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Welcome to The Norwich Movie Shop

 

Peter Cossey has been running The Norwich Movie Shop for nearly three decades. An avid collector as well as dealer in all manner of movie memorabilia, Peter has the knowledge, experience and contacts to help you find that special piece of movie memorabilia.

Digger caught up with Peter to discuss his movie memorabilia business.

 

 

           


 

Digger: Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and that of The Norwich Movie Shop Peter?

Peter: I've had the shop 26 years - 27 this year, in fact. Before that I was dealing for about five years, travelling all over the country doing fairs. And before that I was just a collector - I've been a collector since the fifties. So I've been dealing in this stuff one way or another for a long while.

Digger: Did you used to go to the Westminster fairs?

Peter: I did. I started there from the early eighties 'til the mid-nineties.

Digger: I was probably one of your customers and didn't realise it!

Peter: I went to the big ones in March and September.

Digger: Yes, hundreds of stalls. Ed Mason ran one and I can't remember the other guy...

Peter: Don Walker. A great friend of mine Don.

Digger: I was collecting a lot on British films from the sixties. I was collecting on The Net from the mid-nineties.

Peter: It used to be massive on The Net. In 1998, when I first started on eBay, it was easy to sell any magazines and ephemera from the forties and fifties. Not any more - there's too many of them about. It's been swamped, I'm afraid. Mind you, if you get the right stuff you can still do well. I've had a really good time on eBay this year and made a lot of money. But that's only because I had some really special things to sell. You can't do it all the time.

Digger: That's right. I've got a friend who has sold a lot of his collection of original Avengers and Thunderbirds Super 8 movies and he's selling them for hundreds, but once they're gone they're gone.

Peter: I've been selling Super 8 items this year. Film goes tremendously well on eBay and the Americans and Europeans buy it. Then, after that, I sold a lot of old projector lenses and camera lenses and they went fantastically well. Of course, they're all gone now and you can't replace these things anymore because they just aren't around.

Digger: I was talking to one of the vinyl guys who is selling a lot to eastern Europe and he says he feels a little bit guilty about sending all of this stuff east. But in the old days it would be Japan or America, so really it's just moving around the world.

Peter: The lenses go well in China and Hong Kong.

Digger: Please tell us more about what is on offer Peter.

Peter: Everything you can think of really. I do all movie memorabilia, but only vintage. I don't like modern stuff.

Digger: So what's your cut-off Peter?

Peter: 1970.

Digger: Oh well! That REALLY is a cut-off.

Peter: Before 1970, I'm happy to touch anything, but after that I'm very fussy. I have all the modern DVDs, of course, but what I specialise in is vintage DVDs and world cinema. I've also got a big collection of videos which can sell for a lot of money.

Digger: Are you transferring them to newer formats?

Peter: No, just selling them as straight VHS tapes. A lot of the stuff on VHS you can't get on DVD and they can go really well.  A lot of people still like videos and to play them. One chap bought a Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which you can buy anywhere on DVD, but this was on video and he said he believes it belongs on a video. Because it was shot on cheap cine film and he says he likes the grain and the faded colours and so on of the old video tape.

Digger: That's good, turning those into a positive.

Peter: People still like video and it's becoming a collector's market - small but keen.

Digger: Just a couple of years ago you'd be going into charity shops and there'd be loads and loads of videos where people had moved over to DVD. Now you see loads and loads of old DVDs where they've gone over to streaming on-demand!

Peter: Charity shops won't take videos anymore. Literally, they can't give away video tapes.

Digger: But they said vinyl was going to die and that came back stronger than ever.

Peter: Vinyl is massive. I sell lots of vinyl in the shop. Good prices too - 20, 30 or 40 for seventies LPs, no problem.

Digger: Are you buying collections as well?

Peter: I buy all my stuff through the door. I get offered all sorts of things.

Digger: Is The Internet changing the way you're doing things?

Peter: No, I'm doing things in the shop exactly the way I used to but I'm using The Internet as well. Most shops like mine are struggling or have disappeared.

Digger: I used to frequent, on a regular basis, The Movie Shop in Great Russell Street in London.

Peter: I knew you were going to say that. He went a couple of years ago. When people talk about movie collecting in London they always talk about that shop.

 

 

 

Digger: We also lost Rare Discs/Dean Street Records. It was run by twins and the first time I went there I was greeted by one of them upstairs and then went down to the basement and was greeted by another. I wondered how he had got down there faster than me! (Both laugh)

Peter: That was a great record shop.

Digger: It's just the rummaging thing that I enjoyed.

Peter: People still do. Records are really, really big. In fact, the funny thing is, unlike the other stuff, a lot of the younger people are going for the vinyl. I had a young girl in her late teens, early twenties in here...

Digger: So you're attracting the young girls are you Peter? (Both laugh)

Peter: I seem to. The vinyl attracts them. It is strange but good, because it means there's a new market and that doesn't apply to a lot of the other stuff. A lot of the vintage comics and magazines belong to an older era and I'm afraid there's nobody coming up to buy them now.

Digger: I suppose there's a few people like me who remember them the first time around and want to have it again out of nostalgia?

Peter: Ooh lots. They still sell but they don't sell like they used to.

Digger: What sort of feedback and comments have you been getting from clients? It's international I suppose?

Peter: Yes all over. Last night I had a guy from Australia who found my website and he bought a couple of posters off me. He bought a couple of Australian posters.

Digger: Yes, 'day bills' I think they call them?

Peter: That's right. There was one on my website which he didn't have that he bought. He also bought another one I had - a double bill of Somebody Up There Likes Me and The Shiralee both from 1958. The Shiralee is an Australian movie and he obviously collects Australian stuff. So, you never can tell. I sell lenses to China, Rumania, all over eastern Europe - all over the place.

