Monday, November 30, 2009

Theatre Junk Part 3: Photo Cards

I love when you can find something inexpensive related to a favorite show. Sometimes you find stuff on sale in a shop, maybe on eBay, maybe at the Broadway Cares Flea Market. I've even started finding real bargains AT shows, like window cards that are $5 to $10 cheaper than at the shops or Triton Gallery. (Hence, I always pack a large poster bag from one of the shops in my backpack or whatever. The bags they give at the theatres barely cover the card.) But I digress...

One Shubert Alley: They are on the racks that are on the left side of the picture. This picture shows the left wall as you enter the shop.

One really cool and quality thing I've found and started collecting (like I need to collect just one more thing, right?) is photo cards for the shows I see. All of the shops - One Shubert Alley, The Broadway Store at the Marriott and the one I can never name next to the St. James - carry them, as do the hotel gift shops. Sometimes you really need to browse, as the Broadway ones are mingled in with the New York City ones (which are nice, too). And all of the stores carry different ones sometimes, so you have an excuse, I mean, you need to get to all of them!

I've found 3 different types of these cards. Two are actual photos glued to card stock and the the third is a full color print on the card stock. All three come sealed in heavy cellophane wrapping, and include envelopes for mailing. I, of course, never mail them, and love that they are protected for my collection. Right now, I'm keeping them in craft scrapbook binders (I'm almost ready for my third, LOL!)

The first is the color print right on the card stock, by MDesigns. The artist, Michael Dantuono, was a working actor and now does these great cards. These are particularly nice if you like looking at the entire structure/facade of the theatre. Generally, his cards show the entire theatre front. A nice bonus with his cards is the back, which gives details about the theatre itself - date opened, number of seats, address - and lists some of the most famous and recent shows that played there. Below is the card for the revival of Ragtime at the Neil Simon Theatre.

The second type focuses on the marquee of the theatre and how it juxtaposes with the street the theatre is on. Notice the next to normal card shows the entire marquee on 45th Street and the doors to the theatre as they are currently decorated. You get the logo and the theatre and the street all in one with these cards, by Gary Firstenberg. And it is an actual photo mounted to the card.

Finally, the third card, also an actual photo glued to the card is by probably the most famous of the three photographers, Battmann, who is well-known for his artistic photos of New York and New Yorkers. He does a lot of close up work along with portraits. You've probably seen his "Naked Cowboy" and NYFD beefcake calendars. As far as theatre pictures go, he generally focuses on the actual marquee above the theatre. As you can see from the example below, he numbers his works. I've included his collage of all the marquees he's done recently. This card gets updated somewhat regularly. You might not be able to tell from the picture below, but each log is really a separate picture cropped together to make the collage.

All three kinds of cards run between $3.50 and $4.00 at all of the shops I've found them in. For more information visit each artist's site: MDesigns:; Gary Firstenberg:, and Battmann:

Do you have any of these? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

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