How a Katy Antique Shop became Houston’s go-to place for movie posters – preview.houstonchronicle.com | Episode Movies

Harry Proctor talks to some of the 8000 vintage movie posters at Limited Edition Art & Antiques about the differences in poster types on Tuesday October 11, 2022 in Katy, TX.

Photo: Michael Wyke/Contributor

Those of you who have been watching movies at Regal Edwards Houston MarqE lately may have noticed that you’ve put a lot of work into the multiplex. There have been extensive renovations, from new reclining seats in the auditoriums to a VIP area with sofas, snacks and other quirky stuff. They’ve also revamped the halls, with LCD screens lined up along the walls playing promotional packs of films that are either in theaters or coming soon.

But when they’re not playing the packs, the screens mostly show posters. That’s right – like much of entertainment these days, billboards have gone digital. Overseas, that’s the norm; A 2021 article on the Celluloid Junkie website reported that digital billboards are hitting cinemas across the Middle East. (Because this part of the world still has strict rules about what can be shown on a poster – no kissing, not much skin shown – digital posters there are easier to modify and/or maintain.)

With physical posters starting to become a rare item, it’s good that there are places (comic book stores, record stores, etc.) where you can still find them – for now. In Katy, husband and wife team Harry and Betsy Proctor kept a stash of movie posters – 8,000 to be exact – in their shop, The Limited Edition Art & Antiques.

CINEMA CRAWL: The 1995 Japanese ramen western film Tampopo returns to Houston this weekend.

Limited Edition Art & Antiques

Where: 5757 Second St., Katy

When: 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday; Sunday 12pm-5pm

details: 281-391-1993; originalvintagemovieposters.com

Opened in 1993, the couple have been restoring and selling movie poster art since 2009, when Proctor retired from the oil and gas industry. They eventually added a back room that has posters, promotional materials, and even vinyl records for sale. “It started out as a hobby for ourselves, and then Harry researched poster restoration and we started doing that for our clients,” says Betsy.

The Proctors have sold their very authentic canvas backed posters in their shop and on their website originalvintagemovieposters.com. (And in case you’re wondering, yes — the best sellers are always anything “Star Wars” related.) They’ve also set up shop at various events, including the Round Top Antiques Fair and pre-pandemic Comicpalooza. Posters come in all shapes, sizes, genres and time periods, from Hollywood’s golden age to our current era of Marvel of DC blockbusters.

Star Wars memorabilia is a fan favorite at the Limited Edition Art & Antiques on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 in Katy, TX.

Photo: Michael Wyke/Contributor

Of course, these latter posters attract younger fans, which is what the Proctors want. “We both think it’s important to make an antique shop relevant and interesting for younger people,” says Harry. “Because without young people, the ancient business world would be dead. Because there aren’t enough old prospective buyers anymore. They are mainly interested in getting rid of [expletive].”

They attract people who buy posters for nostalgic reasons, but they also attract those who collect them because they are pure art. Says Harry, “They buy it because the artwork is outrageous and awesome and they either want it on their wall or the real hardcore collectors are going to put it in their drawer somewhere and tuck it away like a stamp collection.”

Local film critic Alan Cerny likes what the store has to offer. “The front of the store has a lot of charming antiques, but it’s the back where you step into Hollywood of yesteryear,” he says via email. “There are many posters, framed and on backing boards, and they are in very good condition. I love the smell of all these posters and the owners are very knowledgeable about films and take great pride in their collection.”

He bought a few items. “I was able to pick up some interesting pieces, including a folded lobby card from Twilight Zone: The Movie featuring the faces of Steven Spielberg, George Miller, Joe Dante, and John Landis that I don’t think I’ve seen before,” Cerny continues, “I bought another piece, the press kit and lobby card for ‘Becket’, one of my favorite films. My wife found the ‘Funny Girl’ press kit… There are some true classics in her collection, some hard to find rarities and lots of oddities. A must see for any movie buff in the Houston area.”

Elizabeth and Harry Proctor with some of the 8000 vintage movie posters at their shop, Limited Edition Art & Antiques, Tuesday October 11, 2022 in Katy, TX.

Photo: Michael Wyke/Contributor

But, as another area critic and collector, Adam Sanders, points out, while there’s still consumer fondness for her, the paper poster’s days may be numbered. “The Woman King,” and she had a blast,” says Sanders . “She saw it with her friends. It was an unforgettable experience. And she said that when she came out of the theater, she wanted to take a picture with her friends next to the poster. And they looked everywhere and couldn’t find the poster.”

Sanders believes that as long as there are both films and artists, there will be movie poster art. They may not come from the people who bring you the films in the first place.

“If studios could get past the algorithms and the focus groups,” he says, “they’ll see that there are still people responding [to them]. It will cost a bit more money. But in the long run it’s part of the process. That is what makes the film industry so charming.”

Craig Lindsey is a Houston-based writer.




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