Digger: So the web is becoming more important to you?

Peter: Yes. I built a new website last year - just called Norwich Film Posters which is just all photographs of the posters available

Digger: What do you collect Peter?

Peter: I always did like the silent movies. The early years of cinema have always been a great passion of mine. I've got a big collection of my own but I like the really early days of cinema. D.W. Griffith and so on.

Digger: Do you hate CGI like me?

Peter: Everybody hates CGI, except the kids, of course, who don't know any different.

Digger: I will say to people I'm not going to see a movie because it is CGI and they don't know what I mean. Even when watching War Horse, I thought "Here it comes."

Peter: I can't handle CGI and most real film buffs simply don't like it.

Digger: Good, it's not just me being awkward again.

Peter: It hasn't got a good reputation at all.

Digger: It doesn't look right.

Peter: No.

Digger: How is business at the moment Peter?

Peter: The only trouble with having a shop like mine these days is that there is money about but things are a little bit tighter than they were. And if you've got heavy overheads you can struggle but luckily I keep my overheads well under control. I've got three floors here. I used to rent out two floors but I decided to get rid of all the tenants. Now I've got all three floors to myself now and I've never done so well. It's slower than it should be and tight sometimes but it's okay.

Digger: And you're running a successful business in one of the most difficult times.

Peter: I'm doing alright with the shop and I'm now going to expand the website side of things a lot more this year.

Digger: What are the best things and what do you most enjoy about running The Norwich Movie Shop?

Peter: You could say the customers and meeting people because it can be very enjoyable. You get such a variety of people in - some very interesting people. On a good day, for example, I had Carroll Baker's mother-in-law came in once. And a relative of the horror movie director James Whale. People with all sorts of odd connections come in and of course I get a lot of the actors who come to the Theatre Royal in Norwich.

Digger: Sometimes they're trying to build-up a collection of stuff related to their earlier career?

Peter: I once put a lovely Lana Wood Photoplay magazine in the shop window with her on the cover and she didn't buy it because she was outbid. But she said "Before you sell it would you please send me a photocopy?" So I sent her three photocopies and she signed some for me and sent them back. They do collect their own stuff.

Digger: I was bidding on behalf of an actress one time - she appeared on some records in the late fifties when she was a child star and she wanted some copies for her old mum and didn't want to bid herself. So I ended-up bidding against Americans in the middle of the night! I had to do a last minute bid as there was a lot of interest in them. She won it though.

Peter: On eBay, what I do is think of the most you'll pay, put that bid on and then go to bed. I would have said to her just put on a silly bid, something huge. Of course you're never going to have to pay it.

 

 

 

Digger: Hopefully!  You're talking about expanding on the web. What other plans have you got?

Peter: I'm going to do a lot more on Amazon, I want to get the website working better and I'll be doing more on eBay. I've been doing sales on eBay for fourteen years.

Digger: You were a pioneer weren't you? You must have been one of the first, bidding against yourself like me! (Both laugh) I was on eBay then too.

Peter: I started on eBay very early and did ever so well. Everything I put on, I could sell.

Digger: They must love you?

Peter: There's not a lot of sentiment on eBay - you have to keep performing. The thing on eBay is you let things find their own level - I sold something recently which I would have asked 5 for in the shop and it made 566. We were looking at the bids and thinking "Why is he paying 566 for this?" I can't understand it - some guy in China wanted it and somebody was bidding against him almost as much as him. eBay is good for things like that and Amazon is good for putting as much as you like on there and it stays there forever, costs you nothing and then every so often you get a 'sold' email.

Digger: A lot of people use eBay as a straightforward shop front and not as an auction as it was originally intended.

Peter: I don't like to use it as a shop, I prefer to use it as an auction. I use Amazon as a shop because more people's first choice, if they want to buy something, is to see if they can get it cheap on eBay. But if they want to buy something they go on Amazon.

Digger: There are only a handful of websites that people will instinctively frequent now aren't there? - Google, eBay, BBC, Amazon, iTunes, iPlayer - they have it sewn up.

Peter: That's true - there's a handful of key websites and everything else you can totally forget about.

Digger: We have more choice which gives us less choice.

Peter: That's right. I've made money this year on Amazon, on our website and on eBay, so that's handy. If I can just keep on increasing that.

Digger: And you have the physical shop as well. Do people still see it as a place to come to from far and wide?

Peter: Yes, they come from all over the country because Norwich is quite a big shopping and tourist area and people find me and come back year after year.

Digger: I've got a good excuse to come over Peter.

Peter: Any time David. Everyone loves the shop. They all walk round and say "It's wonderful and there's nothing like this where we come from" and comments like that.

Digger: We seem to know a lot  of the same people.

Peter: The collector's fraternity is a fairly small one but there's a wide public outside of that who buy off us.

Digger: Well, thanks Peter for letting us know about the history of The Movie Shop and what you are doing.

Peter: Thanks David.

 

 


 

 

 

The Norwich Movie Shop - Autographs . Books . Cult TV . Collectables . Comics . Star Wars . James Bond . Pop Memorabilia . Dr Who . Toys . Games . Posters . Magazines . Cinema & Film . Movie Memorabilia

I'm not the biggest, but some say I'm the best. I've been buying movie memorabilia since the 50's; collecting it since the 60's; dealing in it since the 70's; and have had the shop in Norwich since 1985.

The Movie Shop
11 St. Gregory's Alley
Norwich Norfolk NR2 1ER
United Kingdom

 

 

Contact Us:
 

Email: Peter.cossey@ntlworld.com

Telephone: 01603 615239

www: The Norwich Movie Shop


 

 

 

 

 

 


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