Poster Sold for $6,300


Pictured is one of three known, surviving printings of the special so-called "one-sheet" poster (measuring 27x41 inches) struck to commemorate Hal Roach's 20th anniversary operating his amazing movie production studio. This particular original stone-litho reproduction was just auctioned on January 27 by Bruce Hershenson's for a gavel price of $6,300. There were 25 bids. The 75 year-old poster has had no restoration work performed on it, and the only defects are minor tears and pinholes. The sensational art is by the renowned caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. The last time one of these folded, vintage, theater-used posters surfaced on the market, only a few years ago, the piece realized $1,100. In 1934 such posters were displayed by movie theaters showing the then current Hal Roach Studios comedies, which would have featured any of the talent pictured and named on the poster. At the time, Hal Roach could have purchased one or even hundreds of these posters from National Screen Service for a unit price of three cents each. But he did not. Once I showed him a reduced 8x10 inch, black and white glossy photo reproduction of this one-sheet (which he signed); he told me he had never owned the full size color poster. I wrote his comment explaining why not on the back of the still. He said, "What was I going to do with a thing like that?"

(Richard W. Bann)