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Photobooth.net » Booth Locations
THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

Archive: Booth Locations

September 19, 2022



While it’s no longer home to a photobooth on every corner, Chicago still has its fair share of working machines, and a recent trip (thank you, non-stop flights from New Haven to Midway, and thank you, Chicago Film Society!) I got a chance to visit four of them. 

It had been awhile since my last visit (on the occasion of the 2104 International Photobooth Convention) and I’d forgotten just how spread out the city is. It was my first trip there with access to a car, so it wasn’t the most conducive time to seek out booths around town, but I managed to find four booths, three of them working, and was happy to revisit some great locations I remembered from my last booth odyssey.

My first stop was the fabled booth at Quimby’s Bookstore, an amazing shop full of unique and wonderful books, comics, zines, and more. Their booth also wins for best and most creative custom signage, which was enough to make up for the disappointment of the booth being out of order.



Just think, if it had been working perfectly, I’d never have seen this beauty of a sign:

From there, I took a bus and walked to the Rainbo Club, a memorable spot which not only has a great booth but is one of my favorite bars anywhere, period. Their annual photobooth calendar is a real treat, and with a donation to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, I picked up this year’s to add to my collection, which now spans three decades.



The booth at the Rainbo Club is still going strong, and was in constant use when I was there. Long live the Rainbo!

From there, I made the trek down to Skylark, one of the other more memorable spots from previous trips. I had a lovely dinner (don’t forget the tater tots) and enjoyed reading a ten year old issue of The New Yorker (it was new to me) at the bar. Their booth has seen an update since I last visited, and I was pleased to see it was functioning well.

Finally, I made a stop at the Holiday Club in Wrigleyville. Their booth is in the same location as last time I visited, but has also changed a bit. Most people there didn’t seem to notice the machine, but I was glad it was still going strong.

August 28, 2022



Thanks to longtime contributor Stephanie for yet another European photobooth update this year. An April trip to the German capital brought a chance to visit the city’s wonderful variety of booths, with mostly good news. A few locations (Charlie’s Beach, Hardenbergstrasse 22, and Warschauer Straße 47 and Warschauer Straße 47B) that we had listed were no longer there, but for the most part, existing locations were still active since our last report from my 2019 visit.

Stephanie found seven booths that we had listed still up and running, though a few had a somewhat different appearance, including a nice machine at Markthalle Neun with a chalkboard on the outside. 

Thanks to Stephanie’s updates, we’ve also added three new booths. First, a booth at Holzmarkt along the River Spree, and next, two side-by-side booths at Mauerpark, one producing horizontal strips, the other making vertical ones, which share a beautiful “Photoautomat” sign that spans the two machines.

August 26, 2022

Much has been made of late about the demise of the analog photobooth in Canada. While it’s true that the once-thriving Canadian mall and metro station photobooth scene is no more, I was pleased to find two working photochemical machines during two trips to our northern neighbor this summer. 

Back in the summer of 2018, I got a tip from our friend Meags to visit North Star Pinball in Montreal, home to a unique colo(u)r booth with a limited life expectancy. I made a pilgrimage with my father and brother, where we took a few strips and I enjoyed pointing out the unique characteristics of this special machine.



I wasn’t expecting the booth to still be kicking four years later, but during my next visit to Montreal in June of this year, I made my way to North Star Pinball, headed upstairs, and found the booth still there, and still in working order. The price of the booth had doubled, from $5 to $10 Canadian over the intervening years (tied with the booth at the Whitney Museum for priciest in my experience), but it was well worth it. Sitting in the booth, one is presented with an informative, rather wistful card explaining the significance of this booth.



One would think I’d never taken photos in a booth before by the way I placed the two strips I took face-to-face in my jacket pocket, but I prefer to think I’d meant to experiment with some direct transfer printing, and now have two color strips, each with traces of the other on it.



I’ll reiterate my advice from 2018: stop by North Star Pinball and take a strip in their booth while you still can.

