4-y Syromyatnicheskiy pereulok
Moscow, RUS 105120
B&W, 4 per strip, RUB4.00
Photos: January 23, 2009
Last visit: January 23, 2009


Thanks to Martin and Ira for their detailed write-up on this booth, the only functioning photochemical photobooth in Moscow.

The booth is a Model M-22, and costs 150 rubles per strip (about $4). It is located at the Winzavod Contemporary Art Center, "a former wine factory (that's what the name means: "wine-plant"), features industrial brick architecture from the 19th century, and has been rebuilt by private investors into a venue with galleries, book and art shops, exhibition halls, a caf etc. Winzavod is at this time THE contemporary art venue in Moscow, hosts the most prominent exhibitions, and is visited by hundreds of people every day just for leisure and entertainment."

"Ira got enthusiastic for classical photobooths when we visited Geneva some years ago (the swiss booths were still running at this time). About a year ago we started looking for a machine ourselves.

"We phoned around all over europe, but it showed out that nearly all booth operators had already switched to digital, and, horrible as it is, thrown away and destroyed the older machines. After a phase of disenchantment, we did some more desperate calls in Moscow, and it showed out that one - the last - M-22 had escaped the massacre by miracle, and was standing in the rain in the courtyard of a former soviet ball-bearing plant - some 2000 meters from our own house.

"We acquired it for a modest amount of money. Inside was a mayhem: flash generator and capacitors were stolen, as well as nearly all plugs, switches and other somehow vendible equipment, most of the cable harnesses were dumbly cut through. The mechanics (transmission, spider, paper transport, even camera) though were intact. Then followed three months of work in the evenings in a rusty soviet garage. We got a flash from an operator in europe, rebuilt all the rest ourselves, including wiring, money accepting system, outside decoration etc. etc.

"The booth made its debut last summer for one day on the so-called "picnic Afisha" - the biggest summer festival in Moscow, with a huge success. Now, at the new location, we plan to stage different events with the machine - a portrait festival, a contest for the best strip, and Ira is going to use it in her work as a photographer."

Contributed by Martin and Ira