collection second hand from other auctions and dealers, I’m guesing.

Profiles in History will hold the auction in Calabasas, CA.

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