movie collectables

movie collectibles

movie collectables

Within the space of a century, cinema has taken us from the flickering silent movies of the early 20th century to the blockbuster special effects of the millennium, but one thing has prevailed - the glamour and allure of the movie star.

While top Hollywood items might be fetching bank-breaking prices, there's still a huge market in memorabilia that doesn't cost the earth. From posters to props and costumes, to clapper boards, collecting movie memorabilia is a great way to get a piece of the action – literally.
movie collectables

Pick up a prop

Film props used to be thrown away or re-used when the director called cut, but now studios regularly sell them to specialist dealers.

Paul Harrison was brought up next to Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, where his father had an engineering company that made props for films including The Shining, Flash Gordon, Indiana Jones and Star Wars - he made the original light saber for Return of the Jedi.

Paul now runs a film props website at, and has a gallery shop at Elstree studios that is open to the public.

His family's long-standing connection with the famous film studio means that he has a wide range of stock dating back to the 1940s, including black and white stills, and old posters and props from James Bond, Batman and Harry Potter films.

Paul has an eBay link from his own website, and he has the honour of achieving the highest bid for a film prop on the auction site, when he sold a 1989 Batman costume for $21,100.

If you can't afford an original Star Wars C3PO head (a mere £25-£30,000 from Elstree Props), there's plenty of more affordable memorabilia available online.

Photographs, autographs and posters are a great way to start your collection.

Vintage movie posters from are listed alphabetically, and include details of the price and year of release, making it easy to check if posters from your favourite film are available.

Simply email details of what you're interested in, and they'll send you a JPEG image and detailed condition report of your chosen item.

Alternatively, you could check out the vintage film magazines at, where you can re-live the golden days of Hollywood with a 1940s movie magazine. With major names such as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy and John Wayne as their cover stars, you can escape with your leading man from as little as £25.

Signing up

Fraser's Autographs is one of A&C's favourite sites, and always has a fantastic selection of stock (

A signature from Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who starred together in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not, which is mounted, framed and glazed together with a photograph, is available for £1,950, but there are hundreds of signed photographs, posters and memorabilia available at much more affordable prices.

movie collectables

Fraser's also has some personal items, including a range of Bette Davis hats from £175 and a copy of Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, signed by 15 members of the cast at £850.

Costume drama

If you really want to get into character, then dressing up in your favourite film stars' costume is probably the closest thing you'll get to meeting them for real.

The Prop Store of London ( has literally thousands of items, including some great sci-fi stuff (a complete space suit from Event Horizon had just sold...).

From Aliens and Lord of the Rings to The Godfather and Carlito's Way, whether you're looking for costume, props, or crew and promotional items, this is a must-visit site.

Al Pacino's suit from The Godfather Part III is for sale at £1,494, and Sophie Copella's beautiful gown from the same film is £1,565 - they'd make a great wedding outfit!


Paul Harrison from has some advice for film memorabilia collectors...

  • Provenance is everything - be very careful about authenticity, and only buy from reliable sources, such as a film studio, or from someone who works at a film studio who can verify that a prop was genuinely used, and isn't a replica

  • Prop makers are masters in the art of copying detail - it's their job - so replica pieces are widely available

  • Look for items from films you really enjoy - the more familiar you are with a film, the more likely you are to be able to spot authentic props and memorabilia

  • Be wary of rubber props - they're very easy to replicate cheaply

  • Avoid film-related weaponry - rubber prop guns can be sold in America, but are considered replica firearms in the UK and are illegal, as are swords and daggers

  • Feedback is everything on eBay, but don't just look at how high someone's score is.

.Check the seller's trading history - some people buy things cheaply, then re-auction them at a much higher price, or buy and sell a lot of low-value items in order to earn a high feedback rating

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