R.I.P., Kodachrome (1935-2009)

kodachrome.jpgEven an imploring Paul Simon chorus couldn’t save it. Kodak is taking Kodachrome away. The company has announced that it will retire the world’s first commercially successful color film, which today accounts for “a fraction of one percent of Kodak’s total sales of still-picture films,” according to a press release. While Kodak remains the global leader in the dwindling film business, the company now derives about 70% of its revenues from commercial and consumer digital businesses.

You—or your parents, or their storage unit—probably have albums full of Kodachrome memories, but Kodak has arranged its own online slide show of “great Kodachrome moments” (best viewed with the aforementioned anthem playing, preferably on a record player). They include Steve McCurry‘s famed Afghan girl photo that ran on the cover of a 1985 issue of National Geographic. McCurry will shoot one of the last rolls of Kodachrome, and his photos will be donated to the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York. Meanwhile, there’s still time to stockpile Kodachrome, but you better act fast. Kodak estimates that current supplies will run out by early this fall at the current sales pace.

Previously on UnBeige:

  • Kodak Sharpens Focus on Sustainability
  • As Polaroid Remains in Limbo, an Elegy for Instant Photography
  • Friday Photo: Farewell, Polaroid
  • Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture, While You Still Can