Lights, camera, action!

How coloring my images gave new life to my movie memorabilia collection

With, movie memorabilia collector John Doukas
is not only keeping old movie memories alive, he's giving new life to old black and white
publicity photos by having them colorized.

The Wizard of Oz

When John Doukas married his wife Mary, some might say it was a match made in movie heaven. For several years, Mrs. Doukas worked for two major movie studios, where she connected Mr. Doukas to the publicity department. The publicity department was responsible for promoting the films and sending photos to magazines. Every few years, the publicity department would “clean house,” thereby allowing Mr. Doukas to grow and build his impressive and varied collection of movie memorabilia.

From Abbott & Costello to Frankenstein, from The Three Stooges to Jerry Lewis, Doukas’ vast collection spans nearly 100 years of movie making, and includes more than 250,000 publicity stills, movie posters and more.

Frank Sinatra

According to Mr. Doukas, color images are the most desirable and also the most valuable. In order to get the old black and white photos to look like the movie posters, Mr. Doukas decided to try colorizing some of his images.

Historically, the only way to colorize a black and white image was to have it painstakingly retouched by hand, costing hundreds of dollars and countless hours of specialized labor. While there are do-it-yourself colorizing software programs available, and Mr. Doukas has some Photoshop skills, it would still take him several hours a day to colorize even one digital image. That’s when Mr. Doukas decided to seek a professional solution.

To find that solution, Mr. Doukas looked to the Internet and found Since he had never used their service before, he sent one image to them and one image to another service he found in his online search. Almost immediately after uploading his scanned image to, he received an e-mail confirmation of his order. Within two days, he received simple, easy-to-follow instructions on how to download his new colorized image.

In addition to receiving his new image, he also received the guarantee: if he wasn’t 100% satisfied, the digital artists at would redo his order at no additional charge. Mr. Doukas was so impressed with the service that he continued to send them more images to colorize. In fact, he sent them about ten images before he heard back about the one image he sent to the other colorizing service!

Since then, Mr. Doukas has continued to send images for colorizing, but has also tried some of their other services, like creating pop art-style images from his photos. He’s been impressed by those results too, and especially likes his new “Lichtenstein.”

Fortunately for Mr. Doukas, he has friends who work for Fox and Warner Brothers in Los Angeles, so he can keep adding to his collection... and keep using the expert services of!