Amazing Old Bollywood Poster Shops

Somewhere on Mutton Street, in Bombay’s Chor Bazaar, sits a cave of musty sweetness. It’s filled with old movie posters, piled almost six feet high.

poster-stuff

“You know V. Shataram, yes?” says the pint-sized operator, Khalim, who looks to be about twelve years old. “He’s fantastic, amazing,” he says, flailing his arms. “You must see his movies.” He dives into the center of a thousand posters, and flips through four before he lands on a Shantaram poster. “You must buy this. It’s beautiful!”

Do-Ankhen-Barah-Haath-Bollywood-movie-poster

It was beyond beautiful. The film was Do Ankhen Barah Haath — Two Eyes, Twelve Hands — and it was the first Indian flick to be recognized by the Golden Globes.

Khalim saw I liked it, and dove into another pile. “You will like this one,” he said.

Kaun-Kaisey-Bollywood-movie-poster

He was right. The 1983 Bollywood thriller, Kaun? Kaisey? (कौन? कैसे?? aka Who? How??) looks like a Saul Bass poster for a Hitchcock movie, starring an Indian Peter Lorre. You agree, right? Right!?! Crumbling, but absolute beauty!

Taking up half of one wall was another gorgeous poster, for Kala Mandal’s 1969 drama Balak. A child waves down an oncoming train. “Stop, stop,” he’s surely crying. Apparently you won’t leave the film without crying, either.

Balak-Bollywood-movie-poster

It’s weighed down by cans of reindeer and bear pate… the heaviest cans I had.

“Do you have any posters for Bobby,” I asked. Bobby was a superhit, starring legendary Rishi Kapoor as a psycho wooing Dimple to death. (I think it was supposed to be romantic at the time.) Khalim jumps into the piles again, and within minutes finds one. It reeked of the poster for Love Story, but I needed a copy.

Bobby-Bollywood-movie-poster

“How much are these,” I asked. Most were 300 rupees, about $5, for originals. A handful were $15. They come from printers’ and studios’ warehouses, where they’ve been stacked up by the hundreds. Khalim and a few others shift them for dollars, while savvy dealers in the tony Bandra neighborhood sell the same prints for 50 or 100 times more.

“How about Amitabh Bachchan? Do you have any with him?”

Did he have any with him. I must have been a fool. There were piles to choose from. Like these two for 1971 weepie Sanjog. Do you like Big B as a bookish nerd in a Nehru jacket? Oh, I do.
Sanjog-yellow-Bollywood-movie-poster

Sanjog-green-Bollywood-movie-poster

A scanned reproduction of Don was $4, but an original (ahem, from the re-release) was only $15. Could I resist? Clearly not.

Don-Bollywood-movie-poster

Down the street from Poster Stuff is another shop, A-1 Corner. They carry the same posters, and more. Hand-painted posters, hand-colored prints, lobby cards, photos, and even Indian posters for American films.

a1-corner

And there was so much more to be discovered here, as well…

Maa-Beta (1962, Mother-Son)
Notice the lipstick and painted eyelashes…

Maa-Beta-Bollywood-movie-poster

Phoolon Ki Sej (1964, Bed of Flowers)

Unknown-Bollywood-movie-poster

Yeh Rastey Hain Ryar Ke (1963)
Starring Sanjay Dutt’s father, Sunil Dutt, as an airline pilot imprisoned for murdering the woman he loves.

Yeh-Rastey-Hain-Ryar-Ke-Bollywood-movie-poster

Could I stop buying these? To be honest, I couldn’t. I felt like I’d miss out if I didn’t look through them all. But there were thousands, and my walls are few. So I promised: only a few more.

Like Subhadra Haraan (1964), with songs by Asha Bhosle. (Who am I kidding — these probably all have songs by Asha Bhosle.)

Subhadra-Haraan-Bollywood-movie-poster

And the 1984 New Wave art film Party, which reminded me of those amazing Czech movie posters.

Party-Bollywood-movie-poster

And the Japan Art Press Delhi poster for Devta

Devta-Bollywood-movie-poster

There were more. Many more. I came out overloaded with rolls of crumbling and folded old posters for films I’d never seen. As I walked to the door, he called me back. “You want to see fun movies,” he asked — and then showed me these.

Daku-Rani-back-Bollywood-movie-poster

Daku-Rani-back2-Bollywood-movie-poster

And could I really say no to those? I mean, she’s riding two horses at the same time!?!!

Oh, I also got an Indian Chaplin poster. Cos Indian Chaplin rocks.

Circus-Bollywood-movie-poster

Poster Stuff, 113 Mutton Street, Mumbai
A-1 Corner, 99 Mutton Street, Mumbai

Great Posters, Sweet Movies and Wild Books /

64 Responses to Amazing Old Bollywood Poster Shops

  1. kuldeep kumar says:

    I,M LOOKING FOR A SHOLAY POSTER THE OLD ONE HAVE GOT ONE.

    • Andy Deemer says:

      They had 1980s reprints, but not original old ones. (Or not at the one shops I asked about.) One of them could probably help you, but that’s going to be expensive!

