A Terrific Collector’s Website: Learn About Movie Posters (a.k.a. LAMP)

I want to recommend a site for movie memorabilia collecting information that amazes me every time I visit. It is called simply Learn About Movie Posters and can be found at: 

http://www.learnaboutmovieposters.com 

Ed and Sue Poole, the site’s owners have been working on their site continuously since 2000. It is incredible just how much information can be found there. There are images for more than 43,000 items (mostly movie posters of one form or another) and information on over 118,000 movies! 

Ed and Sue have tons of articles about movie memorabilia collecting at LAMP. Their articles address both a beginning collector’s questions, especially the questions most people have when they first start collecting movie posters, as well as some pretty sophisticated esoteric stuff (like information on famous movie poster artists from all around the world and the beginnings of a comprehensive log of which National Screen Service (‘NSS’) numbers belong on which US movie posters). 

About the only information you won’t find on LAMP pertains to prop and wardrobe collecting (and I’ll discuss how to learn about collecting props and wardrobe in at least one other entry). 

As a disclaimer, I should say that after writing to Ed and Susan (who luckily got out of Louisana and away from Hurricane Katrina and are still not able to live in their home but they are still busy improving LAMP) to supply a few numbers to the NSS log, Ed graciously invited me to have a VDO fan club listing at LAMP. 

Problem is I don’t *have* a VDO fan club. I doubt I’d be very kind to my potential fellow members or good at the administrative stuff that goes into running one — just look at my entries below :) I might have Ed put a link to this blog on LAMP instead though. 

The neatest part of LAMP: some of the items listed there are for sale by various dealers who mostly deal in authentic vintage movie memorabilia. Where the dealers sell reproductions, they are clearly marked as such. This is a refreshing change from online auctions where many times, you don’t know what you are getting until it arrives in your mailbox. And it’s easy to get burned at an online auction when you are just starting out. Believe me when I say I still sometimes get burned in online auction transactions. 

Prices at the various LAMP dealers while not always the cheapest are often fair. Most authentic VDO theatrical release posters run from $10-$25 before shipping and from what I can see, most of the posters listed were in excellent condition. 

But if you want an authentic advance one sheet for ‘Full Metal Jacket’, you can also get one from a LAMP dealer. However be prepared to spend *at least* $75. It’s expensive because it’s the first edition of a poster Kubrick himself supposedly helped design, there aren’t a lot of advance versions left out there (especially the never folded ones) and the film has such cult status with a lot of different people. Still I remember when you couldn’t get a worn copy for less than $150 (this was in the pre dot.com bust days). And if you just want something affordable to decorate with, you can get a repro of this poster from a LAMP dealer for a lot less money and feel confident that the poster will actually arrive and in the condition it was advertised (I wish this were true of more online auction sellers). 

You will see that when you search on VDO’s many films in LAMP’s Movie Poster Database that some of the information that comes up on them can differ from what you will find at the Internet Movie Database [imdb.com]. Ed explained this to me noting that the release dates they use correspond to the date for when the original movie poster was released and not the first day the film premiered. 

Also the information at LAMP will tell you in what country the film was originally released. In the case of a VDO film, the first country in which his films are usually shown is the USA. However this is not always true; for example, ‘Salt on Our Skin’ was first theatrically released in Germany in 1992 under the title ‘Salz Auf Unserer Haut’. A US theatrical release for ‘Salt On Our Skin’ came later and then the US home video title was changed from ‘Salt On Our Skin’ to ‘Desire’. Perhaps this is why I have not seen many American things related to ‘Salt On Our Skin’.

There is now even a sister database that has information on home video releases and some LAMP dealers are now selling hard to find VHS tapes, DVDs and laserdiscs, so if you’re a VDO fan you should watch this area like a hawk to obtain copies of his more difficult to find appearances on home video.

For a VDO fan, the LAMP requires you to search on the title of the movie, so typing in ‘D’Onofrio’ isn’t going to get you much information. So I would suggest going to imdb.com first to get a list of D’Onofrio’s movies (or check the filmography page here at the Vault) and then searching LAMP to learn more about VDO’s movies. And if you are a non-US VDO fan, you will need to search on the titles of VDO’s films in English. But you will find information there on movie posters and movie memorabilia from many different countries. 

Well happy surfing — I’m off to work on deciphering non-US titles of VDO’s films…it’s sleuthing I have been doing for years, so don’t expect a complete list anytime soon :) 

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