A few weeks later, a family road trip brought us to Kingston, Ontario, in July, where something truly remarkable happened: for the first time in recent memory, I came across an analog photobooth I wasn’t aware of, completely by chance. For nearly 20 years, any time I’ve traveled, I’ve scoped out photobooth locations in advance and made visiting them a part of every trip. I hadn’t done any such planning for this trip, as I didn’t think there were any locations out there yet to be found.

As we walked around Kingston, though, Aimee spotted a shop, the Antique Emporium, that advertised “Vintage Photobooth Inside” on the front window. I was skeptical, but lo and behold, we found a lovely Auto-Photo Canada booth inside, and took three strips in the few minutes that remained before the shop closed.





Two other booths, neither in working order, could be seen further back in the shop.



Amidst a steady stream of depressing news about the closure of photobooths around the world, it was encouraging to find one known stalwart still producing beautiful color strips, and another heretofore unknown black and white machine quietly making distinctive strips out of the spotlight.

July 10, 2022

As things have returned closer to normal, I’ve been able to make another visit to a European photobooth capital, this time Florence, Italy. I was the the country for a film festival, the same one that afforded an opportunity for my last visit to the booths of Florence six years ago. This time, though I was sad to miss catching up with Matteo himself, I did manage to visit all five booths currently installed in the city, and in under two hours, no less. 

All of the booths are placed in great locations, ranging from right on the sidewalk, to tucked into an exterior wall, to built into the lobby of a hip hotel. Photostrips still cost only €2, as they have for years, and take only one- or two-euro coins (my speed run would have been considerably faster had I not had to look for a café to get an espresso, and change, after starting off at the first location empty-handed).

First off was a new location inside The Student Hotel, not far from Florence’s main rail station. The booth, painted a bright yellow, is visible as you enter the lobby of the hotel, inset beautifully into the wall, up a small flight of stairs at the back of the room. 

From there, I made my way to the booth at Via del Proconsolo, under the shadow of the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. From there, it was a short five-minute walk to the booth at Via dell’Agnolo, where I found a customer waiting for his photos to arrive.

From there, I walked along the Arno and crossed to the southern side on the Ponte Vecchio to find the booth on Via Santa Monaca. This dark red booth is set into the wall, facing out onto the sidewalk, and augmented with decorations around the outer edge of the booth. A few of us were waiting to take photos here, and it’s clear this is the iconic photobooth of the city. 

On my way back to the train station now, my last stop was at Largo Fratelli Alinari. This booth was busy, as well, with a couple taking a set or two of photos when I arrived. 

I made another espresso and change stop while I waited, and after taking my own set of photos, I made my way back to the train station and returned to Bologna. I haven’t mentioned the quality of the images on any of these booths, because they were all uniformly excellent. The only hiccup came in the last booth, which only flashed three times, and left me with a (wonderful) unexposed second frame. Cheers to Matteo for these well-placed and beautifully maintained booths. 

June 12, 2022

In late March, my first post-lockdown international trip brought me to Paris for a film conference and festival, and I was eager to check in on all things analog film-related, both 35mm screening venues and photochemical photobooths. While each of these technologies is wrapped up in scarce equipment and a singular manufacturer of raw materials, they both have passionate enthusiasts keeping the technology alive, and I was very pleased to find six working booths in Paris (and, if you’re interested, eleven different cinemas showing 35mm prints). 

From left to right, La Samaritaine, 53 Rue de Trois Freres, and Pavillon Puebla:
Palais de Tokyo, Bonton Filles du Calvaire, and Le Centquatre:I’ve added three new entries for the booths we didn’t have entries for (Pavillon Puebla, La Samaritaine, and the new booth at Bonton), and include photos of all six booths I visited this week below:







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Special thanks to Virginie and Eddy of Fotoautomat for meeting with me on a busy day at their Montmartre studio, where we talked— about supply chain issues, of course— and caught up since the last time we saw each other five years ago. It’s great to be back in the world, and to catch up with photobooth friends again.

February 07, 2020

We’re pleased to report some exciting news: 2020 will see another International Photobooth Convention, this time in London, presented by AUTOFOTO, who manage a network of analog photobooths in the U.K. and Spain.

