As It Happens

Vancouver homeowner uncovers silent movie-era posters under his floor during a reno

It's not unusual to encounter the odd surprise during a home renovation. Usually those surprises end up being very expensive and not a lot of fun. But that wasn't the case for Vancouver homeowner George Bryce. Mr. Bryce recently ripped up the floors in his 90-year home, and found a small fortune in the form of old silent film posters....

It's not unusual to encounter the odd surprise during a home renovation. Usually those surprises end up being very expensive and not a lot of fun. But that wasn't the case for Vancouver homeowner George Bryce. Mr. Bryce recently ripped up the floors in his 90-year home, and found a small fortune in the form of old silent film posters.

"Even the [posters] that have pieces missing have a value," Mr. Bryce tells As It Happens guest host Rick MacInnes-Rae. "We've sold the entire set of the 10 posters to a dealer in New York City.

"I'm not at liberty to disclose the final price, but the dealer estimates that when he has them reconditioned, that the retail value of those posters could be anywhere from $5,000-10,000 for the set."

But why would the original floor installer put movie posters under the floor?

"The west coast was the end of the line for these [silent] movies," Mr. Bryce says. "Basically, what would happen is after the poster or the movie had finished its life, it would be otherwise disposed of in, say, a landfill or even burnt, but the company that installed the original floor would take these old posters and use them because they were a cheap source of that interface [floor] material."

Here are some of the posters Mr. Bryce uncovered under the floors of his home (all photos courtesy of Mr. Bryce):

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