First Polaroid-Branded Store Opens in Florida

Depending on how old you are, you can probably remember the first time you saw a Polaroid camera.

Maybe it was your grandmother’s or you picked one up at a thrift store. There is something beautifully nostalgic about them.

Since discontinuing the production of its Instant film back in 2008 (although you can find instant films at The Impossible Project) and filing twice for bankruptcy, the iconic brand has partnered with the startup Fotobar – to create a photo printing retail concept.

The first location opened up today in Delray Beach, Florida and will be serving as a model for other locations, which are scheduled to open this year in Boston, Las Vegas and New York, among other cities.

Once one of the most innovative products on the market, the Polaroid camera has long since been replaced by more modern technologies. With its illustrious white edges, Polaroid photos were able to provide instant gratification and also create an intrinsic social experience.

“We were the first social network,” Scott Hardy, Polaroid president and CEO, told the Associated Press. “People could take a picture and share it with their friends and give them a physical copy of it.”

Now, Polaroid is seeking newly acquired relevance within the quickly changing digital revolution, where more than 1.5 billion pictures are taken every day.

This new venture will employ educated salespeople to assist you in making the digital printing process easy and fun.

According to Fotobar founder and CEO Warren Struhl, the majority of the pictures people take never leave their phone. These days, instead of sharing our memories in person, we tend to distribute them through our social media networks. Doing this has caused many people to forget what it was like to place photos in an album or simply hang a print on a bedroom wall.

Sure, you can easily walk into any of your local Walgreens stores, or even try out other services to purchase copies of your digital photos, but the new Polaroid Fotobar is taking things a step further. For instance, you’ll be able to choose from an array of materials and framing options for your work of art, including canvas, metal, acrylic, wood, and bamboo.

A new technology will allow customers to transmit their images from their Facebook, Instagram or Picasa accounts, along with the images from their camera phones, to one of the store’s multiple workstations.

All of the products created at the Polaroid Fotobar stores will be shipped directly from the company’s manufacturing facility within 72 hours, with the exception of various poster products made on-site. Basic services will also be available on the company’s website and via an app, which is still currently in the works.

They will not only be offering printing services, Polaroid Fotobar will be conducting free photography classes, gallery showings, parties and other special events.

Struhl believes that, one day, thousands of these stores will open worldwide and says that Steve Jobs inspired him with the idea. “I’m inspired by the fearless leader of Apple who went against the grain,” he said.