Joe Maddalena’s “Hollywood Treasure” is back tonight on Syfy for season two and it sounds like pop culture fans have a lot to look forward to. Among the things Joe auctioned off last season were the Wicked Witch’s hat, the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” car, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and a bunch of cool “Planet of the Apes” stuff. This time his collections sound equally as impressive. In a recent conference call interview he talked about some of his best gets, prized possessions and upcoming items on the auction block.
On Finally Finding the Ruby Slippers
“My son asked me a question a couple years ago, he goes, ‘Is there anything that is your weak spot?’ And I said, ‘Well, I’ll probably never have a pair of ruby slippers.’ And I didn’t think in my career I’d ever be able to sell a pair. I just thought it would just never happen. I didn’t think another pair would ever change hands. I was lucky that within six months I sold Debbie Reynolds’ Arabians for $700,000, then the Samuels pair six months after that. And it’s surreal now looking back that two pairs have gone through my hands. It’s surreal because it’s hard to believe that these things came up for sale and that you can own them. It’s the most iconic prop in the world.”
On His New Holy Grail Now that He’s Found the Slippers
“The ultimate thing, here’s always another one. The ultimate thing would be Maria the Robot from “Metropolis.” Now there’s all these legends behind that — in Metropolis, Maria burns, but there’s got to be more than one. So that would be the next one. If you could surface that, it’d be pretty big.”
On the Most Valuable Item He’s Ever Consigned
“The dress from “The Seven Year Itch” that we sold for Debbie Reynolds, which was $5.5 million. Debbie’s collection definitely was the highlight of anything we’ve ever sold. Her material was the best that’s ever been put out in the market. And the prices — her first sale grossed $23 million, for 500 items, pretty substantial.”
On Bela Lugosi’s Cape
“I had always heard that he was buried with the cape and so when I met Bela Lugosi, Jr., he’s like, ‘Well, almost true.’ He was going to be buried with the cape and Bela Lugosi, Jr.’s mom, Bela Lugosi, Sr.’s wife, wouldn’t allow it. They buried him in a different cape, but she kept the ’31 cape. When you realize what that is, it’s just a big piece of black fabric, but when you realize what it is, it’s amazing that that survived. You’re talking about the greatest groundbreaking deal-changer of Universal horror. It’s amazing to see that it exists.”
On Selling ‘The Hunger Games’ Town
“I was perusing the Internet one day, and I saw this thing pop up and District 12 was for sale. And I was like, ‘What is that? District 12? What do you mean it’s for sale?’ So I was really intrigued by this. It’s an actual town, so I was really intrigued by this. So I made a few phone calls and I found out in North Carolina, they filmed ‘The Hunger Games’ throughout the whole state. There’s a town, 72-acre parcel, where Katniss’ house, Peeta’s bakery, it’s all there. They shot everything on this location, all the structures, all of District 12, is there, really there. All the rooms, it was unbelievable. So my idea was, ‘Wow, I want to be involved. I want a part of this. I want to figure out some way to work and sell this property.’ So we went out to North Carolina and we went through every location, worked out a deal to help sell this property, found some amazing pieces, went behind the scenes, went to every location. If you’re into ‘The Hunger Games,’ boy, it’s going to be a great ride. It’s really amazing what we found and where we went.”
Watch the “Hollywood Treasure” premiere tonight at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on Syfy.
For more of our interview with joe, including selling the “American Horror Story” house the “Superman” collection, visit Pop Culture Passionistas.
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