Gordon's Photo Service in Reno Sets a Closing Date
A longtime business owner is closing shop after 5 decades in northern Nevada.
At 10am on a Monday morning, Gordon Allen walks with his keys to open his store at Reno’s Smithridge Plaza. Several people are already waiting. Gordon is waiting too...he’s counting down the weeks for this lifelong routine. His photo shop is half-store half-advice stop for local camera buffs...with a big serving of nostalgia. As he told me, "We still have both Kodak and Fuji, and Ilford in black and white, 35 millimeter and 120. Both are still available."
Yes, we now live in a digital world, but Gordon never gave up on the yellow and green-boxed classics: Kodak and Fuji. As he says, "When you process a roll of film, that negative that you have is good for 80 to 100 years!"
And Gordon is not alone. For 50 years, his camera stores have been “photo central” for film, which has slowly been yielding space to memory cards, electronics and the like. But pretty soon it will be all space, as this Reno mainstay closes its doors for good. Gordon tells me, "The end of June is my closing date. The lease here is up at the shopping center so I figured it’s a good time."
5 decades just flew by, he says. He was just 21 when he managed his first camera shop in Reno. Why did he choose photography? Laughing, he told me, “I like it!”
Gordon's was in Carson City (“The Photo Emporium”) and in Reno’s old Parklane Mall before his current store at Smithridge Plaza, where he has Reno's only wet film processor. And despite Amazon and others eating away at his business, it’s still pretty busy at Gordon’s. Many customers there didn't know that its days are numbered. Aaron Duerksen told me, "I don't like that, actually. This is where I've always gone. I guess I got to find a new spot." Customer Joanne Kilgore’s reaction? "I feel sorrowful. It's such a great place. A great place for Reno."
Gordon tells me, “We'll have a clearance the first of June. And you never know. Possibly somebody may come in and offer me something to take over the business." If not, this lifeline to photography supplies, resources, knowledge and advice will join so many others, in Reno's “colorful” past. But Gordon says it's time: "Like I tell people, I've been in a toy store for 50 years. Not too many people can say that, and have fun...you know?"