THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

Archive: Booth Locations

August 11, 2018



It’s been awhile since we’ve posted on the blog, but rest assured, behind the scenes we’ve been adding (and, sadly, subtracting) locations in the photobooth directory, thanks to you, our unflagging readers, and have been noting various films and other examples of booths in popular culture.

Earlier this month, we made a family pilgrimage to Auto Photo in Montreal, catching up with Jeff and George, talking photobooths, and taking some photos, of course!



Jeff was kind enough to set up one of the few remaining color photobooths in their inventory, which was a real treat. As the kids took photos, he and I talked about the general decline in commercially placed booths (in malls and metro stations) and the surprising trickle of business remaining in selling booths and parts to smaller scale ventures, like the local entrepreneurs around the U.S. and Europe who import Canadian booths for placement in bars and restaurants.

Though photobooths in shopping centers and metro stations is in steep decline, there is some solace in the idea that quality Canadian craftsmanship is now giving people photobooth joy all around the world.



Thanks to a tip from Meags, I also visited a completely unique color photobooth at North Star Pinball, a bar in Montreal. Not only are there very few photochemical booths outside malls and metro stations in Canada — we have only three listed, all in Vancouver — but this particular booth is equipped with special-width paper (once used in consulates) and a modified camera, turning out square color photos. After decades of photoboothing in all kinds of machines around the world, there is something quite striking and almost unbelievable about seeing these square photos.

If you’re in Montreal or are planning a visit, stop by and take some photos before the paper is all gone.





November 18, 2017

Another trip, another chance to check in on one of our far-flung photobooth correspondents, this time Alexander Spevak of Fotoautomat in Prague. It’s beginning to look from the blog at least that the center of the photobooth world has at some point shifted to Europe, with the most recent convention in England and my last four posts now taking stock of the booths and their caretakers in Italy, Netherlands, France, and now the Czech Republic.

Rock Cafe Photobooth, Prague

I met Alexander at the Rock Café on Národní in the center of town, and we took a few strips, and talked to a couple that came in to take some of their own. The booth is well maintained and obviously popular, and turns out a nice set of photos. Alexander and I discussed the customary topics—paper, chemicals, problems with vandalism—and also how they might work to find a location for their second booth. Even as Prague may seem a perfect town for photobooths, it can still prove difficult to find a location with the right combination of young people and tourists who also care about the difference between photochemical and digital.

Rock Cafe Photobooth, Prague

It’s always great to meet in person someone you’ve corresponded with about this mutual interest over the years, and I hope when I head back to Prague in April, maybe there will be another booth to see out and about. Thanks, Alexander!

March 07, 2017

Photobooth Montmartre

While I’m no longer discovering new booths during my travels at the rate I used to ten or fifteen years ago, a number of work trips have recently brought me to cities where young entrepreneurs operate thriving photobooth businesses—first Florence in July, 2016; then Amsterdam in November; and last month, Paris.

I met Virginie and Eddy at their booth on the Rue des Trois Frères in Montmartre, a lovely street-side machine which operates 24 hours a day, and judging by my inability to get a clear photo without someone in it, is pretty busy most of those hours. We talked photobooths, took some photos, and had a good time connecting over our shared interest. The European photobooth scene is definitely thriving, and I was impressed yet again to see the ingenuity and creativity of the people involved in returning photochemical booths to the continent.

Photobooth interior

Paris, 2017

November 20, 2016

With a day to spare in Amsterdam on a work trip, I got in touch with Stefan and Madri at Photoautomat Amsterdam to see if I could meet them and check out their booths around the city.

With Stefan out of town, my thanks to Madri for letting me tag along on her route as she serviced the booths at the Hutspot, the Student Hotel, and the Hoxton Hotel, all located around the center of Amsterdam. I rented a cycle and followed along as well as I could, not being a practiced Amsterdam cyclist, which is an entirely different kind of cycling…

First stop was the Hutspot, where the booth is located just inside the door of this very cool restaurant/shop/barbershop. We hadn’t had a sample photo in our entry for this booth for some reason, so that’s now been fixed. I enjoyed using their custom-made token for the booth, and had to ask for one to take home with me…

From there, I eventually managed to unlock my bike and followed Madri over to the Student Hotel, a massive residence for exchange students and other travelers, where the booth fits nicely in among the pool and table tennis tables. The machine is a Model 17P, and turned out a nice bright strip of photos.

