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Sale Sale Sale

November 15, 1987

For that perfect Christmas gift for that movie buff . . .

The amazing posters painted in the 1920s by $50-a-week Italian immigrant Batiste Madalena for the Eastman Theater, Rochester, N.Y., are up for sale in December at the Louis Newman Galleries in Bev Hills.

They're the stuff of legend. For five years, Madalena painted posters for the theater. Then in 1928, the story goes, he happened by the theater one rainy night--and saw his posters crumpled up in the trash. He rescued 225 of his estimated 1,400 paintings and stored them in his attic.

In the mid-1970s, they were bought by Californians Steve and Judy Katten (he's a documentary film maker, she's an attorney), who have toured an exhibition of the posters. Some have been sold; 154 remain.

Prices run from $5,500 to $9,900. Check your Christmas Club account.

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