Polaroid to Open “Fotobars” for Printing and Editing Smartphone Photos


Given the digital age, you’d think that companies would shy away from brick-and-mortar stores. But the lo-fi movement has been good to the instant photography giant, and so in addition to releasing a mirrorless camera later this year, Polaroid has decided to open up a chain of retail stores called “Fotobars.” The hope is that people will come to these stores and print the photos that have been lost somewhere in the zeros and ones of their digital devices.

The stores will offer printing and editing services, aimed at helping the digital generation rediscover the joys of photography you can actually hold. After wirelessly transferring photos from your Camera Roll, Facebook or Instagram onto one of the Fotobar’s workstations, you’ll be able to add filters (as if you hadn’t already), fix red-eye, and adjust values like contrast and brightness.


Once the photo is edited to your heart’s content, you can choose various framing and material options, including wood, bamboo and metal. This will encourage consumers to print and display their photos, turning buried digital copies into works of art.

As Polaroid CEO Scott Hardy puts it:

Polaroid is about sharing life’s most precious and memorable moments. We have been, and continue to be, about self-expression, creativity and fun. Polaroid Fotobar retail stores represent a perfect modern expression of the values for which we have stood for 75 years.

The first of the stores is set to open in Delray Beach, Florida next week, complete with a “Studio” multi-purpose room for classes, private parties and displaying portrait work. That store will be followed by nine others located in high-profile cities like Las Vegas, New York and Boston by the end of 2013.

(via Polaroid Fotobar via The Next Web)

P.S. For now you’ll be able to edit and print photos from services like Facebook, Instagram and Picasa — no word yet on more photographer-centered services like Flickr and 500px.

  • Samcornwell

    Oh Polaroid, you were once so cool.

  • derekdj

    Polaroid is opening an entire brick and mortar store just to print a jpeg most people can do at home with a $100 canon photo printer?

  • Alan Dove

    They’d better brace for a continuous stream of vandals deleting the “t” on their signs.

  • Ernest Nitka

    If they would serve alcohol like they do at the paint your own pottery places they might do OK.

  • JoJo


  • Eric DiFebbo

    ahhheemmm… will they have a large stack of freshly printed photo releases waiting at the door?

  • 写真家

    Not a bad idea in the fact it is nice to see people actually printing images again, considering 95% of pictures taken today never move off the computer (or smart phone)

  • 写真家

    I doubt many people who are taking cellphone pix own a $100 photo printer, or would know how to even do it.With smart phone, walk in to fotobar, launch fotobar app, and blam, easy print.

  • Samcornwell

    Every large supermarket in the UK has one of these photo bars. Surely it’s the same in the US.

  • Ripley

    Electronics stores already have photo-printing booths… I guess you’d go here to do all the stupid instagram-y stuff to your photos though…

  • Eric Omori

    It would be so cool to see them work with Apple. Those stores always have so many people just in there testing products…I bet if they put a “guest” instagram account on each apple product and hooked it up with their printers to work wirelessly with an app they could do pretty well and not even have to open a store. haha

  • ivan arsiandi

    It’s a good idea, to addopt smartphone user…