One-sheet: Wahoo returns... as poster collector

Morris Everett is a major patron of a great bastard art form: movie posters.

In art circles, says Everett, "Movie posters, as well as film, are still considered the new kid on the block." The cinema lacks seniority compared to, say, painting. Therefore, until a few decades ago, paper movie art was considered entirely ephemeral, fit only for decorating dumpsters.

Nowadays, posters say, an original for Frankenstein (1931)– can fetch upwards of $100,000.

Everett, UVA class of '63, began collecting movie art in 1961 and has amassed a monumental personal collection. Those same posters have been the backbone of his business, the Last Moving Picture Company, founded in 1987.

"I've made a lot of money through this little business of mine," says Everett, "which everybody told me was stupid. It turned out to be very smart."

A licensed auctioneer, Everett will be running a silent poster auction at Culbreth Theater to benefit the Film Festival. He's donating all the posters and strongly defends their investment potential.

"Movie posters have out-performed gold, stamps, coins, baseball cards, comic books, and the stock market over a 30-year period," he says, "with never a down side."

Everett will also lecture on movie art at the Festival. Posters– some from re-releases– of films like Gone With the Wind (1939), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), and The Alamo (1960) will accompany his points as illustrations.

"I'm hoping to bring something of every size," Everett says, "up to, perhaps a six-sheet," which measures a mammoth 81" by 81".

To help save nascent poster collectors from sliding into suckerdom, Everett will display three versions of the same Jaws (1975) poster: one original, one reproduction, and one counterfeit each a different size.

Everett delights in his vocation/avocation. "Not only is it fun to collect something which is our heritage the way we dress, and our mores, and our history in the last hundred years but it's also a great investment," he says.