The main purpose of film stills /publicity stills from the Silent Period through Golden Age of Movies was to help studios advertise and promote their new films and stars. A “still” photographer worked on set although was not directly involved in the making of a film. The movie studio included these images in press kits, sent to movie theaters to help them promote the latest offerings, and to publicize the film and actors via magazines, newspapers and other media. The most popular kinds of film stills are those portraying glamour, menace, or gag interpretations. It can sometimes be very difficult to identify original, collectible material since there is a huge market specializing in both standard re-issues and later printings.
There is one man who can knows more about collecting rare vintage film posters- Ralph DeLuca.
A former private investment consultant, Ralph DeLuca hardly batted an eye when he bought a vintage poster from the 1932 cult movie "Freaks" at auction in March, 2009 for more than $100,000. The poster had cost $10 in the early 1970s. Featured on ABC, BBC, and more, Ralph Deluca elevates the term “collector,” to a new status. A sample of his vast and varied collection below: