Calumet Photographic closes on Highland (and everywhere else)

calumet-photo.jpgPhotographers are noting the abrupt closure today of Calumet's Hollywood store, along with the shutdown of all other American stores in the Chicago-based photo supply chain. Employes are complaining they were given no notice. The company just shut itself down and declared chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Chicago Tribune reports. "It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years," the company posted on Facebook. "We'll miss each other and we'll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything."

The Calumet Facebook page gives this history:

In 1939, Kenneth Becker founded the sporting goods store Calumet Manufacturing Company that sold an occasional camera in Chicago. After several years of manufacturing darkroom equipment, in 1955 the company bought the rights to Kodak's Master View 4x5 camera, enabling Kodak to leave the view camera business. In the 1960s, the company innovated the Caltar large format lens line, the C-2 roll film holder and the nitrogen burst film and print processors.

LA photographer Bob Carey emails: "Calumet has had a professional photography store at one location or another on Highland Ave. for as long as I can remember. They occupied an interesting niche in the world of professional photography in LA, stocking only pro gear....Calumet was a place where you could drop in and quickly pick up or rent the little things that would make a difference in a finely lit studio photo. Stuff like colored gels, grid spots and light banks. They were the go-to place for backgrounds, and they had a full stock of professional film, back when professionals used film."

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