House Rules


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Home theaters often showcase the latest in audio-visual innovation, but there’s nothing innovative about how many people decorate these rooms.

The same hackneyed movie posters of a sneering Marlon Brando perched on his motorcycle in The Wild One, a suggestive Marilyn Monroe, her white dress billowing over a subway grate in The Seven Year Itch, and a brooding James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause adorn countless walls. It’s time to close the curtain on the clichés.

Framed sheet-music covers of movie themes are a possibility, and the music can be bought for as little as $2 in antiques/collectibles shops.

Album covers of soundtracks, either vintage or contemporary, make a nice departure from the expected. So do lobby cards, those 11-by-14-inch promotions for films that appeared in movie-theater display cases. They’re available at film-memorabilia shows, as well as on eBay.

Old Life magazine covers of glamorous stars are bound to attract notice. Search out the April 11, 1955, issue featuring a stunning Grace Kelly, or the Dec. 6, 1948, cover depicting a strikingly handsome Montgomery Clift. Scavengers can find originals at shops for a few dollars. Originals costing more are at oldlifemagazines.com.

Then there are glossy photos and stills of film stars — from the silent era to the present day — available online. 

No slight against Marlon, Marilyn, and James, but it’s time for somebody else’s close-up.

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