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Ten Valuable 1933 King Kong Movie Collectibles

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Valuable 1933 King Kong movie collectibles include posters, lobby cards, movie heralds, jigsaw puzzles, Popular Science magazine articles, coming attractions glass slides, art stills and gas bomb props. Hail, the mighty Kong!

RKO Radio Pictures' King Kong debuted in New York City on March 7, 1933. Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, King Kong features Robert Armstrong (Carl Denham), Fay Wray (Ann Darrow), Bruce Cabot (John Driscoll), Frank Reicher (Captain Englehorn) and Charles Weston (Sam Hardy) in the principle roles. Made for a then-staggering $670,000, King Kong proved to be a big box-office hit, wowing moviegoers with its superb special effects.

Here are ten valuable King Kong movie collectibles that are sure to bring out the collecting beast in film buffs. "And now, ladies and gentlemen, before I tell you any more, I'm going to show you the greatest thing your eyes have ever beheld. He was a king and a god in the world he knew, but now he comes to civilization merely a captive – a show to gratify your curiosity. Ladies and gentlemen, look at Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World!" Robert Armstrong as showman Carl Denham tells a packed New York City theater audience as the mighty Kong is unveiled for the first time. 

King Kong 1933 Austrian Movie Poster 

Original 1933 King Kong movie material is rare, often commanding top dollar in the movie memorabilia marketplace. A huge 1933 Austrian movie poster (49x111-inches) in very fine condition and preserved on linen brought down the house at auction, selling for $38,837.50.

King Kong Austrian poster $38,837.50

King Kong Gas Bomb Prop

Gas bombs were used by Carl Denham and company to subdue the mighty King Kong on mysterious Skull Island. One of these gas grenade props – made of carved wood with a silver metal finish and applied metal pin – sold at auction for $7,256.

King Kong 1933 Lobby Card

King Kong lobby cards were displayed in movie theater lobbies in order to entice moviegoers. One 1933 lobby card featuring Kong and a cowering Fay Wray on a tree branch in fine+ condition brought $6,572.50 at auction.

King Kong lobby card $6,572.50

King Kong Door Hanger Poster

RKO distributed promotional door hanger posters to movie theaters. One example (4.25x6.75-inches) was used at the Paramount Theater in Garland, Texas, to promote King Kong. In near mint condition this item brought $1,434 at auction.

King Kong 1933 door hanger $1,434

King Kong Jumbo Window Card

Window cards were displayed at businesses in order to promote a film. A King Kong jumbo window card (22x28-inches) in fine+ condition realized a top bid of $1,434 at auction.

King Kong RKO Radio Pictures Jigsaw Puzzle

Kids of the era could have sent away for a 150-piece King Kong jigsaw puzzle premium. One complete example in very fine/near mint condition with its original mailing envelope sold at auction for $1,195.

King Kong 1933 jigsaw puzzle $1,195

King Kong 1933 Art Still

An original RKO 1933 8x10 King Kong art still picturing an angry Kong atop the Empire State Building in fine condition brought $597.50 at auction. The reverse side bears an RKO stamp and instructions to return the photo after use.

King Kong French Grande Movie Poster

King Kong was released in France on September 29, 1933. An original French Grande movie poster (47x63-inches) featuring art by Roland Coudon is the big international attraction among collectors. One full-bleed stone litho example in very fine condition on linen sold at auction for $14,340.

King Kong 1933 French Grande film poster $14,340

King Kong Glass Movie Slides

Glass slides were used in movie theaters in order to showcase coming attractions. A pair of Consolidated Film Industries, Inc. glass slides for King Kong and its 1933 sequel Son of Kong in very fine- condition brought $1,792.50 at auction.

King Kong April 1933 Popular Science

The April 1933 issue of Popular Science featured the cover story "Making Movies in a Volcano." Inside is a fascinating article by Andrew R. Boone on the technical aspects in making RKO's monster hit King Kong. One edition of this 15 cent magazine in fine/very fine condition fetched $50 at auction.

King Kong Popular Science article $50

Credits

  • All auction results and images courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas
  • Top image: King Kong 1933 diecut movie herald with conceptual artwork by Willis O'Brien $567.63

3 comments

Lady Samantha
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Posted on Mar 6, 2011
Jerry Walch
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Posted on Mar 5, 2011
Ron Siojo
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Posted on Mar 5, 2011

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William J. Felchner

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