Sep 23, 2010
Fellow cinephiles and obsessive collectors, I want to let you in on one of New York Cityâ€™s best-kept secrets: Jerry Ohlingerâ€™s Movie Materials Store. Located on a dreary strip of West 35th Street, it looks pretty unremarkable from the outside (and truth be told, gives off a Forbidden Planet/fanboy vibe, complete with the requisite Scott Pilgrim poster — not that thereâ€™s anything wrong with that. But inside lies one of the most incredible poster collections in the world.
Iâ€™m not kidding: itâ€™s movie poster mecca. One-sheets, two-sheets, British quads, lobby cards, you name it. Thereâ€™s also an incredible archive of film stills and ephemera, such as press books and magazines.
One thing I love about Jerryâ€™s is that it’s an absolute mess. The layout is not pretty or shiny nor â€œmerchandisedâ€ to appeal to consumers. Jerryâ€™s flea-market finds are scattered around the store, and if you want to see materials for a particular film, an employee will consult â€œThe Listâ€ (also ancient) and find it for you. The store has been around for over 25 years, though not always at the same location.
I asked Bill, the softspoken employee who let me fool around for an hour and not buy anything, what his favorite movie poster in the store was. He brought out a lustrous Seurat-inspired one-sheet for Laurence Olivierâ€™s A Little Romance:
And here’s a lobby card from the same film featuring a fourteen year-old Diane Lane (her first!):
Hereâ€™s the poster for BuÃ±uel’s That Obscure Object of Desire, which I saw recently and have become obsessed with (translation: post coming soonish).
The store also has some rare materials from the 20â€™s and 30â€™s, including crumbling film stills (some hand-colored) that start at $100. These set my vintage heart aflutter:
More of what I would purchase inasecond if I had unlimited funds/infinite wall space:
Thatâ€™s all I got, but thatâ€™s certainly not all that Jerry Ohlingerâ€™s has got to offer. Take a trip, geek out, and take advantage of this cluttered, old-school NY haunt and its treasures. And then head to K-town for some bibimbap after.