Archive: Site News

May 29, 2012

As we look back on everything that happened during last week’s International Photobooth Convention, we’ll be posting recaps of all of the events that took place, the people we met, and the experiences we had during the three days. It was an ambitious event, and we used the occasion to debut a few of own contributions to the world of photobooth media. We’ll now be making those items, namely the convention poster and the Photomaton 25th anniversary catalog, available to the public.

Our poster is a beauty, designed by Jared Purrington and printed at Level Press in Los Angeles on French Paper. The poster is signed and numbered in a limited edition of 100. The poster is $20 plus postage and handling.

The poster will be shipped to you rolled in a sturdy tube.

The catalog for the PHOTOMATON 25th Anniversary show is a professionally printed and bound 36-page work that combines original biographies and artwork from the original 1987 catalog, which is now quite scarce, with updated information and images on every artist who participated in the original show. The catalog is also in a limited edition of 100, and is $15 plus shipping and handling.

Choose US/Canada or International and then click the image to purchase the item. I’m happy to ship multiple copies of either or both items, but due to the fact that the poster will be shipped in a tube, we need to charge separate shipping costs for each type of item. Please with any questions. If you’ve written me before to reserve an item, I have them set aside for you, but please click through the PayPal links to set up payment and provide me with your shipping address.

February 13, 2012

We are very pleased today to announce the 2012 International Photobooth Convention, which will be held at Electric Lodge in Venice, California, May 18 and 19, 2012. It’s been almost three years since our last event in Chicago, and with all of the exciting stuff going on in the world of photobooths, we’re ready for another convention. Just as in previous years, the event will be a low-key gathering featuring photobooth art, workshops, lectures, projects, and of course, free photochemical photobooths.

We’re still in the early planning stages of the event, but we wanted to make the announcement and let people know with as much lead time as possible. Check back on the Convention page, on our Facebook page for the event, and on our Twitter feed for updates as they become available. We very much hope some of our readers will be able to join us in California for the event, but if not, never fear, it will be well documented on our site as it happens.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about the convention, and stay tuned for more news as we get closer to the date.

August 07, 2011

It's alive!

With the help of Tim in St. Louis and Anthony in Chicago, I got my photobooth up and running in time for our big birthday party. It was a huge hit at the party, and we have a guestbook full of photos and messages from happy party-goers. Having a photograph taken with my daughter wearing a “1” hat on her first birthday made all of the time and effort worthwhile.

This week, I switched out the roof that the booth arrived with for the more stylish curved roof, still authentic to the Model 14 but not original to this particular booth.



This weekend, I painted part of the main wall with magnetic paint and gave it a frame to create a board where we can put up all of our photostrips.



And now I’ve finally got an appropriate home for a gift Tim gave me awhile back, an original photobooth display glass, nicely framed.


Finally, this week I learned from Raul at Foto-Mat that my photobooth wasn’t as new to me as I thought. In fact, almost six years ago, in August of 2005, I sat in this very booth and took a strip of photos when it was located at Big Fun in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s come full circle, this machine.

July 13, 2011

As we were finishing up construction of the photobooth shed, I had been preparing the pathway — uneven, half dirt, half concrete, and potentially treacherous — for the move-in. When the day finally arrived yesterday for the booth to be delivered, I started the day by heading out to rent the necessary tools: a set of “Roll-or-Kari” piano moving dollies and a J-Bar, a.k.a. Dutchman Dolly (a.k.a. Johnson Bar or J-Bar).


I was given a time slot of 8 a.m. to noon for delivery; naturally, the truck showed up at 1:30 p.m. The driver was able to back it up into the driveway, and so began the somewhat frightening process of getting a 900 lb. booth and pallet off the truck using the lift gate.

The photobooth

It's here

After work last night, my friends Keith and Eric came over to lend a hand, and we got to work disassembling the high-quality pallet the booth came on, getting the booth off the pallet, and getting it onto the Roll-or-Karis. From there, it was a pretty straight shot through the gate and down the path into the shed.

The photobooth

Moving down the path

Getting the 30-inch wide booth through the 32-inch doorway was tight, but I don’t think we hit anything, and no one lost any fingers, so it was a success. I was surprised, actually, how smoothly it went; we were done just an hour and 15 minutes after we started. We pushed and pulled the booth into the corner of the space, and stood back to admire our work.

Last night and this morning, I worked with Tim over FaceTime to get the transmission aligned (which involved my first problem, first diagnosis, and first bonehead mistake, none of which will be the last), and I’m hoping to get to picture-taking tonight.

The work begins

Today, I cleaned off all of the old (and conflicting) price stickers, as well as lots of layers of tape, stickers of hearts and cats (where has this booth been?), and some other gunk.

The photobooth

I also moved the sweet late-‘60s sign from the right side of the booth against the wall to the left side, where it can be seen in all its glory.

The photobooth

More updates to follow as I make more progress.

May 30, 2011

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve posted about what’s new on the site, so here it is, a little bit of everything. First, a new booth location, The Long Room in Chicago, a booth we’ve long heard of but hadn’t had an official submission yet. Thanks, Chris.

