ProLab, Seattle’s second-largest pro film lab is closing their film processing and printing business. According to the Seattle P-I, the shift to digital has gutted not only their film processing, but also the demand for custom prints. Apparently people have noticed that a $2 8x10 from Costco with Dry Creek Photo’s profiles is pretty much the same as a $10 8x10 from a pro lab. With film, you’re pretty guaranteed that cheap places like Costco will scratch your film, screw up processing it, and leave it coated with gunk, but with digital that’s irrelevant.
So where does this leave the pro labs? For ProLab at least, they’re sticking with larger-format printing for advertising displays. Both ProLab and Ivey have been concentrating on this market for years, and it’ll probably serve them well for years to come, while traditional film printing fades into memory.