March 14 2008
"The creators of instant film photography are getting out of the business. Polaroid announced the closure of its two remaining film plants in the US, with international film plants plan to be closed by the end of the year.
The US plants manufactured large-format films, and Polaroid has already stopped making their trademark instant cameras.
"We stopped making commercial-type cameras about 18 to 24 months ago, and we stopped making consumer cameras about a year ago," Polaroid chief operating officer Tom Beaudoin said.
Polaroid is shifting their business focus to digital photography gear and flat-panel TVs."
this is sad news for Polaroid camera enthusiasts, me included. i have started a couple of Polaroid SX-70 film projects this year and am now faced with a film shortage. My film supplier in New York ran out of SX-70 film about a month ago and people then had to buy from one of the last remaining film suppliers in Austria. Last night i received an email from the Austrian supplier that there were only 500 packs of film left and in 24 hours they were going to jack the price way up (it's already quite expensive $2-$4 per shot). I had to act fast if i wanted to get enough film to finish my project. After finishing some work and finishing dinner i went down to get the film.. and in only those short 2 or 3 hours, the entire stock of 500 boxes was sold. There is now virtually no more SX-70 film available from retailers and is being sold for very high prices on eBay.
All is not lost, however, i can modify my SX-70 to accept Polaroid 600 film which is more readily available (but not for long).
In the era of digital photography (which i totally support) it has been a joy to work with the idiosyncratic and quirky polaroid process. i only wish i got into it a lot earlier.