A lengthy photobooth session led to a major altercation at a Massachusetts Chuck E. Cheese’s this past Sunday, the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise reports. Three girls, all cousins, aged 21, 18, and 14, were arrested and charged with “assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot).”
Apparently, the girls sat in the photobooth taking photos for at least half an hour while a family waited outside to use the booth. When the girls finally relented and let Eduarda Silveira, her husband, and their six-month daughter in to use the booth, the girls continued to insult and abuse the family. The abuse escalated into a fight in which “one teen allegedly began pulling Silveira’s hair, punching her, and eventually knocked her to the ground and kicked her.”
We love photobooths, but come on, people, they’re not worth fighting over. Especially when the fighting involves punching, hair-pulling, and assault with a shod foot.
This is not the first time a photobooth has been in the middle of an incident involving assault and Massachusetts law enforcement officers, though. A few years ago (and if anybody knows when, I’d appreciate the info), photobooth artist Paul Yates was assaulted and detained by rent-a-cop security personnel at the BostonBowl photobooth as he was taking photos, some of which happened to involve no clothing. The Boston Phoenix’s story on the incident is worth a read.
UPDATE, Thursday, April 28, 2005: According to a report in today’s Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, the photobooth was a digital “Photo Sketch” model.
Domino, billed as “the shopping magazine for your home,” is the latest offering from the Condé Nast empire. The debut issue features a story about three mother-daughter duos and their decorating similarities. Each duo is pictured in a black and white photostrip.
Check out the online preview here.
In the May 2005 issue of Reader’s Digest, the editors select “America’s 100 Best” falling in six categories: Legacies, Passions, Adventure, Innovations, Time Off, and Connections. In the Time Off section, old-fashioned photobooths are named the Best Snapshots. We most wholeheartedly agree.
For an interactive web-version of the article, click here, then click on the state of Texas.
French eBay is a treasure trove of photobooth paraphernalia, we’ve recently discovered. After nabbing a photobooth pin and Photomaton promotional brochure a few weeks ago, I came across this interesting item today: an adjustable photobooth seat, or “Tabouret de photomaton,” as they say in Paris.
The stool gives the choices of “Plus bas” and “Plus haut,” with instructions to “Réglez le siege” also printed on the seat. The seller describes the item as “super déco”; I would have to agree. I don’t know if it’s worth 100 euro, where the bidding starts, but it would certainly make a great conversation piece, or a nice replacement seat for an ailing booth.
Two oft-cited but hard to find photobooth art books are currently listed on eBay. The first is photo-booth, a zine-like photobooth pic book by Billy Childish (prolific rocker, poet, artist, author). It purports to be the artist’s personal copy, but my guess is that it probably isn’t Billy’s personal copy, rather one of a small number of Artist’s Proofs that were printed. Rare, nonetheless.
The second book, Andy Warhol Photobooth Pictures, is the exhibition catalog from the 1989 Andy Warhol photobooth exhibit at the Robert Miller Gallery in New York. I have never seen this book in person, but occasionally see it listed in online bookstores. It never lists for less than $250. Perhaps this is a chance to get it for cheap.
It’s been a few weeks since a photobooth has been listed for sale on eBay, but today brings us a color booth sold by American Amusement Co. of Rossville, Georgia. The five day auction begins with an opening bid of one dollar and features no reserve price, so watchful enthusiasts out there could walk away with this one at a bargain price.
The seller doesn’t make any detailed descriptions of the condition of the machine, stating only that the machine “should work fine, just needs supplies.”
I know there must be a taxonomy of photobooth machines out there, but I’m not familiar with it at this point. I’d love to be able to describe this machine, and any others we come across, with some sort of name, series, number, year, or other category that would help us keep track of the fascinating differences among the machines.
I came across a couple of nice photos of foto/photoautomaten on Antenna’s Fotolog recently. One of them even features “ein Wartebänkchen,” or “little waiting bench” — gotta love German compound nouns. From my rudimentary research, I place them in Berlin, though I’m not certain. Their unique designs are really terrific — I’d love to visit them sometime.
As a way of catching up with blog-worthy material from the recent past, I’ll be posting some notes about articles and mentions that are worth noting but aren’t the newest of the new. The most useful and well-written article from a major paper in the past year is Rob Elder’s May 25, 2004 piece from the Chicago Tribune, “The strange allure of photo booths,” still available online. Elder provides an in-depth look at the history of photobooths, looks into the relationship between traditional booths and digital machines, and goes on a pub crawl with Photo-Me’s Gary Gulley. Also included are words from Nakki Goranin and the felicitously named James Photopoulos of Photo’s Hot Dogs, longtime home to a photobooth in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.
A true photobooth devotee, Elder combines his personal experiences and thoughts about photobooths with historical background and interviews. He captures the attraction many people have with booths in one of his opening paragraphs: “For me, finding a photo booth is like discovering a chocolate egg long after Easter has ended. They’re often stashed away in the forgotten corners of America, in the dusty backroom of bars or lost in aging arcades.”
In addition to the excellent article, Elder includes three photo galleries and a lengthy list of Chicago-area photobooths, which I put to use in my October, 2004 visit to the city.
Synthesizing articles from the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times into a brief catch-up, Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Gary Robertson discusses photobooths in his American Trends column today. Nothing new to report, but when we start seeing news reports about news reports, something must be newsworthy.
Tonight, Ken and Deirdre, characters on the long-running UK soap Coronation Street will marry, and a photobooth has a role to play in the episode. Their wedding was set to coincide with the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, but the funeral of Pope John Paul forced the royals to postpone their wedding by a day, and Coronation Street producers made some last-minute editing changes to go along with the re-scheduled nuptials.