Paul Simon may have begged Mama don't take my Kodachrome away in his 1973 ode to the legendary color slide film, but now the unthinkable has happened, and never again will you be able to get your Kodachrome film developed.
On Thursday Dwayne's Photo in Parsons Kansas finally switched off the world's last remaining Kodachrome processing machine, after developing a roll with pictures of the shop and its staff shot by owner Dwayne Steinle just minutes earlier. Kodak ended the film's 74 year production run in 2009, and photographers from around the globe have been anxiously trying to get their final rolls in to Dwayne's before the deadline.
One of the last customers was Jim DeNike, who delivered 1,580 rolls railroad pictures for developing at $9.98 per roll. He says he had to borrow money from his father's retirement account to help pay for the work.
Unlike other color films such as Kodak's own Ektachrome, processing Kodachrome is an intensely complicated procedure that cannot be done at home. In addition to large and complex machinery, special dyes supplied by Kodak are needed during the process, and aficionados say that this is what endows it with such rich and vivid colors. Kodak made the last batch of the dyes last year, and Dwayne's has to crack open their one remaining can of blue to get the final rolls done on Thursday.
While the fancy processing requirements undoubtedly played a part in its demise, it's pretty obvious that digital photography is the real culprit in the death of Kodachrome.
Via New York Times