Finally, we headed to the Hoxton Hotel, for one of the most impressive booth locations I’ve ever seen. The photobooth is tucked inside a perfectly-sized alcove at the top of a long set of stairs, which lead only to the booth, so you feel as though you’re approaching a throne or altar as you prepare to take your photos. It was a fitting end to a great tour, and I look forward to seeing where they place their next booth.

Thanks again to Madri for showing me around, and congratulations to Stefan and Madri for running a great photobooth operation that is keeping the photochemical tradition alive in Amsterdam.

July 08, 2016

Bologna

Matteo Sani of Fotoautomatica in Florence has been keeping in touch with Photobooth.net for years, since we first became aware of his lovely outdoor booths in Florence in 2011. I always hoped to visit him and tour his booths one day, and finally, a work trip to Italy this summer provided the opportunity.

Matteo and I met at the train station in Florence, and our first stop was just outside, a busy booth on the Piazza della Stazione.

Bologna

Next, we headed to a booth on the via del Proconsolo, a great location in the heart of Florence. The booth was in constant use while we were there.

Bologna

We then left Florence to head to Matteo’s workshop, home to booths in the process of being restored, as well as spare parts, chemicals, and of course, lots of photostrips.

Bologna

Bologna

Bologna

Bologna

Bologna

We talked booths, had lunch, and headed back to Florence. It was a memorable day, and one of those wonderful photobooth connections that the site and its readers have enabled. Thanks, Matteo!

florence_photostrips

December 20, 2015

From the outside, it looks like Photobooth.net has been dormant all summer and fall, but behind the scenes, we’ve received a pretty constant stream of updates from our dedicated readers out there, for which we are eternally grateful.

Since the last update six months ago, we’ve added no fewer than twenty new booth locations around the world, from the Pacific Northwest to Maryland and New York City, and from the South of France to Vienna and Amsterdam.

Thanks to all who contributed, and apologies to all for the somewhat longer than normal amount of time it took to get your contributions up on the site.

At right, we have photos of a number of booths new to the site. Click the links in the post or the photos to check out some of the entries.

We’re looking forward to another year of photobooth news and notes, and we’ve got some changes and updates planned for 2016. Happy new year!

Thanks to each of the following folks for taking the time to document and send in info on these far-flung booths, and on to the updates:

From Sam in Portland, Oregon: The Knock Back

Molly and Logan:
Adventures Underground, Richland, WA

Luke Lowe:
Sportland Arcade II, Ocean City, MD
Fun City I, Ocean City, MD
Fun City Arcade II, Ocean City, MD

Stephanie Yung: El Vez, New York, NY

Lova, with a host of French locations:
Le Dome du Marais, Paris
Magasin de jouets, Arles
La grande halle, Arles
Le lieu unique, Nantes

Vince Dressel:
Palais de Tokyo II, Paris
Wanderlust, Paris

Stefan Köll:
The Hoxton Hotel, Amsterdam

Dirk:
Achtung! Baby, the Hague

Jen:
Beyond Retro, Brighton, England

Claudia:
Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna
MuseumsQuartier Wien, Vienna
Generali Center, Vienna
25 Hours Hotel, Vienna

Matteo Sani:
Associazione Culturale Neibar in Venturina, Italy

Christophe:
Brandy Melville, Brussels





































































































































May 07, 2015

We’re emerging from another long winter (and the continued unwanted attentions of pesky hackers) with a long-gestating report on some updates over the last few months. Thanks as always to our eyes and ears around the world for sending news of photobooths our way.

First, we heard from Lucy in Zürich about a new booth there, just the second one, as far as we can tell, operating in that lovely city.

Next, we heard from Stefan in Amsterdam, who reports that “We are growing!” which translates to a new home for their first booth, and the addition of a new booth to their roster.

First, the booth once located at Lomography Amsterdam is now a few canals over (really, not just figuratively) at Hutspot, described on its website as “…a curator for an urbanized lifestyle. An initiative that brings all the good stuff together.” Sounds like a photobooth will fit right in there. Check out Hutspot’s page for the photobooth on their website.

