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PROFILES OF MOVIE POSTER COLLECTORS: Matthew Kerr

By on February 8, 2013

This is Part Two in a series of articles that will focus on some of the well known Movie Poster Collectors in Australia.  This week we feature Matt Kerr. 

The series highlights that there are some very impressive collections out there. In each of the articles, I send a list of questions to the collectors and let the them tell their stories in their own words. Matt has an impressive collection of movie posters, many of which are linen backed Australian Daybills.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live and what do you do for a living?

MATTHEW KERR Movie Poster CollectorI live in Notting Hill which is about 19kms south east of Melbourne. I am a Communications Technician specialising in Fibre Optics, Copper Network Cabling, MATV and Network design and construct.

What motivated you to start collecting movie posters?

Being a Clint Eastwood fan, I wanted to collect pictures of him from some of his films. I first thought some autographs would be nice but soon realised that almost 99.9% of them are fakes. The cinema poster was the next step.

What was the first poster you acquired and do you still have it?

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER Australian DaybillHigh Plains Drifter and, yes, I still have it.

Do you collect on any particular subject or interest? What is the main focus in your collection?

I obviously started with Clint then moved on to War, Sci Fi. and the leading ladies of the 40’s, 50′ and 60’s, such Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Monroe and Raquel Welch. Really any poster where the artwork screams at you, “Come see this film”.

Melbourne seems to be the Australian hub for Collectibles. Do you keep an eye on the local auctions and have you been able to find something special at any of the auctions?

Always. I nearly missed an auction once but was able to snag a Superman Flies Again daybill.

Unlike other cities, there are a few retail outlets in Victoria that display and sell original posters. Do the prices differ from those on the internet?

Yes, they are higher with the more rarer posters. They do have to cover rental, GST and other expenses. However there are bargains to be found though. It’s just a matter of keeping up with current market value.

There are probably more movie poster collectors in Victoria than anywhere else in Australia. Do you get to meet many any of the other collectors?

MATTHEW KERR Movie Poster CollectorI’ve met a few, it’s pretty easy to spot another Movie poster collector when you’re in one of the retail outlets. Mostly, I keep in contact with other collectors via email or the forums.

Many of the posters in your collection are linen backed. Do you have them backed yourself or do you look for posters that are already backed?

I do both. I use three linen backers. One in Sydney, another in Texas and Dario Casadei in Vancouver. Dario is the lucky one who gets all the posters that need TLC. I do take linen backing very seriously. It’s important to preserve what history we have left for the next generation.

How difficult is it to find posters for your collection? Do you sometimes find yourself in competition with other collectors that you know?

The Dam Busters Movie PosterIt is getting a little harder to find posters to fill the gaps in the collection but in saying that, it does get a little easier when you meet more and more collectors. You never know who has a spare what unless you ask. Patience is a key element in the art of collecting. It’s inevitable that you’ll be in competition with collectors you know but not always. There’s been times I’ve refrained from bidding because I know another collector wants that particular piece and I know other collectors have done the same for me. Believe it or not there’s a form of etiquette in the market place.

What is missing from your collection that you would love to obtain?

Roman Holiday daybill 1953. Incredible Shrinking Man Australian one sheet 1957.

Do you think you will ever get to a point when you feel that your collection is complete?

I’ve learnt that is a never ending question. There’s always something that pops up and catches one’s eye.

Do you prefer to collect Australian posters? If so, why?

Yes because it’s the artwork and colours that draw you in. It’s hard to explain sometimes, Australian collectors know what I mean and maybe the odd Canadian here and there.

Is there one favourite poster in your collection?

When Worlds Collide Australian One SheetWhen Worlds Collide 1951 one sheet.

Have you ever come across a large quantity of movie posters?

Not good ones but the odd dozen of this or that now and again.

Do you trade with other collectors?

Sometimes, but not often.

Are any of the posters in your collection on display ie framed in your home?

I have a couple of three sheet posters hung and several daybills that I swap in and out of frames.

Have you ever had any problems with linen backing or framing?

No, but it pays to do your homework before backing and framing.

How do you keep track of your collection?THEM Daybill

The keepers in one file, the rest in another.

Have you ever missed out on getting something that you later regretted?

No, I usually regret straight away!

Do you think movie posters are a good investment? Are they increasing in value?

That’s part of the thrill of collecting – grabbing a bargain. I also pay a little too much sometimes, but I’d rather pay more now rather than regret later on. Greg Chilvers once told me he brought a Them! daybill from the $1 dollar bin at Moviola store in Melbourne many years ago…

Do you collect anything else apart from Movie Posters?

Lobby cards and stills.

Is your collection insured?

Yes. The posters are covered by my house and contents policy, though it would be better if it was insured separately. (Editors note: It is difficult to insure collectibles separately in Australia. You need to get a formal valuation first and some insurers will not cover movie posters unless they are photographed, valued and specifically listed on insurance policies.)

What does your family think about your collecting interests?

Next question….

Thanks to Matt for sharing his interest in Movie poster collecting. Watch this space for more features on Australian Movie poster collectors.

About John Reid

4 Comments

  1. David

    February 9, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Great article, fantastic collection.

  2. Brian Arnold

    February 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Great article and beautiful posters! I agree with Matt. The artwork and colours are special on Australian posters!!

  3. Brian Arnold

    February 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    PS Thank you to John Reid for what he is doing to lift the profile of Australian movie posters!!

  4. Richie

    September 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    A tad late, but very nice read 🙂

    Regards
    Richie
    Vintage Movie Posters

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