Archive: Movies

February 22, 2011

We’ll begin this second batch of updates thanks to IMDb keyword system with a great photobooth sequence from an ’80s horror omnibus film, Creepshow 2. If you’d told me I’d see—spoiler alert—George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour gunned down in a roadside tourist shop in front of a Model 14 photobooth, well, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it happened, and Creepshow 2 is your proof. 

Next up, Bille August’s 1983 coming of age film, Zappa. The photobooth appears in a brief sequence in the film’s opening credits. The machine, with its “Fotografer dem selv” sign, looks similar to the machine in the Danish film Mig og mafiaen; is it a coincidence that the only other Danish film in our list also features a bare ass in the photobooth? Ponder that one.

And finally, an episode of the U.K. television show Jam & Jerusalem. The list of films and TV shows that people have taken the time to tag on IMDb seems really odd: Buffalo ’66 is there, as is Beaches, but no Amélie, no Superman III, no The Band Wagon… Same goes for the TV shows: why is Jam & Jerusalem—even for this avid fan of BBC programs, a show I’d never heard of—listed there, while iconic shows like Mission Impossible, Happy Days, and The Simpsons are nowhere to be seen? Anyway, a shop photobooth is the setting for a brief scene featuring Rosie (Dawn French) and her alter ego Margaret.

February 21, 2011

When I first began seeking out films and TV shows with photobooths in them, the Internet Movie Database was a useful tool, but I quickly exhausted the results I found from searching credits, and synopses (plus the fact that that Colin Farrell movie Phone Booth kept coming up as the first search result). As the site grew, we relied on the movies we saw ourselves, submissions from our readers, and the occasional Google Alert to tip us off to films featuring photobooths and photostrips. This week, I checked in again with IMDb and ran a search using their keyword system, which I don’t think as as robust six years ago, with surprising results.

A keyword search for “photobooth” revealed a list of 33 titles, at least half of which I was completely unaware of. Looking at the 25 unique listings (disregarding the Jay Leno-related items, as is my habit in life as well as with regard to photobooths), 16 were titles I’d never heard about in connection with the photobooth, 8 were titles we already have listed, and one, The A‑Team, was a film I’d known about but hadn’t done anything about yet. 

Over the next few days, I’ll be adding as many of these new films and TV shows as I can get my hands on, which will constitute a major addition to the site, and confirmation of the photobooth’s long and enduring history in the moving pictures.

I’ll begin with Amores Perros, the remarkable debut feature film from director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu.

This film is the one title in this new batch that I’d actually seen, and I was surprised to see that when I first saw it ten years ago, I hadn’t paid any attention to the role of the photobooth in not one but two separate sequences. It just goes to show that if you’re not looking out for something, it doesn’t make much of an impression. El Chivo (Emilio Echevarría) takes a strip while in his vagrant mode, and another after a shave and a cleanup.

Next, changing modes completely, an episode of Mr. Bean called “Mr. Bean Goes to Town,” in which Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) heads into a photobooth after his camera has been stolen. He listens to the photobooth as the strip makes its way through the machine, and gives it a whack before the strip appears in the slot. 

We’ve cataloged Rowan Atkinson’s sort of one-man photobooth dynasty here on the site. We’ve seen him in Not the Nine O’Clock News (1980), administering a wedding photobooth. Next in line is this episode of his TV show in 1991, followed by the movie Bean (1997). Having conquered television and film, he moved on to animation in Mr. Bean: The Animated Series in 2003. What’s next, Bean?

FInally, a TV series of a different color, Sons of Anarchy. In a brief bit at the beginning of the season one episode called Fun Fair, Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Clay (Ron Perlman) head into the booth for a little fun, but Clay destroys the resulting strip once they’re done.

We’ll have more additions from IMDb’s list of photobooth-tagged films throughout the week. Then it’ll be our turn to contribute, by adding the “photobooth” tag to IMDb’s entries for the hundreds of films and shows we have listed.

Brian | 4:34 pm | Movies, TV
February 19, 2011

We’ve got two new additions to our ever-surprising, ever-growing catalog of photobooths in movies and television. This section, along with the Photobooth Directory, was one of the earliest parts of this website, and it’s still one of the most interesting and oft-updated. 

I watch a lot of movies as part of my job, as well as a fair number of trailers as of late, and for the first time, last week, I was watching a trailer for a film I’d never seen (or even heard of) and out of the blue, I spotted a photobooth! My colleagues probably wondered why I shouted “Hey!” in the middle of the screening, but then again, most of them know about this site, so they probably weren’t too surprised. The film was a mostly forgotten 1971 comedy starring David Niven, Virna Lisi, John Cleese, and Robert Vaughn, called The Statue.

