my movie stuff

back a couple years some friends & favorite classic movie bloggers were showing off their collections, it’s funny how collectors love to see what other people have and how they organize, probably because we are all voyeurs and frustrated librarians, so here’s mine, for anyone interested. Laura of Misc Movie/musings fame (link goes to her post about her collection) has encouraged me to share, so here goes.

Whoops, sorry, no that’s not my collection, (i wish! bonus points if you know whose place this really is, though– it’s a famous director) mine is as follows…

Ihave over 5000 movies and they only take up one 10 foot wall. I don’t buy many DVDs, and mainly have recordings or trades. I managed over the last few yrs to transfer all my family’s old collection of VHS tapes to DVD-r.

The filing system is so simple and quick it almost isn’t worth talking about, but I will, otherwise, no post:

No database, no computer (no patience!), no list, no problem. it all goes alphabetically in simple white envelopes and when I have to record 2 or 3 movies on one disc, i file it by the first title, then make a 5×5 index card (cut a 5×8), jot whatever the 2nd & 3rd title are, a note re: which main dvd those are found on, and then file the cards alphabetically. Easy fast way to find what i have/need, pull it, and pop it back. So in this pic/example I would have a card filed in C for Captain Blood (good thing I majored in English! the alphabet sure comes in handy at times like these), saying “on Little Foxes”.

here’s the collection, just moved and reorganized Oct 2013.


It doesn’t look like much, which is my goal. I have everything in a combo of black wire mesh boxes and plastic mini crates, got from the dollar store, with cards for alphabet dividers. Lots of room for expansion and reorganizing. When I buy something, if it’s in cheap packaging, I just pop the disc in an envelope, sort them in my way and chuck the cases. TV series, serials, documentaries, and biography specials (lots of old A&E movie star bios) in dedicated boxes, music/concerts. The better DVDs are piled up and down the side shelves: universal monster sets, anything that came in pretty boxes, sets of cary grant, marlene dietrich, lombard, vintage disney in tins, and silent comedy and muppets, band of brothers, etc. Everything is organized to save as much space as possible. Those black Pleather decorative longboxes along the bottom is all the stuff I haven’t watched, filed alphabetically. A treasure trove to just randomly pull from, when it’s movie night. All the other shelves above has been watched. That last box on the floor, by the cord, with the stack of envelopes is a “new arrivals” unsorted stuff, just like a record store and yes I’m a geek. :) Another view to show the alphabet cards…


Now this was the main TV room up till 2012, with a glimpse of some of my movie books behind. The monolithic 11- old rear projection TV was in danger of teetering over from all the gear  :-) billy currington is pretty good at drinking beer, by the way.
But a moment of silence, please, for the old plywood jumbotron pictured above which I loved, but which died a mercifully quick death. Gentlemen, we can rebuild the movie room nerve center and today it looks like this:
so, so pretty. Finally, a proper stand holds all my gear and speakers– safer and nicer on the eyeballs. Old PC there on the floor for youtube etc. sorry for the blur, had to turn off the flash.
here’s a closer look at that shelf behind the tv. Top shelf is only books about actresses, otherwise random and no system.
now  the next few pix are yet another side of the same TV room, with top rows all movie star bios, intermingled with a family cookbook collection started yrs ago.

So movie books are shelved wherever they fit in A-Z order, also all across the bottom 2 rows,  behind the comfy sofa are all these:

closer look at that skinny little side shelf now, for paperbacks or other smallish books, mostly bios, A-Z :

and here’s the ugly stuff, down in the basement, on industrial quick click-together plastic shelving. …

There are decades of Classic Images and other newsprint type mags in the bankers boxes, filed by issue number. On the other shelf are blue plastic boxes full of various other old movie mags collected over the past few years from friends/neighbors,  finds from thrift shops, yard sales, etc. The binders are full of a-z clippings like obits and printouts, plus a lot of Hollywood studio mags. This stuff is all amazingly handy for research.

In recent years I decided to focus on my movie stuff and sold off tons of music rock/metal mags and collectibles, posters, keeping only my Peanuts (big collection) Seuss, Disney, Beatrix Potter, and Mickey Mouse & the odd other fun stuff which I started gathering as a little kid. You can see some of those books in the tall shelf next to the movie collection. Also one longbox of JLA and Superman comics that are probably worth only the sentimental value since I taught myself to draw by tracing over all the panels and left lots of nice deep pressure lines.

Not pictured:  a big music collection that was just moved to its own special place and is amaze  … more to come on that soon

Hope you enjoyed this tour of my classic movie hoard/ collection.

update: here’s the rest of Laura’s collection and this link takes you to the other bloggers’ stashes

Raquelle at Out of the Past shared hers, which led to Karen at Shadows & Satin (this space waiting for her collection to be posted so I can link it!) giving me this link to check out Artman’s awe-inspiring setup , all of which further inspired me to add more pix to this page

took some hunting, but I found the movie collection post I remembered seeing at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear! and that post leads to more nice collection posts that will impress you at Out of the Past, Noir Girl, All Talking

12 Responses to my movie stuff

  1. I loved looking at your stuff, Kristina — especially seeing all of the books we have in common, like a lot of those Citadel “The Films of” books (I loved Citadel — they were the first company I pitched my book to, but they went out of business. Boo). I also have Photoplay Treasury, 50 Classic Movies (one of my first old movie books – oh my gosh, so many years ago), A World of Movies, Close-Ups (!), The Noir Style, and Hollywood Character Actors. I will have to try to take a pic of mine one of these days. I am so impressed by your storage of the Classic Images mags — you are an inspiration! Mine are just in stacks in my office closet and on top of a cabinet. I also hope one day to follow your lead with copying VHS movies to DVD, but it seems like such an impossible task. My tapes are categorized from Volume I up to, so far, Volume 700 something — with either two or three movies per tape. So far, having started with Volume I, I’m up to the mid 20s. Sigh. Anyway, enough grousing — I loved the peek inside your collections!

