October 24, 2007 is and always has been the work of two people, who, for all of our geographical separation, still can’t manage to cover the whole United States, much less the world, and though we make it a point to incorporate photobooth-hunting into pretty much any kind of travel plans we have, it’s a lost cause without the help of generous and helpful photobooth enthusiasts around the country and around the world.

From Utah to Berlin and Latvia to Portland, we’ve received invaluable contributions from people who have helped our listings grow to more than 250 entries around the world. Now, admittedly, we’re a little weak on the international side, but then again, so it seems are the booths themselves, and we’re pleased to have the listings that we do, proving that while endangered outside of North America, old-style photobooths are not yet extinct.

Contributions to come in two forms: either a name and address of a booth location or the complete deal with booth photo and sample photostrip. For the time being, when we receive a contribution in the form of a tip about a location, we file it away in our ever-growing (though occasionally-shrinking) “To-Do List” of booths around the world, waiting for a time when someone contributes photographic proof, an occasion to visit the area ourselves and snap some photos, or the point in time (hopefully soon) when we revamp our photobooth listings. In addition to the current list of confirmed locations with photos, dates, and relevant information, we hope to list those unconfirmed locations contributed by others, mentioned in the press, or found on the web, in hopes that our readers will then visit them and make an official contribution — or, as the case may be, confirm for us that in fact, no photobooth at that location exists any longer.

Until that point, please take a look at our Guide to Contributing a Photobooth Location and keep on sending in those photos and scans!

October 21, 2007

The photobooth at the Fun Zone in Newport Beach, a mainstay of that town’s boardwalk, was placed for sale by auction on eBay this week, with a starting price of $999. The booth received much interest, but no bids at its starting price, and according to the auction page, “The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale.”

Now, we don’t know if that’s because of a change of heart, or an offer too tempting to turn down that was received outside the eBay system, or another reason, but we’ll keep our eyes out for this booth, whether it remains in Newport Beach or moves somewhere else. 

Thanks to Ricky for the tip.

October 03, 2007

Amidst all of the news of Europe going completely digital, it seems one booth in Paris has either survived or made a comeback. One of the most frequent questions we get on our discussion board asks whether or not there are any more real photobooths in Paris, and it seems that a Flickr user has found one, at the Palais de Tokyo. It seems likely that the booth is there as part of an exhibition, and if it’s the current show, it’ll only be there until the beginning of 2008, so if you’re interested, head over and check out the great-looking old booth. 

October 02, 2007

Everyone’s got a photobooth proposal story, these days. People Magazine tells the story of Brian and Alli and the Dallas Morning News talks about romance at the state fair. Both stories feature a scan of the photostrip, catching the proposal in mid-moment.

And in other news, Billy Bob Thornton, who has himself proposed a few times, apparently owns a photobooth, which he mentions in an interview in the Times of London:

It’s full-on,” he explains enthusiastically. “When people come over they get in the booth and have their picture taken. I even have a book now, and anybody who comes by the house has their picture put in the book — even repairmen.”

September 25, 2007

Welcome Gridskippers!

Two big-city publications have recently come out with their top photobooth picks, Time Out New York covering the Big Apple in their weekly guide in print and online, and Gridskipper highlighting Los Angeles with all of their online Google Map-mashuppy goodness. Gridskipper’s piece, to be more accurate, is actually’s top photobooth picks in L.A., as editor Helen Jupiter was kind enough to solicit our thoughts on the matter. Rachel Sokol also asked us our take on New York booths for her Time Out piece, so we’re feeling loved again after getting ripped off in print (paragraphs 9 and 10 sound familiar?) and insulted for taking the paper to task for it last month. 

The Time Out piece, titled “Strip mining,” lists a dozen photobooths around the five boroughs, including a few digital booths but hitting the mainstays of the Manhattan/Brooklyn dip-and-dunk scene like Otto’s, Lakeside, Bubby’s, and the Bushwick Country Club. 

Last week, continuing its long-standing interest in photobooths, Gridskipper has adapted the Time Out New York piece into a booths and booze list that dumps the non-alcoholic locations and narrows the selection to places where you can pose with a drink in your hand, or on your head. 

September 24, 2007


Another California county fair, another motherlode of photobooths. Though it didn’t equal the 23-booth haul at the Orange County Fair, the Los Angeles County Fair had eleven old-style photobooths, both color and black and white, in two locations at the fair. We tried out three of the booths, which were a little cheaper, at $4 each. First, a black and white booth with black borders. Next, a black and white booth with white borders. And finally, a terrific color booth with black borders. By mid-afternoon, when we visited the group of seven booths in the arcade area, the booths were mobbed with fairgoers. Thanks to Lisa for the tip.

