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Old 03-09-2014   #121
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Bonsers, big market, newcastle upon tyne, also Heads of Gateshead on saltwell road sadly both no more
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Old 03-09-2014   #122
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[quote=Travis L.;2282914]I worked at Fairborn Camera much of the time you were in Dayton, and remember BK and Malones well (check page 2 of this thread for a few Leica day pics). Columbus Camera Group is still there, though their inventory is a shadow what it used to be. I make semi regular trips there and over to Midwest. Mainly hoping to converse with the other "oldtimers" about days gone by.

The big M3 display piece belonged to Roy Baker (owner of BK) he sold it soon after the store closed, via the Cincinnati Camera Show. One of the used dealers offered him a ludicrously large sum for it.

Here's Roy right before he let it go..
[/QUOTE

I always wondered what happened to that big M3, they used to have it hanging from the ceiling over the counter, they also told me that when they used to have a parade in Troy they would mount it to the top of a car and drive it in the parade. I used to always make it to Fairborn Camera for Leica Days to get a chance to hold some of the new Leica gear I could not afford and while not a frequent visitor any time I was in the Fairborn area I would stop at Fairborn Camera (and Foy's) check out the used case and have them get the titanium M6 out of the new case for me to check out. I am sure I must have met you a time or two.
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Old 09-17-2016   #123
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Charles Eagle in Durham has now closed very sad indeed
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Old 09-17-2016   #124
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Bonsers in the Big market, Newcastle, bought my first Bilingham bag there back in the early 1980's and my first Pentax Mx. The store is sadly gone, l pass this store, boarded up, every day on my way to work
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Old 09-17-2016   #125
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Fairborn Camera and Video in Fairborn Ohio.
In business since the 40's and owned by the same family right to the end.

I was lucky enough to work there from 1998 until the store closed in 2010. i met a lot of amazing people in that time. Most of my best friends today were people I met while I was behind the counter at Fairborn Camera.

FCV was a long time Leica dealer and many of the "Leica elite" were regular customers.




Leica Demo Day probably 1999-2000
Pictured in the center is Roger Pelham "Mr. Leica" one of the founding members of LHSA and a good friend.
He believed everyone should own a Leica and over the years he probably sold more of them than anyone else on earth.




Leica bad boy Greg Metzger




Dick Bailey

Like most of the stores listed here FCV was as much a gathering place for local photogs as it was a store.
Roger was a great guy. Two states away, but he came to camera shows in Chicago. He even came when he knew the end was near, dear fellow.
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Old 09-17-2016   #126
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We had dozens in Chicago from small to super big, Altmans.

Only Central Camera in Chicago proper now. La Grange Camera and Video in western suburb of La Grange.

All this happens first when you shop local and buy from New York. Now the cell phone.
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Old 09-17-2016   #127
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I miss my local camera store..digital..killed it..no more film processing for them...no income..done deal years ago...
Was a great place to hang out with like minded souls..
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Old 09-17-2016   #128
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A week from today Sam's Camera Exchange will close up shop after 77 years in business at various locations in Westchester County, NY. Stopped by today to say goodbye to the guys - one of them worked there for over 40 years. They were essential in facilitating my return to film photography. Same old story - online competition, digital, etc.
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Old 09-17-2016   #129
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Sigh. Central Photo Service, on Chicago Avenue, East Chicago, Indiana. My first job, in the 1970s (from age of 12, yes, 12, a legal and paid position). Andy Adams (nee Adamchik), proprietor. The store is long gone, as is the shopping street.
I grew up in Hammond and had neighbors from East Chicago then. The father had a shoe repair business in EC on 151st and Baring Avenue I think it was. It was closed in the late 60's I know for sure

All I have in my area now is Gary Camera in Merrillville, Indiana. Great people to deal all the time since they have been in business for decades. They started on 5th Avenue in Gary, Indiana when that town was booming
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Old 09-17-2016   #130
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Keeble & Shuchat Photography in Palo Alto, CA, is now scheduled to close at the end of October:
http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2...ose-in-october

That's the last decent camera equipment shop in the SF Bay Area Peninsula neighborhood. :-(


It wasn't 'digital' that did them in. It was shifts in buying habits by customers due to the on-line world that's come into being and the cost savings in mail-order shopping. The brick and mortar camera shop has simply become an unprofitable business.

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Old 09-17-2016   #131
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A week from today Sam's Camera Exchange will close up shop after 77 years in business at various locations in Westchester County, NY. Stopped by today to say goodbye to the guys - one of them worked there for over 40 years. They were essential in facilitating my return to film photography. Same old story - online competition, digital, etc.
Wow that's to bad, I live in Westchester as well and I didn't know about
that, one of the last great camera stores in Westchester!
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Old 09-17-2016   #132
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There used to be a camera shop just across the road from my university.

R.G. Lewis in Southampton Row, London.


(picture from Google)



Anyway, I would pass by most of the time admiring Leicas at their window display (I was a poor student and couldn't afford one). The two guys working in there were friends with my photography tutors.

At the end of my third year, I went to buy my first Leica (M2) from them, and they were nothing but spectacular in service. Even looked around to find an original M2 handbook, and threw in a Leica guidebook (which I still have).

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Old 09-17-2016   #133
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Wow, old thread. Since I moved out of Chicago in 1978 don't think I've been in a real camera shop more than 3 or 4 times. Last time was about a year ago in Portland Oregon. I visited Blue Moon Camera. Very interesting place, not one digital camera in sight, all film. Thought the used stuff was a bit overpriced but fortunately I've lost my buying lust, now days it's only film, paper, and chemicals. I build pinhole cameras for fun and use paper as negatives. Blue Moon was a happy place with a keen staff and lots of film and paper. I bought a couple of rolls of B&W for my Minox IIIs, they are the only place I know in the US who sell it now.
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Old 09-17-2016   #134
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An old thread, but an ongoing problem. This was Arpi on La Rambla in Barcelona, and which closed at the end of last year. The closure is partly because of the immense tourist pressure on the area, whereby only downmarket tourist trinket shops and places for food and drink survive.

The shop was in two parts, with a front on La Rambla and a second multi-floor shop inside what otherwise looked like a residential building. This was a treasure trove of older cameras and film gear.

It is tempting to see the closure of shops like this in Barcelona as part of a general economic problem, but I suspect that it has more to do with sclerotic business practises than anything else. Stores like this probably derived much of their business from official (government) work, directly or indirectly, and which for a long time allowed them to receive inflated prices for goods and services. When this dried up as a result of digital cameras and the collapse of professional photographic services, many photographic businesses here failed to adapt.

The largest remaining "traditional" photographic shop in Barcelona is probably Casanova. They have many of the same problems as Arpi, with seemingly random prices which are sometimes competitive and sometimes absurd. Most astonishing is the price of Leica gear, new or second-hand. I can buy from bricks-and-mortar dealers in London at prices often 20-30% lower than Casanova.
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Old 09-21-2016   #135
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On the subject of camera stores not just surviving but actually doing well, when I was in Nice, France this summer I was surprised to find two shops seemingly thriving, albeit with two radically different business models.

One was right in the middle of the tourist area and had literally dozens of film Leicas in display cases, along with more modern stuff. They were clearly selling mostly to wealthy Russian tourists (lots of businesses have signs up in Russian as well as French and English). One clear indicator of their target market: in spite of having many film cameras for sale, they don't sell any film.

The other was deeper into the city, close to the train station. It was working shop, packed with stuff. Still had a C-41 minilab IIRC. They had a small selection of film, but it was surprisingly comprehensive: 35mm and 120 from Kodak and Ilford, plus Instax.
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Old 09-21-2016   #136
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One of the reasons routinely proffered for the demise of local brick and mortar camera shops is the internet. I would remind everyone that even as far back as the early 1970's when I first became interested in photography, local brick and mortal stores faced competition from mail order sales (how quaint) from the New York camera superstores, where camera prices were significantly lower than local prices. As a student in the hinterland watching every nickle, I ordered my cameras and lenses from NY both for cost savings and greater selection. They even accepted trade-ins which my local camera store would not.
Which eloquently points out the bigger-than-internet issue: the lack of responsiveness to new developments. Or maybe the inability.
Yes it's nice that those brick and mortar shops were rocks in the changing tides of photography sales, but that also led to their demise.

Occasionally organising a sensor cleaning event, workshops or exposure, composition, wildlife photography, summer camera check-ups, or asking a (local) photographer to host an evening talk and show in their shops could have made a difference in both clientele and sales. Instead most of them chose to advertise in local newspapers like they always did, etc and not cater for changed needs with their customers.
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Old 09-21-2016   #137
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Camera store?? What's that? I haven't seen one in years!
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Old 09-21-2016   #138
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Which eloquently points out the bigger-than-internet issue: the lack of responsiveness to new developments. Or maybe the inability.
Yes it's nice that those brick and mortar shops were rocks in the changing tides of photography sales, but that also led to their demise.

Occasionally organising a sensor cleaning event, workshops or exposure, composition, wildlife photography, summer camera check-ups, or asking a (local) photographer to host an evening talk and show in their shops could have made a difference in both clientele and sales. Instead most of them chose to advertise in local newspapers like they always did, etc and not cater for changed needs with their customers.
I pushed the guys at my soon-to-close (T minus 3 days now) local shop to start offering classes. They had all the expertise and were in an area that could easily support charging premium prices for it. I saw countless people coming in for free advice, many with cameras they bought elsewhere. It could have been a real lifeline for them, but I think the owner was already caught in the death-spiral mentality and just chose to ride it in.
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Old 09-21-2016   #139
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Camera store?? What's that? I haven't seen one in years!
About a month ago a Camera Store opened on my city (Mexicali,Mexico), although they mostly sell DSLR and do photo studio works. Seems they are doing fine, although been a film photographer havent bought nothing from them.
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Old 09-21-2016   #140
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Fondly remember George's Camera Store in El Cajon,CA. My dad used to drop by every time we where on the San Diego area (about every month or so). They used to have lots of used equipment and was a really nice store. Im told they sell mostly digital now so I guess the camera shop of my memories is mostly gone.
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Old 09-21-2016   #141
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Its so sad I miss the days when you could find a camera store just around the corner, l never realised how good those days were
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Old 09-21-2016   #142
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The Chestnut Hill Camera Shop (in Philadelphia) closed August 15th, after being in business since 1963.

http://www.chestnuthilllocal.com/201...r-six-decades/

http://www.chestnuthilllocal.com/201...ce-is-history/

Sad to say I wasn't the best customer because I don't have tons of spending money, so I had to go to other sources much of the time.
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Old 09-21-2016   #143
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I bought my first adjustable lens camera, a Ricoh 500G, at Green Acres Camera Exchange in nearby Valley Stream.

Later in my serious formative photo years (mid to late 1970's) I patronized Nassau Camera in Franklin Square, Long Island.
They sold mainly by mail order but maintained a relaxed showroom where you could handle everything.
Their prices were close to those of the big Manhattan dealers, but without the pricing subterfuge.
More importantly my mom was willing to drive me there from our home in southeast Queens.

The older couple who ran Nassau Camera were very patient with me.
IIRC when they retired their son fairly quickly ran the business into the ground.

Combine Camera ran the photo concession at several local TSS department stores (Times Square Stores).
I'd go there for film, chemicals and many other small purchases.
For awhile a friends brother worked there and would throw in the occasional freebie.

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Old 09-30-2016   #144
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Len Lyons at R.G.Lewis introduced me to Leica and was patient with my awkwardness .
I ended up buying a IIIc / M8 and lightly used Digilux 3 from him .
He would often travel on the train to town when I was working .
My other IIIc is from Wallace Heaton in Bond St , but later CLA by R.G.Lewis .
I don't think anyone missed the Dixon chain LOL

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Old 12-28-2016   #145
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Sigh. Central Photo Service, on Chicago Avenue, East Chicago, Indiana. My first job, in the 1970s (from age of 12, yes, 12, a legal and paid position). Andy Adams (nee Adamchik), proprietor. The store is long gone, as is the shopping street.


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Old 12-28-2016   #146
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Jim's Campus Camera in San Luis Obispo, CA, is where I went when was discovering photography as a kid. A great place, with a very supportive staff. Closed in 2013:
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/bu...e39436524.html
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Old 12-28-2016   #147
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I don't miss camera stores at all. They are a thing of the past and the heartwarming stories from yesteryear only demonstrate that we only miss them because of nostalgia.

I am trying to think what I would buy at a camera store and come up with nothing. Camera stores used to have a very limited inventory and chances that they have what I want are slim anyway, and if they do, then only at a steep price point. I would have to talk to a store employee who knows less about the product then I do, and he'd probably try to convince me that I need something else, something more expensive. That's my memory of camera stores.

I have a few Leicas and Leica lenses and won't be shopping for new camera gear for hopefully a long time. If I needed another lens or body, what are the odds that my local store would have them, and at what price?

Everything you want is only a mouse click away on the Internet and due to the worldwide online competition, you can compare prices and find amazing deals.

The only photography-related items I buy are expendables, mostly film, chemistry, and a few accessories once in a blue moon. So I drive to the B&H superstore once a year and buy in bulk. If I run out of film or chemistry, I order online and it will arrive at my door steps the next day, at rock bottom prices. If I need a new lens, I certainly wouldn't run to my local camera stores; I'd go online and get it shipped to my door. The other day I wanted a Super Angulon 21mm lens. The combination of forum classifieds, online Leica stores, EBay, Amazon, etc, gave me a great choice and two days later I had a wonderful lens that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Perfect! The Internet is a shoppers paradise and couldn't be more convenient.

Do I miss camera stores? Not a bit.
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Old 12-29-2016   #148
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This is one of the best threads on RFF. Please keep posting.
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Old 12-29-2016   #149
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ken Hansen in several locations in NYC...the place to be and see the real stuff...
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Old 12-29-2016   #150
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The original business of Vince & Co 1797 was as Chemists/Apothecary who started in photography by selling raw chemicals for processing. Over the years the photography side became a more important part of the business and the chemist side was dropped. I have a pharmacy bottle somewhere in my collection with a Vince and Co label.
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Old 12-29-2016   #151
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Adray Photo in Dearborn, Michigan. I bought my first quality 35mm camera at Adray's back in 1971 (a Canon FTb) and my Leica MP in 2005. There were a full-line camera store (analog and digital) right up to it's closing back in 2009. The store was successful too, even in today's economy, but the owner got tired of the grind and decided to retire. Our loss.

Jim B.
I cannot agree... everything was insanely overpriced there. I am surprised they survived as long as they did.
Other one was Century Camera on Woodward. OK place but stuff was as rude and condescending as they get.
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Old 12-29-2016   #152
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I remember the over-the phone purchases from most of stores, where you cannot get rid of a salesman trying to sell you a warranty or additional cleaning kit.
I don't miss catalog stores.
I do miss Costco's film development services (my local guy would charge me about a dollar a roll of color film development only, no prints, and did it fast too). That I do miss.
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Old 12-29-2016   #153
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I remember the over-the phone purchases from most of stores, where you cannot get rid of a salesman trying to sell you a warranty or additional cleaning kit.
LOL, it's their job to upsell! They're paid to do it, and they get commission if they close on it.

It's your job to tell them "NO" very assertively. Same way with the appliance dealers (or, LOL, the rental car counter) in real life. Tell them flat out to close the sale now or you will "walk" and go elsewhere. Try it, it works.
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Old 12-29-2016   #154
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Here's an album of the current state of all the old camera shops in Edinburgh.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk4Z3vCz

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Seattle -The Camera Show
Old 12-29-2016   #155
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Seattle -The Camera Show

