I just returned from a brief visit to Europe where photobooths still abound in all the usual places (post offices, train and subway stations, arcades.) However, I am sad to report that 99% of the booths I encountered were digital. London was the one exception, and two of the photobooths there were the highlight of my trip.
The past year has seen the re-emergence of chemical photobooths in The Big Smoke thanks to the industrious efforts of two independent outfits: Photomovette and Photoautomat. As luck would have it, I hit the city at the perfect time to see activity from both companies. October 31st marked the closing of Photoautomat’s show at Cargo; the following evening Photomovette was hosting an opening party for their booth. I spent the morning of the 31st hanging out at Cargo, chatting with Alex and taking in the show.
Following a quick lunch of steak & ale pie and mashy peas (in case you were wondering), I met up with Carole and Siobhan, the women of Photomovette. I proved not very helpful in resolving a few of their remaining booth idiosyncrasies, but they were gracious hosts nonetheless. They were busy putting the final touches on their booth and organizing the venue for their party the following evening.
After parting company, I headed for the Tube to make my way back to my West London lodging. The subway ride was notable for two reasons: 1) I happened to sit beneath an ad adorned with a fake photostrip and 2) it occurred to me I had inadvertently slated my travel for Halloween. If you’ve never experienced it, trust me when I tell you it is slightly disorienting to experience a new place on Halloween. It certainly left me wondering if London Tube traffic was always as colorful, or if it had something to do with the holiday. See for yourself:
For those of you who missed either of the above-mentioned festivities, fret not, more opportunity awaits you. Alex’s booth remains at Cargo, and is outside in the beer garden. Feel free to stop by anytime. As for Carole and Siobhan, they are hosting another photobooth party on the 13th of December.