Millions of people collect movie posters, lobby cards, autographed star photos, props, wardrobe pieces, and other items for the sheer enjoyment of it or as a financial investment. Here are some ideas, based on my years of experience running an entertainment arts business, to help you get more out of this exciting hobby.

Consider supplementing your collection of memorabilia with a library of books or magazines featuring your favorite stars. Celebrity biographies have been popular for decades. The movie magazine “Photoplay,” which had its heyday in the classic film era of the 1920s through 1950s, presented interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpses. EBay and other online auction sources can help you acquire out-of-print titles, often at bargain prices. 

Try an aspect of the hobby that started in Europe. Collect movie postcards, which only originated in Europe about two decades ago. Some designs can be quite valuable, because they were produced in limited numbers for distribution only in their countries of origin.

Consider giving your collection a focus around a specific theme or title. If you love a very popular film, such as “The Wizard of Oz,” remember that manufacturers have produced a wide variety of tie-ins, such as character paper dolls and children’s coloring books.

Be selective and always choose quality over sheer numbers of items that will only clutter your living space. And if you get tired of a particular line of collectibles, there are thousands of fellow collectors who might pay excellent prices to acquire them.

About the author: At the age of 26, Jerry Gladstone founded his own entertainment arts company, A.R.A., with an initial investment of $2,000, and subsequently built it into a leader in its field.

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