Niven plays Alex Bolt, a Nobel prize-winning linguist who spends more attention to his work than his wife, a sculptor played by Lisi. As a way of exacting her revenge for a life of neglect, she sculpts an 18′ tall statue of her husband for display in Grosvenor Square, but gives the statue another man’s appendage, so to speak, and tells her husband it’s not modeled on his. 

Bolt then spends the rest of the movie trying to find the man who provided his wife with the life model for that particular part. He uses a photobooth, one of the only ways to get a photo taken without anyone else seeing the results in those days before digital, to take a set of photos of his own to compare against. It’s not a terrific film, but the pleasure of seeing the strait-laced Niven stripping down in a photobooth in a groovy teenage arcade is pretty funny.

We also received a tip from our friend Jeff, the man behind the Art of Waiting contest we helped out with last year, that a photochemical booth made an appearance in the background of a recent episode of “The Chicago Code.” His eagle eye was right; after freeze-framing on the photobooth in the scene and comparing it with every booth we have listed in Chicago, we confirmed that the scene was shot at Skylark, home to this photobooth. I thought the bar looked somewhat familiar; I had visited there in 2005, at the end of a very long day visiting 17 photobooth locations around the city. Upon closer inspection, you can see a piece of paper on the door that reads “Skylark” as the police enter the bar; when they leave, though, a larger sign above the door reads “McGowan’s Pub,” in line with the plot centering on Irish mob criminal activity.

Brian | 9:05 am | Community, Movies, TV
February 14, 2011

Nuff said, right? Well, you’ve got to see it to believe it; check out the ad in our Movies & TV section.

Mr. Chan’s work for Austrian Railways is just one ad we’ve posted today. Others include a couple of German commercials for Nivea, for “Body Milk” and for some sort of soccer giveaway.


And “Enter Play Win.”

Next, we’ve got “Stilbruch,” a German television piece about photobooths, featuring the men behind Photoautomat.

Next, a music video from France, “Salo-Maso,” by Najar and Perrot.

Next, a couple of brief photostrip appearances in Banksy’s Oscar-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.

And finally, thanks to Olivia Pintos-Lopez for letting us know about a photoshoot she organized for an online publication, Small Magazine, using photobooth photos taken in a black and white booth in Melbourne, Australia.

February 09, 2011

We’ve been busy dealing with some behind-the-scenes issues on the blog lately, but that hasn’t slowed our continuing effort to add to our ever-growing catalog of photobooths in popular culture and in the world at large. 

First, we have a major update to our listings for the city of Portland. The city seems like a hospitable home for photochemical photobooths, but this hasn’t always been the case. Back when I visited the city in 2004, we were only able to find but one working photobooth in town. Just a few years later, things have changed in a big way, and Portland now ranks with Chicago and New York as an American photobooth capital. 

Thanks to Victoria for sending us photos and information for these these seven new photobooth locations:

Alleyway Cafe and Bar

Beauty Bar

My Father’s Place

Slingshot Lounge

Star Bar

The Boiler Room

The Saratoga

Next up, more updates in our quest to catalog photobooths in film and television. First, television, in the form of both programs and commercials. 


A commercial for the bladder control medicine Vesicare



And, thank goodness, The Bachelor

And now, film. First, Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales, thanks to Igor for the tip.

And finally, Jean Aurel’s 1964 comedy De l’amour, which I regard as a great discovery in the world of photobooths in cinema. Thanks, Les Matons!

December 01, 2010

Over the past week or so, we’ve made made additions to nearly every section of the site. The contributions keep rolling in (thanks, dear readers) and we’ve also had a moment or two to delve into the vastness that is the “ To-Do” folder, shrinking it ever so slightly. Here’s a tally of what’s new:

Photobooth locations:
Barbary, Philadelphia, PA
Highline, Seattle, WA

Album covers:
Stinky Toys, by the French punk band Stinky Toys.

The Comebacks (2007)
The Joneses (2009)
A Casa de Alice (2007)

TV Shows:
“Quints by Surprise,” in which the family squeeze into a photobooth at an Amy’s Ice Cream location in Austin, Texas.

TV Commercials:
A JCPenney spot partially set in a photobooth.
A series of three commercials for French social security, all set in a photobooth: Rene, Paul, and Philippe et Isabelle.

Music Videos:
“Touch a New Day” by Lena Meyer-Landrut

Never Said” by Liz Phair

In Print:
Emily Blunt in a photobooth in Interview Magazine.