Second, Photoautomat Amsterdam have introduced a second black and white photochemical booth, located at Studio K, east of the city center.

We also heard from Chris, who reported that a new booth has replaced the previously documented booth at La Maison Rouge in Paris. The eternal photobooth shuffle continues…

We applaud our European colleagues for continuing to keep the analog photobooth alive, and encourage anyone with updates or news about new locations to get in touch so we can continue to keep track of the current whereabouts of these photobooths.

We have a few North American updates to report, as well. Thanks to Kelly for sending in a sample photo from a booth at the Avalon Mall in St. John’s, Newfoundland, one of the few color machines still operating in Canada.

Thanks to Molly for letting us know about a new booth in Washington State, at a book and game store called Adventures Underground in Richland. The Pacific Northwest continues to carry the banner for photobooths in the U.S.

We end today’s update with a few other notes on photobooths in media. First, on the cover of the Magic Numbers’ new album “Alias,” a few photobooth photos show up in a sea of portraits. Thanks to Les Matons for the tip.

And finally, an ad for Swiss condoms, proving that the photobooth has many uses.

October 02, 2014

As we get back into the swing of things, we’ll start with a quick trip back to the biggest event of 2014, the International Photobooth Convention in Chicago. In addition to our own recap of the weekend’s festivities, we had some great recaps from Matt at Photo-Matica, Tony DeFrank (who came all the way out from California), and an amazingly detailed and thoughtful wrap-up from Meags Fitzgerald. Thanks, everyone!

Since the convention, we’ve had an incredible list of new booth locations to add to the site, from six countries on three continents. I can’t remember the last time we had such a varied and interesting set of contributions. Thanks again to our readers for continuing to document these booths so faithfully.

We’ll start with a real surprise, our first ever photobooth located on the continent of Africa! Thanks to a conversation we had at the convention, Steph sent me photos and info about the booth, located in the center of Kampala, Uganda, which she had visited in 2007. We’re not certain it’s still there, but either way, we’re happy to have the booth listed in our directory.

In other news of new booths, we heard from Alexander Spevak, who let us know about the first booth we have listed in the Czech Republic. The black and white booth is located at the Kino Světozor, and a strip will set you back 50 koruna.

And just this week, thanks to an email from Stefan of Photoautomat Amsterdam, we’re elated to be able to add a photochemical photobooth location along the Herengracht canal in lovely Amsterdam. The booth is located at the Lomography Store, and takes euro coins and custom tokens — nice!

lomo_am_blog

Our thanks go out as well to Matteo of Fotoautomatica, who has informed us of a new black and white booth location at Borgo Burger in Livorno, Italy, bringing their total to five machines around the country.

Swinging back across the Atlantic, we have a new location in Canada, doing its part to turn the tide of booth closures across the country, a black and white booth at the Cobalt Motor Hotel in Vancouver.

And finally, a few new locations in the U.S. First, thanks to Connie Begg for sending us info and photos about the booth at Heebe Jeebe in Petaluma, California, right before the convention.

Tony let us know about a photobooth at Big Fun in Columbus, Ohio, which follows along in the Big Fun tradition of very nearly burying their photobooths amongst the products available for sale.

We’d also like to thank Ruthie for sending in a photo and scan from the booth at the new Ace Hotel Los Angeles, which continues the Ace tradition of a “booth in (nearly) every hotel.”

As it turns out, the booth at the Ace L.A. is actually the machine that used to be located at their Portland outpost; can anyone confirm that the Ace Portland has another booth, or has it become a booth-less Ace?

Staying in Portland, we’d like to finally thank our convention buddy Kory for contributing photos and info from a black and white booth at Dot’s Cafe, with its lovely polka dot back curtain.

And finally, thanks to Nathan for letting us know about the black and white booth at Montana, a bar in Seattle. Especially in busy photobooth cities like Portland and Seattle, locations are always coming and going, so we rely on our readers to keep us posted. Thanks again, everyone, and keep the emails coming! We’ll be back next week with another update recap from the summer.

