ephemera: Talk about how you became interested in collecting movie posters?
ephemera: You're my kind of guy, Alan. Did you begin consciously, knowing what you would collect, or did you just one day discover what you were doing?
Adler: I was obsessed with monsters as a child--with literally no formal religious training, I found religion--good vs. evil--in the movies. The images I kept were my icons... they taught wonders... and long before I even knew the word eye-candy, I was an eye-candy-aholic. I had no idea anyone else ever collected posters until one day, when I was 19, I passed a movie poster store in Washington, DC. I nearly fainted. In one flash of a moment, I realized I was not alone all those years in my collecting, but actually had a kinship... shared a religion, even with all those other disenfranchised youths with too much time on their hands and a love of dark theaters in their veins.THE MUSUEM OF MOM AND POP CULTURET on eBay (and the Web) to buy and sell a truly bizarre mix of posters and weird stuff. I love the net; you can find anything you didn't know existed!
ephemera: What challenges or obstacles do you encounter as a collector? How do you overcome these challenges?
Adler: I am thankful to the movie poster gods that I never really had any challenges. Even as a small child, my father supported my habit and took me to outlying theaters so I could ask theater managers for posters. I loved the stuff and magnetized in such a way, the stuff flowed to me, boxes full... buildings full... studios full. I have had a lifetime of good luck and have saved so much wonderful and important art from the trash that when I worked at Fox my wife used to call me an executive Dumpster diver! And when a particular kind of item gets well-known and the value gets high. I start collecting something else no one cares about. That's how I got into toys, which I consider the sculpture equivalent of movie posters as art.
ephemera: What are your favorite items in the collection?
Adler: Posters from the early Corman films are among my favorite. The colors and dynamics are masterpieces of exploitation... how good something that is not very good can be made to look. I now love Western imagery and am sorting through those materials on hand. I realized it was not the owning of the material, although at times it did define who I was, but it was the organization of things that I really loved. Give me a box of worthless trash and I stay up all night arranging it into art. I love that process... it includes study and it includes inspiration and both are key to presenting ones collection. Ever since I was a little kid, I was always a show and tell guy, so I like to present what I have found and win new converts to what my eye sees in this over-colored paper.
ephemera: What resources and advice do you have for movie poster collectors?
Adler: Don't trust guide books. Write your own. Pack safely and in archival boxes. Keep goodies in a dry, temp controlled space. I think display on the Web is the future. I love the private and obsessive sites of collectors who show their inner selves to all through the genius of their collecting. Tap your own genius and see how the stuff flows to you and out of you. The best collectors are conduits of info and imagery. The sharing of information is what it's all about.
ephemera: Thank you, Alan.