Cambridge photography store closes as owner files Chapter 7

Calumet Photographic, which runs a national chain of photography supply shops, including one on First Street in Cambridge, has filed for Chapter. 7 bankruptcy and has shut all its stores.

After the news broke, though, the company posted on its Facebook page:

Stay tuned, as we are exploring opportunities to reopen select locations to keep serving our customers.

H/t Arturo.

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    Comments

    E.P. Levine too!

    Seems they decided to leave the "innovation/seaport/whatever" district for greener pastures in Waltham.

    Interesting that Calumet filed Ch. 7 (liquidation) instead of Ch. 11, which is for restructuring. Like E. P. Levine, their focus has been on the pro/studio market, and perhaps the less healthy in the photography business.

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    Ch 7 if they ain't coming back

    I liked Calumet and shopped with them over the years. They were not always the cheapest (their downfall) but they had the best in-stock selection of any local camera store and had a good professional focus. I'd take a guess they where looking around for someone to buy the chain and when no one came to the rescue they decided that even with restructuring they'd never be able to compete with B&H and Amazon in the long run. So throw in the towel and file Ch 7. I hope the employees at least get something beyond two weeks pay -- many of them had been there for a long time.

    The sad fact is that I haven't stepped foot in a local camera store in ages. I can do far more comprehensive research online, B&H's site and prices are great, and for the few times I get something I don't like it's easy to take it back. Outside of the connivence of being able to pick up supplies last minute (now I use Amazon overnight) there isn't any reason for me to go to the local shops. I stopped wet lab developing a decade ago so access to chemicals isn't a concern which is half the reason I used to shop there.

    I'm sad they are gone but it's unavoidable. For me to have spent an extra 10% trying to prevent their demise would be fruitless. I'm always figured they'd outlast the smaller guys like Hunts.

    Good points

    I'll add that lens rentals too are online with more inventory than any generalist photo store, though also local companies.

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    Sad to hear it.

    By on

    The staff there was always kind and helpful when I was a college student learning my way around a darkroom, and I kept going back to them for my supplies long after I graduated. Hope they end up okay.

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    As a customer, am not surprised...

    By on

    About a year ago, I went to the First St. store to buy a camera. I even knew which Canon model was most appealing to me and was ready with the cash then and there.
    Except......I was ignored.
    It didn't seem that they were all that busy, so I waited all the same.

    waited....

    A few minutes,....

    another few minutes.... "Excuse me, is there someone who is available....?"

    Blank shrug...

    It was one of those moments when you feel that you're in the wrong place and that you need to get out as soon as possible.

    So I did. I got out real quickly and looked elsewhere. As I left, I was thinking to myself, "How do they stay in business?"

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    I had the same exact

    By on

    I had the same exact experience in that store. It was completely empty and not very welcoming. Plus there didn't seem to be anything on display except for a few random things.
    I feel like there's a place for speciality photo store nowadays since lots of people are buying slrs and such, but calumet was definitely doing something wrong.

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    How odd

    I always felt over-attended to, to the point where I felt I was being man-splained to, often ending with a feeling of pressure to either buy something or GTFO.

    The main reason I kept going back was they still carried a good selection of random darkroom chemistry and paper (need 30x40" Ilford gloss fibre paper right freaking now? Done!), and a couple of the greybeards who worked there were good people to bounce technical problems off of. But I can't say I ever loved visiting the store.