Surprises seem to pop up whenever The Orson Welles Complex comes into a conversation. Sometimes it is memories. Sometimes it is when we find someone we never thought had a connection, was indeed a Wellesian, our name for those connected to our late and beloved place.
One surprise that is no longer a surprise concerns the posters. It is no longer a surprise when someone says to me, “Oh yeah, I saved a bunch.” They then start rattling off all the posters and paper they have saved for more than 40 years, sometimes schlepping them across country. Somehow they knew these were special.
Knowing this, George Saregent and I have started a project. We will be cataloging ever single poster we can get our hands on. George saved nearly every single poster created when he was manager of the Orson Welles Cinema from 1970-72. He has about 70. I have managed to get my hands on about 60. We know other folks who have posters, too. Of course there will be some duplicates, but we expect to end up with nearly 250 of the original posters.
Some of them are in bad shape and need to be restored. That’s where George and his wife Patricia are invaluable. They are paper restorers. We’ll be bringing them back to life. That’s why we are calling this The Poster Restoration Project, catchy title, no?
Once we have them cataloged and repaired, we’ll take some of the most iconic ones and put them in a book, which of course, we hope you’ll buy. If all goes well it should be ready as a Christmas present (hint, hint).
And if you have posters or other memorabilia, please let us know. Thanks.