The family of Ralph Costantino has donated a portion of his personal collection of movie memorabilia to Movie Poster Archives, formerly known as the Institute for Cinema Ephemera. Ralph’s death on December 5, 2016 came only weeks after the nonprofit was founded on October 30, 2016—in part to give collectors and dealers a nonprofit destination for tax deductible donations. Hollywood veteran Linda Thurman is the executive director.
A resident of Ohio, Ralph was a lifelong film lover and collector. The gift of a camera, tripod and screen when he was only 13 years old triggered his passion for film. A two-week trip to Hollywood in 1962 was a highlight of his life. Returning home, he worked for the state, cared for his mother, and collected the memorabilia that filled closets and crevices throughout the family residence. After his death, his sister Dolores Bryan and niece Kathy went through his collection and “tried to do the best with it that we could,” according to Dolores.
While some of his posters were accepted for auction, the family’s tax advisor recommended donating a portion of his collection to Movie Poster Archives. The generous gift includes original and commercial posters, press kits, and press books, along with trade and fan magazines.
The items are now in the Permanent Collection. According to Consulting Archivist and Chief Researcher Ed Poole, they are yielding valuable information. “We’re finding new data and filling in some blanks.”