In a sad bit of news, we’ve received word that the photobooths that have long been a part of the Children’s Museum in Boston are longer a part of the newly renovated museum. These two booths were some of the first I visited and cataloged before was even a glint in our eyes. Sample photos from those booths will live on in our About Us page. Thanks to Kristen for the tip.

September 21, 2007

So maybe we were a little premature in remarking about the photobooth/tattoo shop connection: looks like when push comes to shove, the photobooth’s got to go for L.A. Ink’s Kat Von D. According to a post on the Kat Von D Fanclub website, she’s selling her booth on eBay.

I know I know… It’s sad.. but I am re-doing the skate ramp in the front of the shop and it’s gonna take up too much room, SO! the photo booth must go.…

I’ll be sad to see it go, but hopefully someone rad who will love it will take good care of it too!

The booth sits just inside the door of the shop, and is decorated with posters of Kat and a giant Lisa Simpson sitting on top. I have yet to visit the shop when the booth is functioning, but here’s hoping I get a chance before the auction ends. 

September 18, 2007

Who knew photobooths and tattoos went so well together? As the first season of L.A. Ink hums along and we watch tattoo artist Kat Von D pose with her friends and customers in her photobooth, we have news of another photobooth connection coming up across the ocean in London. 

A Press Association report about a series of “urban landmarks; set up to promote Discovery’s new series London Ink mentions a photobooth sculpture:

A new urban landmark is being unveiled in the form of a giant statue of a man swimming through the pavement.

A week later, a similar statue will be installed on the concourse at Victoria Station, featuring a giant woman trying to squeeze into a photo booth. Her top rides up to reveal a tattoo of a pigeon.

The statues will remain in place for a few weeks before being moved to different locations across the UK.

We look forward to seeing what the piece looks like; send a photo our way if you see the statue.

UPDATE: Some Flickr photos of the woman in the booth — wow!

August 28, 2007


As long as we’ve been running, which is just about two and a half years now, we’ve been planning a section devoted to photobooths in music. It’s a natural corollary to our looks at movies, television, and printed media, and it’s a topic that is rife with fascinating examples. We’ve always had a sub-section devoted to music videos, but with the head start we had on the movies section and the photobooth directory from the predecessor to this site, we had more than enough to work with, and music went by the wayside.

Well, after much organizing, gathering, and stalling followed by working, we are pleased to present our latest effort, Photobooths in Music. The section is divided into three categories. The first is an expanded and updated look at Photobooths in Music Videos, from Madness and Elvis Costello to Jessica Simpson and Natasha Bedingfield, with a lot of interesting bands and musicians in between.

pop_levi_cover.jpgThe second section takes a look at the use of photostrips, and to a lesser extent photobooths themselves, in album art, on the covers and in the liner notes of LPs, CDs, and other recorded media. These run the gamut from well-known classics like Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville to more obscure works like Electrelane’s single for “The Bells” and “Photolab 9000″ by the Swedes.

The final section examines the role of photobooths in song lyrics, ranging from a passing reference in a lyric to the title and subject of a song. From mega-bands like U2 to singer-songwriters like Elliott Smith, musicians have used the idea of the photobooth and the photos it produces to convey a host of different ideas and feelings. Bands like The Books and Death Cab for Cutie have even named songs after the photo-making machines; my new favorite is “Photobooth Curtain” by School for the Dead.

We’d like to thank everyone whose contributions have added immensely to our store of knowledge, and we’d also like to acknowledge and thank Mr. Mixup, who will be curating the Music section along with us, as we owe many of the items in this new section to his years of research and collecting.

We know that what we have is by no means definitive, and we hope the launch of this new section will spur a thousand contributions from readers to help us make it more complete. With that, please, enjoy Photobooths in Music.

Brian | 8:31 am | Music, Site News
August 27, 2007


woolworths_booth_ad.jpgA brief trip to Santa Barbara gave us the opportunity to scout out a few photobooths in the area, bringing our California total to somewhere around fifty booths. On our way up the coast, we stopped at the Woolworth Museum, an informal collection of Woolworth memorabilia and related items in an old Woolworth location in Oxnard. After a tasty breakfast at the cafe, we took some photos in their beautiful Model 11 booth, though the chemicals are in desperate need of changing. Even more interesting that the booth itself was the great photobooth advertising display in the front window of the cafe, a backlit rectangular tower featuring enlarged photostrips slowly blinking on and off. I’d never seen anything quite like it; a small plaque on the bottom indicates that it is a product of the Auto-Photo Company of California.

In Santa Barbara, I had to rely on the kindness of a movie theater cashier who told me that while her theater did not have a booth, another one down the street did, as did a costume store a few blocks in the other direction on the same street. So, I took a set of photos at the Fiesta 5 Theatre’s color photobooth and then headed a few blocks down to Scavenge, to use their black-and-white booth, which sits in the entryway, almost outside.