There are only 190 one-hour photo shops currently left in the U.S., according to Bloomberg.
Their ranks have dwindled 94% over the past 15 years after peaking at 7,600 in 1993, the report found. The first consumer digital camera was introduced the following year.
Their disappearance tops even the 85% culling of video-rental stores like Blockbuster over the same timeframe, according to Bloomberg.
“The photo business is dead,” Dae Kim, who owns Happy Photo in Queens, N.Y., told Bloomberg, adding that he only develops about 10 rolls of film a week.
Of all the factors that led to their decline, digital photography is likely the main culprit. The Apple QuickTake 100, the first at-home digital camera, hit retail shops in 1994. It forever changed how pictures are taken.
A 2014 analysis of photo sharing across Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp found that 1.8 billion pictures are uploaded to the platforms on a daily basis.
The vast majority of these photos are coming from digital and smartphone cameras, according to Mashable, and not being developed by the likes of Fotomat — a once-mighty chain of one-hour photo kiosks that peaked at nearly 4,000 franchises nationwide in the early 1970s, according to a recent Rochester Democrat & Chronicle profile of the now-extinct company.
What once were referred to as “Kodak moments” are now almost exclusively uploaded to social media networks or photo-hosting websites instead of dropped off for processing.
This trend towards digital photography led film manufacturer Eastman Kodak to declare bankruptcy in 2012.
Fotomat is long gone, but its once-ubiquitous kiosks remain. They have been turned into cigarette, coffee, sno-cone or watch repair shops, according to pictures posted to Flickr.
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