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10 Vintage Movie Magazines That Collectors Should Buy

A roundup of collectible magazines featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Burt Lancaster, and more screen legends.

Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner

Everett Collection

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Vintage magazines make a great collector’s item (or gift idea) for movie lovers, and anyone looking to capture that Old Hollywood aesthetic. But you don’t even have to leave the house to get your hands on these collectibles. If you’re not in the mood to visit a garage sale or thrift store, we put together a list of rare magazines that you can buy online.

From Photoplay to Movieland magazine, you might not be familiar with some of the publications listed but if you’re a fan of Hollywood’s Golden Era, then you’re likely to recognize some (if not all) of the screen legends captured on the covers, which include Vivien Leigh, John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Dorothy Dandridge, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shirley Temple. For more Old Hollywood goodies see our roundup of vintage posters and classic neo noir films to stream right now. Below, find our list of vintage magazines for just about every budget.

Modern Screen Magazine Featuring Vivien Leigh

Founded in 1930, it took Modern Screen magazine just three years to become popular enough to compete with Photoplay, another popular movie magazine at the time. The magazine remained successful for around 40 years before the likes of People magazine and other modern publication took over. This Vintage edition of Modern Screen magazine was originally released in February 1941 and features Vivien Leigh on the cover with a mention of Laurence Olivier, likely in promotion of “That Hamilton Woman” — one of the films that the real-life couple co-starred in together.

Movie Story Magazine 1946, John Wayne and Claudette Colbert

Featuring a portrait of John Wayne and Claudette Colbert from “Without Reservations,” this 1946 edition of Movie Story magazine is in good used condition though it may have wear consistent with age. Please review the images and send a message if you have any questions. The interior pages are in very good condition.

Screenland Magazine Burt Lancaster and Lizabeth Scott

Screenland magazine was a monthly magazine published from 1920-1971. The publication merged with Silver Screen magazine and was renamed Screenland Plus TV-Land in 1952. The edition pictured above was released in 1947 and includes images of Burt Lancester and Lizabeth Scott from “Desert Fury.”

Life Magazine 1954, Dorothy Dandridge

Life magazine was founded in 1934, and while the publication doesn’t center solely on film, several movie stars have graced the magazine’s covers. Among them, Dorothy Dandridge, who became the first Black woman to cover the publication in 1954. The issue above was shot for Dandridge’s starring role in “Carmen Jones.” Despite being nearly 70 years old, the magazine is in “amazingly good condition,” per the seller. If you’re a Dandridge fan, take a look at this issue of Color magazine from 1956.

Silver Screen Magazine 1939, Shirley Temple

Originally released in May 1939, this issue of Silver Screen magazine features a Marland Stone cover painting of Shirley Temple. Inside the magazine, you’ll find full-page ads for “Dark Victory,” “Wuthering Heights,” “Broadway Serenade,” “Midnight,” and “Alexander Graham Bell.” Included are full-page photos of Leigh (along with an interview), Ann Sheridan, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Jeanette MacDonald, Myrna Loy, Don Ameche, Bing Crosby, Jean Parker, Rosemary Lane, Deanna Durbin, Paul Muni, and more.

Photoplay Magazine, 1940 Bette Davis

Photoplay is a pioneer among vintage magazines. The publication, which is hailed as America’s first film fan magazine, was originally published in 1911 and focused mostly on film plots and characters before shifting to include stories about the private lives of celebrities. Bette Davis is featured on the cover of this Photoplay from 1940. According to the seller, the magazine came directly from Davis’ estate, and is in good condition. Vintage pieces tend to move quickly so if the above magazine sells out, try this 1933 Photoplay magazine with Davis on the cover.

Moviepix Magazine 1938, Fred MacMurray and Carole Lombard

Moviepix magazine had a short run but it was under the coveted Dell Publishing umbrella that published several magazines, books, and more. Here’s your chance to own the very first issue of Moviepix magazine, published in 1938. Featured on the cover are Fred MacMurray and Carole Lombard from the 1937 comedy, “True Confessions.”  Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Claude Rains, Don Ameche, Lily Pons, Martha Raye, and Dolores Costello are also included in the magazine.

Screen Guide Magazine: 1930s Oscars Film Cinema Collection

This collectible set comes with three issues of Screen Guide magazine. It’s hard to imagine Hollywood without the Oscars but back in 1930, moviegoers weren’t as familiar with award shows. The magazine trio above includes a photo spread on the second-annual Oscars ceremony and a story titled, “Who Is Oscar?”

Movieland Magazine 1951, Elizabeth Taylor

This edition of Movieland magazine has Taylor on the cover but the inside includes an interview with Marlon Brando’s mother. You might also like this 1947 issue of Movieland magazine featuring Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, and Joan Crawford.

The Motion Picture Story Magazine 1943, Ginger Rogers

Founded in 1911, The Motion Picture Story was a popular magazine for the time. Its circulation grew from an initial 50,000 to more than 200,000 by 1914. The edition above has been preserved in an archival plastic bag to ensure that it stays in great condition. If you want to turn the clock back even further, pick up this issue of Motion Picture Story featuring silent film star Faye Tincher.

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