Earlier this month, I announced that the great Movie Star News would be vanishing, thanks in part to a landlord who hiked the rent.
At the time, owner Ira Kramer told me, "If all goes as planned, I will re-locate to a warehouse in New Jersey." He hoped to sell his photos and posters from his website. But things must not have gone as planned--or else a better deal came along.
Bettie Page's boot. photo: Richard Drew, AP
This week the AP reports that Movie Star News "sold its entire inventory to a Las Vegas collectibles company." Possibly worth $150 million and sold for seven figures, the collection "is headed for the auction block. It will be sold in a series of sales slated to begin next year."
Goodbye Bettie Page.
photo: Richard Drew, AP
Movie Star News was started on East 14th Street in 1939 by Irving Klaw--the pin-up king who made Bettie Page famous. (Read the whole history here.) It moved to West 18th in the 1980s, and right up to today the shop still sold risque photos printed from Klaw's original negatives.
As Irving's sister, and Ira's mother, Paula Klaw says in the following video, Bettie Page paid the rent that kept Movie Star News in New York City for decades. But today's rent in Chelsea is too damn high for poor Bettie to swing.