After teaching for a little over a decade in Pennsylvania, Ron Borst, randomly stumbled upon his dream job - owning a Hollywood memorabilia shop. Hollywood Movie Posters can be found on the iconic crosstrees, Hollywood and Highland, near the TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Wax Museum, and fun street caricatures. The shop has remained in the same location after opening up in 1979. Borst will be the first to tell you that he'd had no business experience when opening up the shop with his business partner. He did, however, have Hollywood film knowledge. After learning the ropes, Borst was able to buy out his partner in 1981 and has been the sole proprietor ever since (with the help of his wife).
Since the shop is off the beaten path, the kind of people that are lucky enough to find this hidden gem are mostly foreigners. The shop is considered the oldest memorabilia shop in the world and has become a necessary stop for those visiting the City of Angels.
Ron says that his favorite piece can't be narrowed down to one, but a few items like the Universal Horror films of the 1930s, The Phantom of the Opera of 1925, King Kong, and "all that early great stuff. The posters are just spectacular." Beyond spectacular, the posters are ultra-rare, and although Ron says he spent more money on them than he should've at the time, he does not regret his decision.
Hollywood Movie Posters has no intention of expanding. Borst has his heart completely entangled in the original location because it's not about the money.
"No, I am a collector first. I got into this business because I collect this stuff. This business has always supported that insane hobby of collecting."
Walking in, you'll find a lot more than posters (there are about 600 on display, but thousands in the back!). Just one quick look around, and there is a plethora of magazines, books, and music to choose from. In fact, one of the most eye-catching books is a book created by Ron himself. Graven Images, created in 1992, is a collection of movie posters reproductions from classic cult "B-films." The book features an introduction from Stephen King, and additional commentary by Robert Bloch (writer of Psycho), Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, and Clive Barker.
"If you can find your way in life to somehow work for yourself and make what you love work for you, then I think that is the American Dream."
Because Borst is "semi-retired," the shop is only open Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 1:30 - 5 p.m.
In his time off, he's busy archiving his own collection, watching movies, reading books, and relaxing.
"The same thing most people do," he says.
This article is apart of a series titled, The LA Scoop, exploring the hidden gems and new additions to Los Angeles. Find more scoops below!