Next up, a terrific late ‘60s German photobooth on film:

Thanks to Les Matons for a tip about a classic Fotofix booth in Anthony Mann’s Cold War spy thriller, A Dandy in Aspic.

The fascinating documentary Marwencol features a brief, passing glimpse of a World War Two-era photobooth photo.

We also caught the photostrip appearance in Joe Wright’s latest film Hanna, after receiving tips from Joe and Raul about it. Once the film is out on DVD, we’ll add it to the site.

For photobooth fans in Florida,’s “Selections 1.1″ exhibition is still on display at Karma Cream in Gainesville. We mentioned it back in February and hope some of our readers have had a chance to visit. If not, you’ve still got time, as the show will run at least into June. Again, the show features works by Meags Fitzgerald (Canada), Jena Ardell (U.S.), Verdi Yahooda (U.K.), and Odile Marchoul (Belgium). Thanks to Aran for the update.

Photobooth photos made the news recently, as the priciest example of photobooth art was sold this month: an Andy Warhol work titled “Self-Portrait.” Brett Gorvy of Christie’s provided some background on the piece in an article titled The Birth of Cool: Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1963–1964.

Andy Warhol’s four-paneled Self-Portrait, 1963–1964, is acclaimed in every Warhol monograph and exhibition catalogue as his first seminal self-portrait. It ranks not only as one of the most iconic and enigmatic portrayals of an artist’s own image, but its multi-panel format and use of mechanically-produced photographic imagery are also acknowledged as the most radical advancements in portraiture since Cubism.

The piece, as was reported in the Wall Street Journal, Vending Times and elsewhere, went for $38.4 million, and, as the Journal noted, a “similar self-portrait comprising a single image from this photo-booth series in red sold for $6.8 million, just over its $6 million low estimate.” All in all, not a bad day for the humble 25¢ photobooth.

Also, thanks to Tim for pointing out my appearance on “Jeopardy!” last month. It was a lot of fun, and though I didn’t have the chance to name drop, I did get asked by Alex about my proposal to my wife in the photobooth at the Musee Mecanique .

As you may have noticed, we recently battled our way through another security failure that brought our site to a halt for a few days. We thank you for your patience and for bearing with us as we worked to get everything back in order. As always, please let us know about any photobooth news, location updates, or other stuff you think we’d be interested in.

April 21, 2011

Jeopardy!Game shows for 800, please.

Answer: this person provides possibly the first and only link between Alex Trebek and the mysterious world of photobooths.

If you said “Who is’s very own Brian Meacham?” then you’ve just pocketed a quick 800 clams…

It’s true: Brian will be appearing as a contestant on today’s episode of “Jeopardy!” Tune in to see how he fares and whether he manages to slip a photobooth mention into the show.

Good luck, Brian.

UPDATE: Brian had an amazing 5-game run and did us proud. Congratulations, Brian!

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!

January 28, 2011

The newspapers of Australia’s Fairfax Media Limited have hit the stands today with a one-two punch of photobooth-related stories by reporter Lindy Percival. First, the bad news: in The Age, Percival interviews Melbourne photobooth proprietor Alan Adler in a piece titled “Future of the old photo booth not so picture perfect” (archived on our site here). Adler, who has been running photochemical booths in Melbourne for nearly 40 years, sees the end of the business in sight, saying “We’re having trouble getting paper at the moment. I’ve got a couple of months’ supply and I’m hoping I get some more, but it’s becoming very expensive … We’ll keep going for another couple of years probably. But I’d sooner be playing with my grandchildren than playing with photo booths.” Here’s hoping he keeps up the booths as long as he can; we know those machines have a lot of fans (see our Melbourne listings here, here, and here).

Then, of course, there’s the good news. In a companion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald called “The strip of a lifetime” (archived here), Percival writes about the enthusiasts and artists who are still using the photochemical booths today, with a timely look at Raynal Pellicer’s book Photobooth: The Art of the Automatic Portrait (which we’ll review soon) and a mention of our site as well. Australia’s photobooths are some of the furthest-flung examples of the photochemical machine still in use today, cherished by locals and sought out by visitors, and we hope renewed interest thanks to these articles will help them continue well into the future.

January 20, 2011

While it’s a change that probably means more to those of us behind the curtain (get it?) than to our readers, we’re happy to announce that we’ve successfully emerged from a somewhat hairy changeover from Movable Type, the blogging platform with which we began this site back in 2005, to WordPress, something we’ve wanted to do for years but finally had the time and inclination to do recently. Thanks to Tim for all of his technical expertise, to for their migration walk-through, and to the creators of the plugins and widgets we used to make the transition as seamless as possible for our readers: Custom Upload Dir, PHP Markdown, Search and Replace, Relevanssi, Wickett Twitter Widget, and Widget Context.

The only changes readers will notice will be for the better, we hope: better searching, fewer missing pages due to crashes on the back end, and so on. We’re still checking through to make sure all of our entries and comments are there, that all of the incoming links to our old pages redirect to our new ones, and so on, so if you see anything fishy, please let us know. We look forward to years of greater stability, flexibility, and creativity in the future. Now, back to those photobooths…

Brian | 12:56 pm | Site News
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.