The Camera Show in Seattle -owned and run by Ed Olson. When I was too poor to be playing with Leicas, he and his store were quite accessible. I managed to get my Leitz Minoldta CL there and later an M2. I also got a Minox GT that I was able to trade-up (at Glazers) for my first 35mm Summicron- Black 8-Element for the GT and about $300. Once ebay came on-line, I realized the value of that lens, selling it to get both a Pre-asph Summilux and Summicron ASPH!
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Old 12-29-2016   #156
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ken Hansen in several locations in NYC...the place to be and see the real stuff...
Ken's store on Broadway was a magical confluence of being in the right place, right time, right salespeople. Even Ken could not recreate that experience.
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Old 12-29-2016   #157
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An old thread, but an ongoing problem. This was Arpi on La Rambla in Barcelona, and which closed at the end of last year. The closure is partly because of the immense tourist pressure on the area, whereby only downmarket tourist trinket shops and places for food and drink survive.

The shop was in two parts, with a front on La Rambla and a second multi-floor shop inside what otherwise looked like a residential building. This was a treasure trove of older cameras and film gear.

It is tempting to see the closure of shops like this in Barcelona as part of a general economic problem, but I suspect that it has more to do with sclerotic business practises than anything else. Stores like this probably derived much of their business from official (government) work, directly or indirectly, and which for a long time allowed them to receive inflated prices for goods and services. When this dried up as a result of digital cameras and the collapse of professional photographic services, many photographic businesses here failed to adapt.

The largest remaining "traditional" photographic shop in Barcelona is probably Casanova. They have many of the same problems as Arpi, with seemingly random prices which are sometimes competitive and sometimes absurd. Most astonishing is the price of Leica gear, new or second-hand. I can buy from bricks-and-mortar dealers in London at prices often 20-30% lower than Casanova.
ARPI was quite decadent for a long time. I remember peeking at the store a couple of years ago and it really seemed to be a shell of the former. Read about their legendary used camera building but never went in.

C/Pelai by Plaa Catalunya used to be the camera store+HiFi Row, nowadays taken over by clothing stores.
Casanova's original store was there and moved to a bigger place.
Nivell10 was a well priced and large store and simply closed down, the premises are empty and not a clothing store. I knew one of the saleswoman there and she told me it was simly because the owners/tenants retired and shut down.
Fotoprix was a large film processing chain and they had one of their main stores there, closed recently. Last year they went through bankruptcy but somehow survive.
Fidelcolor, which was a good HiFi soruce but also had cameras, for a long time has been a furniture store now.

I did not visit the stores much. I studied in Barcelona (saw you had a couple pics of my campus Mark!) but never lived in the city. The tourist pressure is not only on camera stores and the township+government want to redistribute tourism towards other regions because it is getting crowded.

The general economic problem was the nail in the coffin. In Barcelona itself rents are high, while wages tipped in the recession and remain low all over the country. 1000 is the normal wage nowadays, and rents are disproportionate with that base.
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Old 12-29-2016   #158
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Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
Jim Kuehl was not a store but a dealer in Iowa. In 2001 and 2002 I had some disposable income and bought a bunch of Leica M stuff from him both new and used. The first item was a used Noctilux for $1,500 that he charged on my credit card. The next month I ordered a Tri Elmar and was about to give him my credit card number when he said "Let me just send it to you and if you like it send me a check to cover the invoice." And he did. I bought two Leica M's and several new lenses that way.

A wonderful Gentleman to deal with. Thank You Jim Kuehl.

Joe
This above was on page two of the thread and others already seconded Jim Kuehl. He was the consummate gentleman -had this amusingly great phone voice, and very fair prices.
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Old 12-29-2016   #159
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Originally Posted by lxmike View Post
Its so sad I miss the days when you could find a camera store just around the corner, l never realised how good those days were
Yeah - I remember how great it was that wherever in the world you were, if you needed film and saw the yellow Kodak sign, you knew that you could get it.

I miss Kadet Photo in Pittsburgh. I used to get most of my chemicals there, as well as all of my Cibachrome (paper and chemicals) in the late '80's - late '90's.
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Old 12-29-2016   #160
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Do I miss camera stores? Not a bit.
Shopping is commerce yes, but it can be gratifying social interaction too.
Smaller shops offered more personalized service, and often were an expression of the owners personality, quirks and all.

Chris
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