We have more than 20 photobooth locations listed in only three cities: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Our to-do list of places we’ve heard about but haven’t had a chance to visit includes locations all around the country, but these three cities seem to be the national photobooth hubs. In the past week or so, I’ve visited two more local L.A. locations, one of which has had a photobooth awhile, Backstage in Culver City, and one of which is a long-standing store that recently added a booth: Pull My Daisy, in Silver Lake.
We’ve also come across news of a new photobooth at Quimby’s, a Chicago bookstore specializing in “the importation, distribution, and sale of unusual publications, aberrant periodicals, saucy comic booklets and assorted fancies as well as a comprehensive miscellany of the latest independent ‘zines’ that all the kids have been talking about.” The Quimblog has some great photos of the booth itself, its innards, and some nice sample photos from their new addition. Anyone visiting Chicago is encouraged to visit Quimby’s, take some samples, and buy some cool books and zines.
On another note, news of another step toward the death of the photobooth as a functional technology, at least in Europe, where dip and dunk photobooths are essentially dead already (more on that later): a new service allowing customers to upload digital photos which will then be checked for “biometric compatibility” and mailed back as a set of four passport-approved photos.
UPDATE 5/25/07: Thanks to Liz from Quimby’s, we’ve now got an entry for their new photobooth in our directory. And with a superstar of the literary world, Dishwasher Pete, in the sample photo. Nice!
Time for another update from the world of photobooth news, from the 1920s, the 1950s, and the 1960s.
Time magazine’s website has put up the text of an April 4, 1927 article titled “Photomaton,” about inventor Anatol Josepho selling his invention to a “syndicate of men successful enough to know a real gold brick when they see one–including onetime Ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau, President James G. Harbord of the Radio Corp. of America, John T. Underwood (typewriters), onetime Vice President Raymond B. Small of the Postum Cereal Co.” for $1 million.
A blog post by Christian Patterson informs us of an exhibit at the gallery of John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller titled
c/o The Velvet Underground, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the release of The Velvet Underground and Nico. Included in the exhibition, among various works by Andy Warhol and music and lyrics by the Velvet Underground, are “Original Warhol screen test film stills and photo booth pictures.” The exhibition is open until May 12 at the gallery, located at 50 1/2 East 64th Street in New York. We’d love to have a report on the photobooth pictures if anyone stops by.
A fascinating story in the Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal tells the story of a wallet, lost to a mugger in April of 1951 (along with the victim’s pants), that was recently found during the renovation of the Paramount Theater in Boston. The wallet, lost by Val Gregoire on April 11, 1956, was found on April 11, 2007 by Richard Bagen when he tore down a wall in the theater. The wallet was returned to his widow, Jeannette; Gregoire passed away in 2003. In the wallet, “There were several pictures of Val, an 18-year-old Navy sailor at the time. There were images of his mom, friends and a laminated photo of Jeannette, then his best girl. But there also were two pictures — seemingly taken from a photo booth — of Val and another girl. ‘Mine was laminated,’ Jeannette said of her photo, a pretty young girl in pearls. ‘Maybe that meant something’.”
Photo of the contents of the wallet, including four photobooth photos, by Amber Waterman, © 2007 Lewiston Sun Journal.