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Movie Poster Collector Peddles Archive

When Dwight M. Cleveland, president of a Chicago-based renovation and development company, bought a 1930 Three Oaks, Mich. home in 1991, he wasn’t looking for real estate or historical matter. Instead, he was looking for white gold buried within the walls—movie posters.

Cleveland, a collector of more than 11,000 movie posters since high school, was delighted to discover the Depression-era owner of the home used old movie posters as insulation to the new areas he added on. And it was there he found the poster that he had been searching for for 13 years: for the 1935 Busby Berkeley film “Gold Diggers” which is considered to be a holy grail among collectors. Wouldn’t you just kill to be on that poster?

All good things must come to an end, though. Cleveland, who has grown tired of seeking a potential buyer for his collection; preferably someone or someplace that will continue to add on to the value of the archive, told the Los Angeles Times that unless he finds someone soon, he will split the collection up among various auction houses.

The archive includes posters from 55 countries; all 83 Oscar best picture winners are represented, as well as every title on AFI’s Top 100 list. The collection is valued at $3.5 million though currently no one has come close to offering a realistic price. But Cleveland has hope that there is someone out there willing to pay for what it the collection is worth. And if there is, they have 45 days.

“I believe there’s a buyer,” Cleveland reported to the Los Angeles Times. He hopes the collection will find a home in the United States and that the buyer is “someone with a sense of history … someone who loves posters like I do.”

--Madasyn Czebiniak

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