It used to be said of Freddy Zentner, owner of The Cinema Bookshop, that he hates mankind and loves only movies. It makes his store all the more wonderful.
Although Freddy sells the best selection of books and magazines on cinema around, my favourite part of the store is the files and files of glossy movie star photos he keeps. Everything from your standard Fred and Ginger posed studio shots to stills of Martin Sheen (above) in Badlands. Freddy found me a beautiful poster of Dean Stockwell as a child actor and I recently purchased a great set of six original lobby cards advertising Terence Stamp in The Collector. Every time you visit it, the Cinema Bookshop will have something new and wonderful for film buffs, some of which will probably be worth a lot of money one day.
Currently selling very hotly (move quickly or they will be gone) are copies of a book called The Bare Facts, in which you can look up all the films that feature your favourite movie star in the buff. Equally riveting is The Final Curtain. This charming publication lists how, and where, every movie star you ever heard of died.
The Cinema Bookshop has the first copy in this country of the 1993 Screen World annual and American copies of Kenneth Branagh's biography, which is out of print here. It also has the new Anthony Hopkins biography.
The consistent best-seller is anything at all on Laurel and Hardy. Next to that, brat pack photos are always in demand, and the bookshop will soon be stocking a print of River Phoenix.
The Cinema Bookshop, Great Russell Street, London WC1 (071-637 0206)