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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #400  (Vol. 8, No. 47) This edition is for the week of November 19--25, 2007.

Holiday Film Preview  by Nolan Canova and Chris Woods
"No Country For Old Men""  by Mike Smith
Show Review: Renningers Antique & Collector Extravaganza  by ED Tucker
Happy #400 & Thanksgrave-ing, VHS Grindhouse  by Andy Lalino
Happy Thanksgiving....The Big 400....Famous Monsters of Filmland Coming to an End  by Matt Drinnenberg
Age Is Only Relative .... Passing On .... Strike! Strike! Strike! .... How Come I've Known This Since I Was A Kid? .... Happy 400! .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 34: Robby Benson  by Mike Smith
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CF Presents Retrorama

Show Review:
Renningers Antique & Collector Extravaganza

I’ve lost track over the years of exactly how many of the Renningers Antique & Collector Extravaganzas I have attended but I am sure it is in excess of twenty. The fall show held in November is always the largest and their website’s claim of over 1400 vendors certainly sounds reasonable. To the uninitiated, I have described this massive swap meet as something like touring a museum where you can buy the exhibits!

The Twin Markets are located on Highway 441 in beautiful Mt. Dora, Florida. On any normal day, they consist of a farmer’s and flea market at the top of a hill and an antique market at the bottom. During the Extravaganza weekends though, this quiet little town becomes a three ring circus as dealers from all over the country converge in the open field area between the two markets and fill close to one square mile with antiques! With the local police directing the traffic backed up on 441, winding trails into fields converted to parking lots, and lines of hopeful collectors waiting for the gates to officially open so they can storm the field, you know this is a major collecting event!

The Fall Extravaganza this year was held the weekend of November 16-18. You are guaranteed a good time no matter which day or days you attend but experienced collectors know to be there on Friday when the doors open for the really premium buys. One unique facet of this event is that an additional two hours of shopping time is dedicated to the regular indoor dealers who are allowed to sell at 8AM on Friday while the outside dealers are not allowed to open for business until 10AM. Admission is $10 for Friday only, $6.00 Saturday, $4.00 Sunday, or $15 for a pass good for the entire weekend and parking is free.

I made it through the gates this year right on schedule at 10AM, accompanied by my wife Cindy and new recruits Jim and Lona John. Like many of my friends, Jim and Lona had heard me sing the praises of this show for many years and finally decided the time was right to check it out for themselves. They quickly decided my descriptions of the size and selection at the show were, if anything, understated!

Over the years I have purchased almost everything imaginable at this show including toys, movie posters, statues, guns, knives, fossils, books, films, and household furnishings. One thing I have noticed as online sales have crept into the collector’s marketplace is that smaller items that are easily shipped have diminished while larger items like furniture and those requiring greater scrutiny like jewelry continue to flourish. Reproduction items have also steadily increased as original merchandise becomes harder to find and less affordable to the casual collector. Prices for similar items can vary widely at this show but because it is so expansive you have to be ready to think fast and decide at first glance if something is a good buy to you or not. Chances are if you are lucky enough to find the dealer again later in the show, the piece you were looking at will be gone. Also, while it may just be more prevalent among antique dealers as a whole, this show is one of the worst examples I have ever seen of vendors not pricing their items.

The selection of merchandise this year was as varied and eclectic as ever. I perused vintage G.I. Joe footlockers filled with accessories, original movie posters, advertising memorabilia, art deco furniture, and even antique lawn ornaments. One dealer in vintage paper had an excellent selection of silver age comic books at very reasonable prices. Unfortunately this grouping bounced around the issues I needed for several titles and I just couldn’t find anything to purchase no matter how hard I tried! I also ran across one real memory jogger at this show, a Mighty Casey Ride’em Railroad! This large scale train from Remco was big enough that a child could ride on the locomotive as it went around a circular track. This was the first time I have seen one since I received one for Christmas as a child and it brought back a flood of great memories.

My group spent close to four hours out in the sun exploring table after table of all manner of cool items before we finally stopped short of the indoor market and decided we were too tired and hungry to continue. My traditional Mt. Dora lunch at the fabulous Dixie Crossroads seafood restaurant came to an unceremonious end when we discovered it was no longer in business and the building was up for sale! We had to settle for a far less impressive Applebee’s meal in a fit of starvation induced desperation but I did discover that Dixie Crossroads still has open locations in Orlando and Titusville.

The 2007 Extravaganza was a show filed with near misses for me from a purchasing standpoint but I still consider it $10 worth of admission and four hours of my time (not including driving) well spent. This is the rare type of event where the browsing is actually the main attraction and any good deals you might find are just a bonus!

"Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker.   All graphics this page, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.