A priceless discovery: hand-painted movie posters from Hollywood’s Golden Era
Some people are, with apologies to Shakespeare, “snappers-up of unconsidered trifles”. Sharpsburg native, Herb Bridges, fits that description perfectly. A lifelong fan of movie memorabilia, Bridges is best-known for his Gone With The Wind collection – at one time the world’s largest. So, when Bridges heard about a mysterious stash of movie posters that had surfaced in a storage unit in Carrollton, he just had to explore them. They proved to have a connection to his past and to be a glimpse into a little-known aspect of movie history.
The seventy posters were hand-painted at Atlanta’s Loew’s Grand Theatre by staff artists. As a teenager, Bridges worked as an usher at the Loew’s and the posters brought back memories of two very busy, very talented and rather abrupt artists working backstage. In an era when movies changed weekly and rarely re-ran, poster artists generally trashed their work or re-used the materials, making the Carrollton collection, painted by Sid Smith and Charles Reese Collier, rare and exciting. We may never know why these specific posters were saved or by whom, but Bridges is working hard to fill in the gaps in their history.