Movie Poster Restoration

If you want your posters to look as “perfect” as possible by having the fold lines and imperfections fixed, you may want to consider Linen Backing.

A Linen Backed poster is a poster that is archivally mounted to acid free paper and canvas where it can be restored if needed. Fold lines and other defects become less noticeable, sometimes even invisible. It can be rolled for shipping and is ready for framing. Linen backing can dramatically improve the overall appearance of a poster and it can substantially increase its value. It is the preferred archival method for conserving and/or restoring a poster. Almost any flaw can be fixed so you would never know it was there.

The vast majority (greater than 95%) of original vintage movie posters issued before the mid 1980’s were issued folded. Most of these posters were used and may have slight wear like pin holes, small tears, etc.

Any extensive restoration may cost extra.

The process usually takes 2-4 weeks. Prices range from $155.00 to $1295.00 or more depending on the size.

Linen Backing is usually reserved for PAPER posters, not cardstock posters like inserts and half sheets. To preserve or PAPER BACK a cardstock poster, please contact us.

Defects that can be removed/disguised/fixed include: folds, tears, pin holes, tape stains, water stains, writing, foxing, missing paper, mold, snipes (stickers), wrinkles, browning, and ink stamps. Please be aware that after Linen Backing and restoration most defects will be completely disguised/invisible, however some defects may still be slightly visible under extremely close inspection.

Linen Backing and Restoration: How Does It Affect Value?

We only recommend Linen Backing for posters that need it.

Linen Backing is NOT recommended for newer posters, double sided posters, or for older rolled posters that are still in Near Mint Condition and need no restoration.

For older folded posters: If you don’t like fold lines and/or it is not in what you consider “displayable condition”, and you purchased it mainly to display and enjoy, then we recommend you go ahead and have it Linen Backed and preserved. If you are a die hard movie poster investor/collector, you may want to think twice about having an EX C8 or better condition poster backed. There is a belief among some investor/collectors that Excellent or better unrestored posters will command a premium over restored/linen backed posters.

If a rare poster has some unsightly flaws, linen backing and restoring it will most likely increase it’s value.

If a rare poster is in Excellent condition or better with no real major unsightly flaws, linen backing will either have almost no effect on its value or slightly decrease its value. This really depends on how rare the poster is.

There are two types of buyers of vintage movie posters: collectors and non collectors. A non collector buys just one or a few posters for a home theater, a gift, or for decoration. At least 50% of our sales are to non collectors. We have found that non collectors generally prefer linen backed posters. Most true “Collectors” of vintage movie posters would prefer an unrestored non linen backed poster over a restored linen backed one. Most of these collectors still collect linen backed posters however because many titles are so rare and few have survived in great condition.

The bottom line: Linen Backed posters sell better than non Linen Backed posters because they appeal to both collectors and non collectors. In most cases, you can’t go wrong if you have your poster Linen Backed.

If a poster is ROLLED in Exc/NM condition, it probably will not need any additional restoration other than straight linen backing.

If a poster is FOLDED in Exc/NM condition, it may need slight additional restoration (most likely, touching up the fold lines).

If a poster is in Excellent condition, it may need additional restoration. Please call us for details.

Can Linen Backing be reversed? No, not really. Some linen backers will tell you it is a reversible process, but it really isn’t. If for any reason a poster needs to be removed from linen (i.e. the initial linen backing was poorly done) the poster will almost always have to be mounted again.

PLEASE ALLOW 2-5 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY OF LINEN BACKED AND PAPER BACKED POSTERS.

AAA VINTAGE POSTERS have our posters linen backed (and restored if needed) by paper conservation professionals. The people we use are world renowned and considered to be the best in the business. If any restoration is done it is usually very minor and involves touching up the fold lines to make them less noticeable. This can actually increase the value.

We can have any of our unmounted posters linen backed for you. The process usually takes 2-4 weeks. Prices range from $165.00 for a one sheet, to $695.00 for a six sheet. Any restoration may cost extra. Please contact AAA VINTAGE POSTERS for further details.

WHAT IS PAPER BACKING?
A poster conservation method. When a poster has been “paperbacked” it has been professionally mounted onto a piece of high quality Japanese rice paper, and then onto a piece of acid-free backing board. During this process, almost all of the posters defects have been corrected (or greatly minimized), and if the backing was done by a talented professional, the poster looks great. THIS IS A PROCESS SIMILAR TO “LINEN BACKING”, but it is usually reserved for CARD STOCK posters (inserts, half-sheets, lobby cards, and window cards) where the poster remains in a form similar to how it was when it was unbacked (this is personal choice and not a matter of right or wrong).

WHAT IS STARCH BACKING?
A poster conservation method. When a poster has been starch backed it has been flattened, cleaned and de-acidified. Minor touch up is optional as the fold lines will usually still be noticeable. It is NOT mounted to anything once completed. Recommended only for posters that are in NM condition before the process and those of a strong stock paper with fold lines that are NOT weak.

WHAT IS GEL SIZING?
When a poster has gone through the Gel Sizing process, it has been flattened, cleaned and de-acidified. The paper is impregnated with a purified form of sea gelatin which greatly strengthens the paper and physically eliminates fold lines. It is NOT mounted to anything once completed, and the finished poster will remain dimensionally stable even after exposure to changes in atmospheric conditions.