The interest that the threatened removal of the Flinders Street photobooth generated, has turned owner, Alan Adler, into a minor celebrity. It is a celebrity he could have done without. I can’t imagine what he went through, with the worry of the proposed abrupt cessation of his business, hanging over him for two weeks.

For those Melbournians dedicated to “dip and dunk” chemical photobooths, Alan has always been a much loved figure in our city. Selfishly, I love seeing him getting some public recognition for his work. A couple of days ago The Guardian did a picture essay about him. You can find it here.

 

I am very grateful to Peter from Documenting the Obvious photography blog, who let me know last week that an interview I did with Lomography Magazine had been published. I had been checking their site on and off, hoping to find it but without success.

It is the second time I’ve been mentioned on Lomography.com but the first time I’ve been formally interviewed.

The link is here if you’d like to have a read. This is the previous mention. Thank you to Ciel Hernandez, one of the copywriting editors of Lomography Magazine, for contacting me. I was very pleased to be asked.

Photo by Donna Demaio for 3AW

Clowning about in the famous Flinders Street photobooth. 30 April 2018

“The photo booth will not be removed from Flinders Street Station. We understand the significance of this photo booth and are working closely with the owner to find a new location at the station.”

Metro, the company that owns the station, now say that they understand the significance of the photobooth yet, only last week, they gave the owner Alan Adler, ten days notice to remove it after 46 years of its presence at the station. Grrr!

Metro changed their tune after local and national media coverage. Yesterday local radio station 3AW did a piece about the saga, as did National Nine News on television.

A local photographer Pinot Nior lent a hand. His post about the booth has had 989 shares, so far. One of his photos of Alan and the booth is below.

There were website articles, most notably at Broadsheet Melbourne and a print  article in The Age newspaper this morning.

There is a new Instagram page started by Veronica Charmont @flindersphotobooth where anyone can share photos from the booth.

There is also a book proposed by Phoebe Veldhuizen to collect together as many examples from the booth as possible.

Last but not least there is the Facebook group started by Sarah Rossiter, “Save The Flinders Street Photobooth”, which I told you about in my last post on this subject. The group has kept me and many others abreast of the developing story.

So one hopes that this is a permanent stay of execution but given bureaucratic tendencies towards stupidity I won’t be holding my breath!

(In the two photos below, Alan is holding a copy of Nakki Goranin‘s book American Photobooth, which is my bible for all things photobooth related.)

Photo copyright Pinot Nior

Photo by Christopher Sutherland

USA, 22 May 1928

This battered little photo was taken exactly 90 years ago, today. Marie is a sparky little lady, who is very aware of how to behave in front of a camera. Assuming she was about two years old when this was taken, and that she lived most of her life in the prosperity of the United States, it is possible that she is still alive today. She would be only three years older than my mother and the same age as a wonderful lady named Paddy, with whom I do my pain-management exercise therapy.

I imagine this photo departed its original home by being given to someone close to the family, but not part of it, around the time it was taken. Over the decades the significance of this memento faded from memory as people moved town, or otherwise lost contact, got older or died, thus leading it to being sold in an auction or junk shop.

Here’s hoping that, like my friend Paddy, Marie is hale and hearty and amazing everyone who knows her with her zest for life and wonderful sense of humour.

In January last year the administration at Flinders Street station intended to have my favourite photobooth permanently removed from its location on Flinders Street. A booth has been at the station for 44 years. Due to the hard work of some students from Melbourne University, and others, a campaign to save the booth was launched and for some 16 months was successful.

Unfortunately the threat has reemerged, as you can see from the notes the owner, Alan, has placed on the booth. There is a new Facebook group called SAVE THE FLINDERS STREET PHOTO BOOTH. The women who have started this group have spoken with Alan and they tell me that it is not his decision to close down the booth. I hope you can all join to help swell the numbers in order to make our displeasure felt and save the booth.

I apologise to the many people who have left comments on this blog or replied to comments I have made on other blogs, that remain unanswered. My health isn’t too great at the moment. I will get back to everyone as soon as I can.

USA 1960s

Hello little girls, with your wonky mummy-cut fringes! I love your complementing striped tops. You are working so beautifully together to compose these photos. Your mum and dad must’ve been so thrilled with them!

The strip of these two cuties came from a photo album in which the following three snapshots were found.


A Christmas with a new baby. Is it a boy or a girl?


It’s another girl. What an extravagant Easter!


The girl holding the jug of hooch and the pipe is presumed to be the mother of the three sisters. I wonder if this was just a dress-up game or were the costumes for a party or Halloween? Either way it is a fabulous precursor to this little history of girlhood.

22 May 2003, Leicester Station, Leicester, UK

This was taken on my way to London to stay the night with my cousin Xie. I flew to Canada the following day.

This strip of photos comes from my series Photobooth 46 Year Project. The complete set of posts to date, can be seen in reverse order at the link Photobooth 45 Year Project (Archive) under the Categories heading in the side bar, on the right of this post.

For those of you who are new subscribers or visitors to this blog, UK artist Dick Jewell made a video using photos from this project in 2012. It can be seen on Vimeo here.

 

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