The Convention will be held Friday to Sunday, June 12–14, 2020, in London. As usual, the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the event will be a relaxed get-together of people who love analog photobooths, featuring talks, screenings, art projects, and a London photobooth tour. The organizers ask those who plan on attending to RSVP via email.

This announcement is also a good opportunity to report on the last of my 2019 European photobooth visits, back in October. I met Rafa and Marco of AUTOFOTO at the Hoxton Hotel, where we hung out, talked photobooths, brainstormed about the convention, and took some photos in the booth in the hotel’s lobby.

I also stopped by their booth at Mercato Metroplitano, another nice booth in a great location. I was pleased to see a reinvigorated photobooth scene in London, especially after bearing witness to the death of the old photochemical establishment era in shops and post offices back in 2004.



I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting other like-minded photobooth lovers in London in June, and hope to see some of our readers there.

October 27, 2019

A quick trip to New York this weekend afforded the opportunity to check in on a few of the city’s working photochemical booths. First, I hadn’t yet had a chance to visit the booth at The Folly on Houston, though we’d had the booth listed here since last year. It was nice and quiet on a beautiful Saturday at mid-day, which meant that I wasn’t turned away for trying to bring a six-year-old into a bar, even if it was just to use the booth. The machine is working fine, and turned out a nice, if slightly grimy strip. 

Our next stop was The Whitney Museum, where we’d visited last year to check out the Warhol exhibition. The photobooth installed to coincide with the exhibition was still there, even after the exhibition closed, which was a pleasant surprise. I’ve created a new entry for the machine, not because it’s a new machine, but because it’s got a brand-new appearance, and because it seemed necessary to note the booth’s claim to fame as having the highest-priced photostrip of any machine I’ve ever seen. A whopping $10 gets you “Whitney Souvenir Folio” specially designed to house the photostrip, revealing each photo in its own window (and allowing the fourth photo to show through the front cover), but still, in a world where the $1 photobooth is still a thing, it’s hard to imagine spending $10 on a strip more than once. 

I balked when I saw the price initially, but of course had to take a strip just because, and I was pleasantly surprised by the folio. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen an add-on accessory for a photostrip offered at the point of purchase, so to speak, and though it takes the strip about as far from its usual status as an everyday, sometimes frivolous keepsake as you can imagine, I didn’t dislike it as much as I initially thought. It’s a nice idea, very well executed. 

This morning, we had a chance to check in on booth at the Ace Hotel, and besides noting a price increase (now $6, plus tax, for a total of $6.54, which might be the highest-priced accessory-less strip around; New York prices!), I also was very impressed by the quality of the photos. Definitely the best of the weekend, and maybe some of the best I’ve seen from a public booth in a long time. Well done! And even though New York is no longer the photobooth mecca it was when we started this site nearly fifteen years ago, it still has at least a few nice booths in some great locations. 

October 15, 2019

We’re a little late to this, but we wanted to bring your attention to reporter Julia Caron’s story on Canadian photobooths, produced for CBC Quebec earlier this year. The story was presented on the radio, titled The Last Photobooth in Quebec,” as well as in a web version, “iPhones Killed the Photobooth.” There’s also a minute-long video version on Facebook. All of the versions feature friends of the site Meags Fitzgerald, who acts as Caron’s guide through the stories and locations of Montreal’s legendary photobooths, and Jeff Grostern, who provides background on the history of his family business, Auto-Photo Canada. Thanks to Julia for letting us know about the story.



Photostrips of Julia Caron with Amber Dearest, Meags Fitzgerald and Jeff Grostern, in the Place-des-Arts booth in the Montreal Metro.

September 24, 2019



We learned of the legendary (and plentiful) outdoor photobooths of Berlin right around the time we started Photobooth.net, and a visit—a pilgrimage—has been a long time coming. I hadn’t been to Germany in nearly 30 years, and had never been to Berlin, before a family trip the summer. As much as I had heard about Berlin in general and its photobooths in particular, our experiences more than lived up to the hype.

