“I’ve always been interested in the arts and theater, and I’ve always thought of posters as art,” Valk said.
Valk’s interest in poster art began when he took a summer job with Jack Loeks Theaters in Muskegon while he was still in high school. Working at a drive-in theater, he would ask the managers if he could keep the discarded posters.
“We used to get all kinds of posters and some were pretty interesting art,” he said.
In the summer of 1972, he managed the drive-in.
By the time Valk had entered the University of Michigan as a student studying to become a dentist, he had accumulated numerous posters. It was at U-M when Valk and his roommates brainstormed the idea of marketing and selling the movie posters.
“I had all these posters saved,” he said.
They began to contact theaters, asking them if they were willing to sell posters that were no longer being used. They would often buy posters in bulk.
“Some theaters just had stacks of them,” Valk recalled. “They were happy to get rid of them.”
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