    Like this

  2. kristina says:

    the citadel books are amazing I agree, the pre-IMDB resource.

    yes transferring to dvdr is a huge task, i learned doing just a few every weekend (with a baking timer! lol while off doing other things) gets you thru them way faster than u think, and then you won’t know what to do with all the free space! (more yard sales, ebay, thrift shop buys, of course) the sad bit though is you’ll find how badly some of those vhs have degraded.

    thanks Karen for peeking! you are always welcome to do so.. did you manage to spot the books i got from *you* though? haha thanks a million for those!

    Like this

  3. Laura says:

    These pics — and the books themselves — are fantastic, including the cookbooks!! We could almost be twins. :) I couldn’t begin to list all the books we share in common — Parish, Halliwell, Total Television, Pyramids, Citadels, Betty Grable bio, Sarris, Sennett…pretty amazing. The MGM STOCK COMPANY was my second film book — after THE MGM YEARS (coffee table book on musicals) and I think just prior to Gavin Lambert’s book on GWTW. I think you, Karen, and I would have an awfully good time if we were able to get together and look over one another’s collections in person!

    I need a better solution (like yours!) for Classic Images — mine are standing upright chronologically (every other issue flipped upside down so the “spines” aren’t all on one side) in open plastic boxes behind my den sofa. Easy to get to (indexed in Excel) but not so good-looking!

    Thanks for the peek!!

    Laura :)

    Like this

    • kristina says:

      Laura – peek away!
      I am way behind you on the pyramid series! The Classic images used to be just piled loosely along the bottom shelf till i needed the room, but they were just a dust trap like that, at least now they’re protected, all together with the other mags & out of the way.

      oh and since you speak of indexing… those with sharp eyes might have spotted a huge binder marked “Index”. Whatever time& energy I saved not indexing or recording my movie collection I put into that binder. Nuff said right now, it’s something I’ve already told you about, but I am going to leave for a future post ;) which is sure to make people think I’m a total nut.

      Thanks for dropping in & classing up the joint!

      Like this

  4. Paulie says:

    wow, what an awesome movie book collection! i see many titles that are familiar to me but many more that arent! i’m jealous of your TV too! i’m right now in the slow process of burning hundreds of VHS films onto DVD…yeah some of them look like crap but many are obscure titles that rarely, if ever, play so its got to be done! very impressive collection, nice to know i am not the only nut, err i mean “enthusiast” around heehee :) and thanks for plugging my post :)

    Like this

    • kristina says:

      hi Paulie, haha, movie buffs/enthusiasts/nuts unite! my collection and my TV and I all thank you for the visit and the compliments!
      Dunno if it’s my imagination but in a lot of cases copying to dvd-r actually improved the vhs pix, so there’s a bright side & hope for those rarities. and besides that incentive, there’s nothing like seeing that vhs shelf space clear up.

      You’re welcome for the plug, so glad i found out about your blog and took a peek at your nice library!

      Like this

  5. Paulie says:

    haha yes i have already dumped a couple hundred tapes…but good lorden there are still hundreds left eek!

    Like this

  6. John says:

    Wow… Kristina I thought I was the only nut job with a collection of films and movie books. I have over 5000 films/DVDS and over 2000 movie/music related books in my collection. I also have like 6000 photos/stills in my collection. I think I have all the films of books from Crown and Citadel Press. I think the only one missing is The Films OF Jennifer Jones which is pretty rare and sells for 150 dollars and up.

    I have been collecting for over 30 years but have really slowed down in recent years because of clutter. I see many familiar books on your shelves. I am huge fan of them oversize photo books especially the Mark Vieira ones. Black and White classic film photography and film portraits are just amazing to look at.

    You have a great collection and it was awesome just to view it. If you ever need a book or movie, just let me know. I have so many duplicates it’s just ridiculous.

    Like this

    • kristina says:

      Haha, there are many like us! Most of the fun of having a collection is sharing it, even just like this. Love those citadel books and am missing quite a few, the pre imdb resource and still great to look thru. Same for the glamour shots, some are pure artwork. Thanks for the comments!

      Like this

  7. bjbradford says:

    Hi Kristina, good to see your collection, another collector here with a similar number of movies and books from the same period and a fairly new blogger, at Please check it out when you get a chance, particularly a post on “5 Reasons Why 1946-1960 was the Best Period in Moviemaking History” from October of last year along with subsequent posts listing the best movies from those years that you may find interesting. Thanks and enjoying your posts!

    Like this


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s