Before arriving in Berlin, we spent some time in southern and western Germany, and passed through Köln, where we found our first booth, on Ebertplatz. As we arrived, a van was parked right in front of the booth, and for a second, I thought maybe we’d hit the jackpot and stumbled upon the technician on rounds, but alas, the van was just resupplying a food stand next to the booth. We squeezed past it and hopped in the booth for a strip of photos (and a van-enforced off-center photo of the booth). 

As we reached Berlin, I had no illusions of returning to the days of the great “Chicago Marathon” of 2005, where I hit more than 20 photobooths in one night, but I hoped to find as many of Berlin’s 20+ booths as I could convincingly squeeze into our otherwise museum- and playground-filled itinerary, without too many out-of-the-way walks. I had flashbacks to a rainy walk to Sainsbury’s or a disappointed trip to the Queensway Post Office in London, and imagined those fruitless trips with kids in tow. Luckily, those fears were never realized, as every booth we visited in Berlin was in great working order, a tribute to the diligence and skill of Ole and Asger and the Photoautomat.de technicians. 

We spent eight days in Berlin, and managed to stop by eleven different booths, which, factoring in an adjustment for old age, seemed to me a pretty decent showing. We found booths indoors and outdoors, singly and in pairs, delivering photos on glossy paper and matte, arranged horizontally and vertically, and we enjoyed every one. 

Our second day in Berlin, I set out to find my first booth, one I had heard about in front of C/O Berlin, a photography gallery. When I arrived, it was apparent that this booth, with the Martin Balke-design horizontal square photos, was a popular spot, with a small crowd of people waiting outside for their photos to be delivered.

As I waited to take my photos, I noticed that a woman waiting to pick up her strip had a typical vertical strip in her hand. I asked her where she’d taken those photos, as they obviously weren’t from this machine, and she explained that there was another booth inside, in the lower level of the museum. I flashed back to my “can I just pop in to see the booth and avoid the cover charge?” days, and was grateful to the kind staff at the C/O who let me zip downstairs to try out the booth, which had a beautiful exploded diagram of the photobooth transmission on the outside.

We had similarly good luck the rest of the trip, finding booths on the street, in front of empty lots, inside a planetarium, and even side-by-side, one color and one black and white.



It’s clear that the photobooths that Ole and Asger and Photoautomat.de have placed around the city and lovingly maintained for more than 15 years have become an integral part of the fabric of the city. You see them in postcards and murals, featured in advertisements, and even ripped off by pale digital imitators. It was a joy to finally get to see them for myself, and I was happy to add eight new booths to our locator in Berlin (plus one in Köln). There were many booths we didn’t get to visit, so we encourage anyone living there or planning a trip to send in more updates so we can keep our locator current. 

Photobooths of Berlin, Hoch soll’n sie leben!

June 17, 2019

My multi-year European photobooth safari continued this month with a visit to Vienna, where I was presenting at a conference. While I was there, I checked out two working photochemical machines, and hung out with Georg from Fotoautomat Wien.

Of all of the conversations I’ve had with European booth operators over the past four years, this one was in perhaps the most picturesque spot yet; after taking a few strips in the machine he maintains in the lobby of the 25hours Hotel, we headed up to the rooftop bar, with its magnificent view of the Vienna skyline by night.

The bar is also home to one of Georg’s digital machines, and both booths seemed well loved and popular. We talked about the same sort of questions everyone seems to be dealing with—maintenance costs, users’ awareness (or lack thereof) or analog vs. digital technologies, and the future of these machines. Thanks, Georg!

I only had time to visit one other booth during my brief trip, the machine run by Photoautomat.de located in the main court of Museumsquartier, outside in front of mumok.

The booth was in use when I arrived, and due to its particular coinage requirements (2 euros and 50 cents coins only), I headed to the museum bookshop nearby to buy a book (twist my arm) and get some change before taking my photos. They turned out well, though my attempt to capture my conference program and badge didn’t work, succumbing to the strong flash, as usual.

Next up is Berlin in August, where I plan to squeeze some family vacation in between hitting as many of the city’s famed photobooths as I can, so check back in a few months to see how well we did.