A New York City memorabilia shop famous for its original pin up photos is selling its entire inventory for auction.
Movie Star News had been selling copies of posters and pin-up photos by mail since 1939. But owner Ira Kramer says the Internet has made his job obsolete.
“We would do the research, it was physically going through everything, climbing ladders and finding them,” Kramer said. “Now, you know, you type search engine get me this…what do you need me for?”
The shop in Lower Manhattan had amassed almost 3 million film stills, movie posters and original pin-up photos. Irving Klaw, Kramer’s uncle and former owner of Movie Star News, was best known for his pin-up photos of Bettie Page in bondage and lingerie.
Premier Collections President Stuart Scheinman thinks Klaw’s pin-up photography of Bettie Page and her props and clothing will be among the best-sellers when auctions start.
“When Irving discovered her he made her famous,” he said. “He truly made her the Queen of pin ups.”
Scheinman’s company bought the Movie Star News collection for an undisclosed amount, about 7 figures, and will auction it off starting next year. Scheinman said he thinks the Movie Star News collection is one of the most comprehensive compilations of Hollywood memorabilia.
“It spans the last 100 years. There’s original photos and negatives going back to 1915, you know the early 1900s,” he said. “This collection really represents every aspect of Hollywood.”