January 07, 2009

We’ve posted images from the 1929 Harold Lloyd comedy Welcome Danger, which, along with Lonesome (noted here last month), is one of the earliest films we’ve found yet that features a photobooth. In Welcome Danger, the machine is more of an automatic photo machine without the booth, but the principle is the same, and once again, the photo taken by the machine plays an integral part in the plot of the film.

When a photo taken by Billie (Barbara Kent, who also played Mary in Lonesome) fails to come out of the machine, she walks away. A moment later, Harold (Harold Lloyd) approaches the machine, sits for his photo, and once it has arrived, places it on the drying stand for a moment. After replacing his hat, he looks at the photo and finds that it is a sort of movie fantasy double exposure, with his and Billie’s images neatly superimposed next to one another. He becomes smitten with the girl in his photo, and, as the stills from the film show, he eventually tracks her down.

We now have films featuring photobooths from every decade of the photobooth’s history, the 1920s to the present, missing only one: the 1930s. I’m hoping some eagle-eyed fans of ’30s musicals are keeping their eyes peeled for photobooth appearances. if you spot something please let us know.

Brian | 8:35 am | History, Movies

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