Nightly News   |  April 07, 2013

Buyers line up for vintage Hollywood auction

More than 3 million photographs and negatives from Hollywood’s Golden Age are being auctioned off in New York this weekend. It is one of the most impressive collections of its kind, and it was nearly lost to the trash, NBC’s Lester Holt reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> their careers were made in motion pictures , but it is some long forgotten still frames of stars from the golden age of movies that are attracting a lot of attention this weekend at an auction here in new york. especially because they were nearly lost to the trash heap. it's the ultimate hollywood photo-op.

>> this is probably the largest, most comprehensive collection of hollywood negatives and photographs in the world.

>> reporter: the collection of more than 3 million negatives and photographs comes from movie star news, a landmark shop in new york founded by amateur photographer irvin claw back in the 1930s .

>> the studios were discarding these negatives over all of these years. somebody gave him the negatives and people came to his store and bought photographs.

>> reporter: icons from virtually every genre captured in the moment and on the sets of some of the most famous motion pictures of all time. "frankenstein." " king kong ," "the wizard of oz ."

>> when the studio was promoting a movie they'd shoot onset behind the scenes .

>> reporter: one of the owners who bought the collection last year said this is the first of several auctions to come.

>> first time in 75 years they've been offered to the public.

>> reporter: also on the block -- personal items from the shop. irving claw's photo shoots of the legendary 1950s pin-up queen betty page . page's stiletto shoes, the first in history, sold for $9,000. the highest selling items so far. other big sellers included this single partially nude mayor ln monroe negative which sold for nearly $2,000. vintage hollywood on display.

>> i think it's's mir qana.

>> reporter: proving to be a dream come true for collectors and movie buffs alike. this first in a series of auctions of the movie star news collection conclude dad. we're told ""the wizard of oz "" items were among the big sellers including a single negative and six prints made from it that went for $1,300.