Fondly Remembering: Fotomat

Just like the American Buffalo, these little yellow roofed buildings dotted the landscape of America. If you’re under the age of 35, you probably have no idea what a Fotomat was. At one point there were 4000 Fotomats across the U.S. mostly located in suburban areas.


Fotomat was a drive up film processing service that promised “One Day Photo Service” You just simply filled out an envelope with your name, address and phone number, dropped the film in it and handed to the Fotomate (female Fotomat employee) or Fotomac (male employee- I kid you not), and picked up your prints the next day at a designated time. I sort of miss the anticipation of waiting on pictures to see how they came out. It was such a thrill to get the folder with your prints and negatives all in a neat little folder.


Fotomats slowly started disappearing with the advent of 1 Hour photo machines appearing in local drug stores and supermarkets. The final dagger was the dawn of digital photography and soon Fotomat was gone.

Today, many of the old Fotomat buildings are still around, many of them converted to Shaved Ice locations, Locksmiths and some still abandoned. If you look carefully, you can probably spot one close to you.


We remember you fondly Fotomat and remember through our prints.




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