June 24, 2014

convention_merch

It was a busy and inspiring three days in Chicago, and we’re sad to see it go, but the 2014 International Photobooth Convention is now behind us. We connected with friends new and old, talked shop, and of course, took loads of photos. Thanks to Meags for her peerless organizational skills, and to Anthony and the crew at A & A Studios Chicago for hosting the event. Needless to say, we were reminded all weekend how lucky we were to be putting on a photobooth event in a workshop dedicated to photobooths.

Friday

We had a great turnout for the opening night. The halls were lined with art and we had eight operational photobooths: five chemical (four B&W, one color), as well as three digital machines.

Here’s a ninety-second slice of the opening night: music flowing, booth flashes popping, people having a great time.

convention_art

Saturday

Meags Fitzgerald (Two Hands Two Crowns, Edmonton, AB) kicked off Saturday’s program with a workshop on Photobooth Art Techniques. Participants were treated to an overview of contemporary photobooth art, with discussion focusing on the various techniques employed. Participants were then given a bag of props and tools to make their own pieces.

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Todd Erickson (Photobooth Memories, Minneapolis, MN) and his wife Leslie drove in from Minneapolis to give the “Photobooth Anatomy & Diagnosing Problems” workshop. Todd is the “Photobooth Yoda,” a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the vintage booths and their inner-workings. Not only does he know the booths like the back of his hand, but he has also spent many hours improving the weak links in booth design and construction (improved camera knife springs and magnets in the transmission drain plug, to name a few innovations). If ever there were a photobooth hyper-miler, Todd is it.

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For the mid-afternoon panel, Jocelyn Dean (Portland, OR), Matt Dewalt (Photo-matica, San Francisco) and Rob Oldham (312 Photobooth, Chicago) shared tales from their experience starting and working in a photobooth business. The crowd was regaled with stories of booths mistaken as bathrooms, unsatisfiable customers, and lessons learned.

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The final panel of the day focused on collectors. Ron Slattery (bighappyfunhouse.com, Chicago), Nick Osborne (Square America, Chicago) Nakki Goranin (author of American Photobooth, Burlington, VT), and Brian Meacham (Photobooth.net, New Haven, CT) shared their secrets for navigating the wild world of eBay, finding vintage pictures, and storing them safely.

collectors-ipc14

Brian capped off the evening’s program with an updated version of his “Photobooths in Cinema” talk.

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After shutting down the booths for the evening, a small crowd of 25 photobooth faithful (plus one guy we ran into on the street who decided to join us — thanks, Brad!) all hopped on a trolley later for a photobooth pub crawl, stopping at four Chicagoland photobooth hotspots: The Rainbo Club, The Empty Bottle, Quenchers (A holdover from the 2009 post-convention photobooth crawl), and The Charleston.

Sunday

The day began with a workshop lead by Anthony Vizzari that explored the use of the photobooth camera outside the booth. The group got a tutorial on making their own control boxes as well as a camera wiring diagram. Open air photobooth photos (and a good bit of silliness) ensued.

Untitled

Untitled

The final organized event of the day was a book launch and signing for Meags Fitzgerald’s new graphic novel, “Photobooth: A Biography.” Meags gave a brief presentation describing her process creating the book and signed copies afterward.

meags-book-talk

Read some accounts of the convention from those who were there:

The fine folks of Photo-Matica wrote a nice piece about their experiences at the event. Kyla Herbes at House of Hipsters has a very nice writeup of her time at the convention, as well. Thanks, Kyla and Photo-Matica!

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. Thanks again to Meags, Anthony, Andrea and the many A&A employees and volunteers who made this convention extra-special. For those of you who missed it, we’ll see you at the next convention in a few years. It usually takes us a few months to even think about the next one, but when we do, you can read about it here.

We’ll close with a great 360° panorama taken with the help (and phone, and app) of our farthest-flung convention attendee, Ksenia, who came all the way in from Wroclaw, Poland. Thanks for the photo, Ksenia!

IPC14_pano

Cheers!

-Tim & Brian

April 03, 2014

photoautomat_bbc

Our friends Ole and Asger, founders of Photoautomat, were featured on last week’s episode of BBC’s The Travel Show. It is a great piece and showcases a portion of their beautiful collection of outdoor photobooths in urban Germany.

See the full video here.