Kansas Camera Shop Develops Last Roll of Kodachrome

Posted by David Ozanich — 3 Jan 2011


If you've been feeling a bit wistful recently about your old cameras it may be because Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas - the last processor of Kodachrome in the world - developed its last roll this past Thursday according to the New York Times. They describe the legendary film as "demanding both to shoot and process" though it "rewarded generations of skilled users with a richness of color and a unique treatment of light that many photographers described as incomparable even as they shifted to digital cameras."

In the last weeks, dozens of visitors and thousands of overnight packages have raced here, transforming this small prairie-bound city not far from the Oklahoma border for a brief time into a center of nostalgia for the days when photographs appeared not in the sterile frame of a computer screen or in a pack of flimsy prints from the local drugstore but in the warm glow of a projector pulling an image from a carousel of vivid slides.

In the span of minutes this week, two such visitors arrived. The first was a railroad worker who had driven from Arkansas to pick up 1,580 rolls of film that he had just paid $15,798 to develop. The second was an artist who had driven directly here after flying from London to Wichita, Kan., on her first trip to the United States to turn in three rolls of film and shoot five more before the processing deadline.

During its peak period of popularity there were 25 labs worldwide that processed the film. Kodak announced last year that they would discontinue manufacturing the chemicals needed for processing. Dwayne's photo received rolls of film from six continents in the waning days before suspending Kodachrome operations.


Thanks to JPG Member Cairenn for the tip.

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