The Concord, Massachusetts-based Polaroid Corp. announced last week that it plans to close factories that produce film formats for industrial and consumer uses.
The company said Polaroid instant film will still be available in stores into the next year. Polaroid stopped making instant cameras a couple of years ago and is currently seeking someone to acquire the licensing rights in hopes that another firm will continue to make instant film.
Polaroid introduced the first instant film camera in 1948 and was very popular among parents who were looking for new ways to photograph their children. Now, most users of the Polaroid instant camera use it for pure fun and are in a rush to stock up on as much instant film as they can.
As CNN reports: "Joe Howansky, a 23-year-old professional photo technician from Queens who has shown Polaroid shots at art galleries in New York City, said he bought $800 worth of Polaroid film at a discount warehouse club after he learned Friday that Polaroid planned to stop producing its film."
Polaroid photography is still widely used for industrial applications even though digital photography has taken over the photography industry.
Dermatologists use Polaroid instant cameras to track the healing progress of scars over time. Michael Phelan, a sales manager at Calumet Photographic in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says many medical professionals are hesitant to switch to digital photography because Polaroids are much more convenient.
As CNN reports:"There is no substitute for it, and there is no other product out there that is a viable alternative," said Phelan, who said his store has received several calls in recent days from customers worried about Polaroid film supplies.
Many stores who supply instant film plan on staying stocked up until what some are referring to as "the bitter end."
Jay Callum, the president of EP Levine, photography store in Boston, says:"But it's hard to imagine the photo business without Polaroid being a part of it."