  2. Tim White says:

    Hi. Great stuff. I have a few old Bollywood posters myself, although purchased on Ebay (clearly not as fun as buying in person). I have a question re: the Don poster shown here. Is that the original, or the re-release (of the same movie). I have one that looks different than this. Photos instead of drawn/painted and the title Don is in Hindi, not English like the one you show. Thanks!

    • Andy Deemer says:

      I was just discussing it this weekend, and am pretty sure it’s an original copy of the re-release poster — maybe around 1985? Either way, it’s definitely not an original release. Some elements are really sharp, others are fuzzy (presumably those are from the original original.) The kid said he’d once sold an original, but the price was in crores. 😉

  3. Tim White says:

    This is the one I have, which due to the higher quality artwork…just assumed it was an original poster of the re-release. What are your thoughts on this?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251304253365

    Of course this in just speculation, but I don’t believe it to be the original first run poster.

    • Andy Deemer says:

      Seems to have been removed (sorry, was asleep by the time this came in.) But email me a photo at asiaobscura at gmail, and I’ll happily give you my absolutely amateur and ill-informed opinion! (Would love to see it anyhow!)

  4. Irene says:

    Very cool!
    My friends and I were just discussing how the poster for ‘Party’ reminds us of Klimt! see http://www.leopoldmuseum.org/en/leopoldcollection/masterpieces/41 and http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/gustav-klimt/hope-ii-1908

    • Andy Deemer says:

      Interesting connection! Have you actually seen the film? (I haven’t… all I know is the shopkeeper thought it was an art film.)

  5. Irene says:

    Nope. Someone else said it was an ‘awesome movie’ and that she loved it..
    So maybe you can hunt it down and let us know!

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  7. Suneel says:

    Great site and Wonderful comments with some wonderful people. Its great to see collectors of Hindi film booklets and film posters. Keep up the good work.
    Best Wishes,
    Suneel

    MY SUNEEL
    MUMBAI, INDIA
    EMAIL: sunrise607@rediffmail.com

  8. christopher isitt says:

    Hi

    I have some vintage Gujurati posters going on sale.

    Do you know anyone who might be interested ?

    Many thanks
    Chris Isitt

  9. cinema posters says:

    Large collection of bollywood and
    Hollywood movie posters for sale please contact.

  10. mehul shahani says:

    hello
    i m mehul i have various posters of 70s:80s:90:s movies
    if u wanna buy please contact me 8657314530

  11. a kumar says:

    i am interested in hindi cinema and hollywood old posters booklets 1930 to 1985 low priced. please give price list

  12. a kumar says:

    want old bollywood and hollywood posters, booklets, glass slides

  13. Jason says:

    I’ve just stumbled upon this page because I was curious to know if anyone would be interested in buying some hand painted film posters that I bought off the artist in Bangalore about 16 years ago. They are excellent examples of the genre in various sizes and some are truly massive, 5 meters long, that hung outside the cinema.
    If anyone has any thoughts who might be curious please contact me at jasonshulmanstudio@gmail.com I’m in London.

  14. Abhishek says:

    Awesome Collection, i am interested in buying some posters. Do you have latest hollywood, latest bollywood , classic hollywood, classic bollywood posters. Please revert me the details.

  15. tesh says:

    Hi there, just found this thread and wondered if someone can help me.

    I saw what looks like a vintage Indian movie poster in the background of a recent Channel 4 show and I want to get hold of a copy!

    You can see the image here but it is quite small:

    http://tinyurl.com/m8aek2a

    Does anyone know what it is and where I might be able to find it?

    Any help will be much appreciated!

    THANKS!!

  16. Kevin Fernandes says:

    Amazing …

    must visit the place on my next trip back home …

    cheers

  17. BJ says:

    Looking for Dev Anand’s (Navketan) movie posters. Preferably original.

  18. Kindly get in touch with us for anything related old bollywood memorabilias.

  19. please get in touch with us.

  20. Laurie says:

    I am looking to purchase the poster from the movie, “Mumbhai Connection”, filmes here in Atlanta. Any suggestions where I might be able to find it? I am not having an easy time of it. Thx!

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  24. cinema posters says:

    hi i have large collection of vintage and hew bollywood and hollywood movie posters half sheet to 6 sheet large posters,song booklets,lobby cards,show cards,press books,and many more movie memorabilia for sale please contact on my email cinemaposters@gmail.com

  25. Lokesh says:

    kay aap ke pass Darr (1993) – Baazigar – Deewana – Dilwale (1995) movie ke poster hai ? if yes , plz send there Photo n Prize ..

  26. Alex says:

    Hello!
    I would like to buy postcards with Mandakini. Send me your offers please.
    Alex

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  28. Mahmoud says:

    Hello
    If anyone interested in original posters contact me: mahmoud-sila@hotmail.com
    Best
    M

  29. Fernando says:

    Hi i I would like to know if you have those big posters hand-painted outdoor please .

    • Jamshed Chinoy says:

      Yes I do have a few 6 sheet ones I could spare from my collection. Hollywood & Bollywood both.

      Regards, jamshed.

  30. Indrabhan says:

    Hi,

    I would like to know is there any place in Kolkata where I can get old bengali movies posters….. such as Satyajit Ray movies, Tapan Sinha, Uttam Kumar movies…

    thx.

    Indrabhan

  31. Chandni Bose says:

    I want the film posters of Amithab bechan’s in 1970 to 2000

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