I am wondering how many people have heard of or seen autographs that have been sold at the AFI store on the backlot of MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios). They all have a seal of authenticity on the front of the nicely framed autographed photo as well as a Certificate of Authenticity that is taped to the back of the frame entitled "Guarantee of Authenticity".
Each certificate is numbered, however I have yet to find a registry for these autographs. This store is not to be confused with Starabilias formally located at Downtown Disney (since closed). There also was a store that has also shut down called Sid Cahuenga's One of a Kind Shop. Most of the autograph items they had were moved to the AFI store as well.
They continue to sell autographs with this seal and certificate of authenticity and was curious what people know about it or if there is a registry. I happen to own a Christopher Reeve autograph that was purchased at this store in 1994. I have several Reeve autographs and it looks authentic and I have asked others and they concur as well.
Would love to know your thoughts and experiences on this topic. I'm sure many of you have gone through this store and looked at some of the items yourself. Lot's of Walt Disney checks and other autographs have sold there and are for sell there today as well as other entertainment celebrities.
Lastly, I take great comfort in the fact that the leading Disney authenticator, Phil Sears, guaranteed one of the Disney Autographs to be genuine. I have posted a picture of it as well. Nevertheless, please interject and bring your expertise to this discussion ladies and gentlemen.
When did they shut down Sid's?
Rich to my best knowledge and research it was in the Fall of 2013...maybe November. What is your knowledge of the store and its memorabilia?
I think I was last there in late 2011. I bought my first autograph there in 1995. I believe they actually were a good business, though pretty decidedly overpriced despite the nice framing. The last couple of times I visited them, now years later and with a better grasp on the hobby and authenticity in general, they still struck me as seeming legit and competent. Someone made mention on this forum that Michael Wehrman was a major supplier of in person autographs for them and other autograph stores on the WDW. There was a similar store on Pleasure Island in the mid-late 90's (NOT Starabilia's, which came about a few years later) that had similar inventory to Sid's.
Ok cool Rich. How legit is Michael Wehrman? Not familiar with him.
Also, I've since got word that Starabilia's had many fraudulent items and was exposed for a scam on most of their items. I was hoping that Sid's and the AFI store had no connection with them.
They had no connection at all. Nor did the original Pleasure Island store, which also carried that same gold seal (it seems like it was called Reel Finds or something like that). The Star Wars store at MGM also carried autographs (obviously Star Wars related).
I'm not sure how much of the inventory was from Wehrman, but he does have a superior reputation for authentic autographs. From what I understand, his name represents a safe bet.
I have that same seal on my item (David Letterman signed photo).
Rich, If you notice there is a certificate of authenticity on the back of your letterman photo that has a number. Do you know of a registry anywhere that represents the numbers that were placed on the back of these autographed framed photos?
The photo is actually in the closet at my parents' place, but I think I know what you're talking about. I'm sure there was some sort of registry, though I doubt there was ever any public access to it. Even when Sid's closed, it's not like the business really dissolved like any other autograph store - WDW ran this operation. So someone probably still has the info somewhere.
By the way, any idea what's in that store now?
Actually according to various sources it is being converted into a fell fledged MyMagic+Service Center. It's stated that previously the front porch of Sid's had been taken over by MyMagic+consoles. Kinda depressing
Sid's was fun to look around and had a unique character to it, even if the prices were too bloated.