Shots: A Magazine about Fine Photography, a 1989 large-format photography zine special issue dedicated to photobooths. 

March 01, 2010

Over the past five years we’ve collected a lot of photobooth-related stuff, much more than we can get to on a regular basis, and the To-Do List tends to pile up. Over the last week or so, we’ve had a chance to get a whole passel of material online, from TV shows and movies to commercials, print ads, music videos, and photobooth locations. In no particular order, here they are. Enjoy!

A commercial for Fruit Gushers in which kids’ massive fruit-shaped heads make their photobooth tip over.

An episode of “How It’s Made” that shows how a digital photobooth is assembled.

The 1989 Lewis Gilbert film Shirley Valentine, with a railway photobooth sequence.

Low Water’s video for “Sister, Leave Me”. Dave sent me the video and a nice note back in 2008; my apologies for not getting to this for far too long.

The 2008 opening titles of “Neighbors,” now with more pseudo-photoboothiness.

The film Onion Underwater, for which we have only a few images from the trailer.

A few glimpses of a photostrip in an episode of Fringe.

An ad for Will Young’s album Let It Go, as sold by Tesco.

Science World’s Photobooth of Doom.

Wickbold Light Bread from Brazil.

The 2001 animated short fim Autofoto.

And finally, two photobooths in the Helsinki Railway Station, thanks to Marco:

The booths (Helsinki Railway Station II and Helsinki Railway Station III) are located in the west entrance of the station. 

One of these may be the first booth I found in Helsinki in 2005, moved to a new location within the station.

We’ll be back with more goodies in the coming months. 

Please keep your contributions coming, as we continue to build our database of all things photobooth.

January 25, 2010

We’ve made a bit of a dent in the backlog of material to add to the site, and have a little batch of photobooth sightings to present.

First, we revisit the film Management. We spotted a photostrip in the trailer, and though there’s not much more in the film itself, we’ve updated the entry.

We’ve also added a clever advertisement found on the side of a photobooth in Germany:

Last summer, we got wind of an ABC News webcast featuring a review of the new Arctic Monkeys album, illustrated with photobooth photos of the band:

Described in its Wikipedia article as a “German queer cinema horror film” by a Canadian director, Bruce La Bruce, Otto; or, Up with Dead People features a photostrip (and a photobooth flashback sequence) as a key moment in Otto’s journey.

A few weeks back, James Franco hosted “Saturday Night Live,” and starred in a sketch as a Christmas tree salesman who became overly attached to his trees. As he says goodbye to one, he gives “her” a photostrip of the two of them. No, it doesn’t make much sense.

Finally, we have a 2006 film starring Christina Ricci as a girl born with a pig’s snout, Penelope. Needless to say, she takes a strip of photos in a photobooth:

Brian | 9:12 am | Movies, TV
December 02, 2009

Our friend Marco in Italy has been sending us news and info from Italy over the past few years, and we’ve finally had time to track down three films he let us know about. Two are 1980s Italian films with extensive photobooth sequences, and one is a Kevin Costner film with a fake photostrip in it, but we’re happy to have them all. Thanks, Marco.

First, Cosi parlo Bellavista, in which a Naples man is directed in how to pose for his photobooth photos.

Second, Al bar dello sport, in which a winning lottery ticket goes missing but is spotted in a photobooth.

And finally, Message in a Bottle, where we see a photostrip of Kevin Costner amongst the detritus of his life.

We are always grateful to our readers who submit their finds to us; please drop us a line if you come across something we don’t have listed on the site.

Brian | 8:03 pm | Movies
August 14, 2009

We are still digging out more updates that piled up during our summer hiatus, and present a few more today. First, Stephanie was kind enough to check out the new Ace Hotel in New York City, which we reported on in late 2007, wondering whether it would feature a photobooth in its lobby. Our question was answered: like its counterpart in Portland, the Ace New York does have a black and white photobooth, which takes credit cards only and pushes the upper limit of photobooth pricing up to $5.

The new Ace in Palm Springs apparently has a booth, as well, though we haven’t visited there yet, but when we visited the Ace in Seattle a few years ago, there was no booth to be found. Anyway, the photobooth at the Ace Hotel in New York is a welcome addition to the often volatile New York photobooth scene. Thanks, Stephanie.

Back in January, I visted the Motley Coffeehouse in Claremont, California, and checked out their black and white booth, which looked like it turned out great photos, but wasn’t on at the time, as the coffeehouse was actually closed.

And finally, we add another movie to our long list of films featuring faked photostrips, this one the highly anticipated and promptly critically lacerated Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, starring Nicole Kidman as the famed photographer.