Bill Steinkellner’s First Job in Hollywood (Boulevard Bookstore).

2 Aug

Note: Pictured here, Clint Eastwood after movie stardom but before the Mayoralty of Carmel, California.

Shortly after our Chicago improv, group Mother’s Kisses broke up I realized that show biz success was not imminent. So I got a job at Collector’s Bookstore on Hollywood Boulevard. In spite of its name the store sold mostly posters, lobby cards and movie stills.  I worked the cash register and filed all the junk… I mean collectibles that passed through our door.  This is how came into contact with the pillars of the film industry –the movie fan.

One of the fans loved stills of actors in some form of bondage.  He preferred it if the bound character was the star but he was no elitist.  He’d buy it even if it was some nobody all trussed up. Ropes, chains, or  spread eagled. Tortured by pirates, Comanches or Extra-terrestrials. Just as long as they were firmly secured. The guy never came out and asked for them by subject but after a few visits I got the drift.  As I went through my daily filing I just set aside the ones I knew he’d like just as if he collected pictures of  lighthouses or Jesus.  In his defense he also collected stills of Glen Ford whether he was tied up or or not.

Another guy sent a monthly request by mail for any pix of Mary Tyler Moore’s feet.  There’s more than you’d think.

And there was the fan who had her whole financial life in a batch of envelopes marked “food, rent, movie photos etc”. It really worried me when with a sigh she’d reach into the  food envelope to pay.  She bought a ton of pix of her favorite, Natalie Wood. One day Natalie Wood died.   The next time the fan came in she was silent.  Then she  asked for the Natalie Wood file.  The life of a fan goes on…



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