Collection of 25K movie posters for sale at $3.5M

January 12, 2012 4:52:10 AM PST
A Chicago man lives his life with Hollywood stars like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Errol Flynn and Marilyn Monroe.

Dwight Cleveland's movie poster collection ( is a Hollywood memories museum.

"The art teacher where I went to high school collected these posters and so he had them up in the studio in his office and that's really how I was first exposed to them," Dwight Cleveland said. "Thirty five years later and 25,000 posters. It's been a great run."

A visit to his home is a trip through another time in the history of filmmaking. A time when movies weren't advertized on TV, but were promoted by posters in the front of movie theaters.

The posters come from 55 different countries. They date back to the 1890s and come up to the present. Cleveland has one King Kong of a collection. It consists of every film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the American Film Institute's top 100, and the Internet Movie Data Base's top 100.

The whole collection is valued at $3.5 million. And it's for sale.

"I'm at a stage in life where there's so little left to buy that ... I'm just kind of reached the end of this chapter," Cleveland said.

The posters are rare and most are locked up in vaults. "I kind of spread them out based on size and country. That's how I have things data based in storage," Cleveland said. "Secret storage areas... Only I know ... and have a key and I might have to kill you after this visit. Ha, ha, ha."

That sounds like the plot to an old movie.