I have not used these booths since I was a kid. But when I recently took my boys and their friend to see Horton Hears a Who at the Showcase Cinemas Seekonk Route 6 movie theater, I noticed they had a photo booth in the lobby. I remembered how fun it was to step into one of these booths with a friend, make silly faces and have the immediate gratification of receiving the instant printed photo strip. I love the idea even more now that so many of our digital photos live only in our computer – and why I still love my Polaroid Instant camera (even though Polaroid has decided to stop making instant film).
The boys had a blast with their friend in the photo both and for $3.00 we ended up with ONE adorable picture on the strip. Because the photo strip takes 4 pictures and prints two of each shot, the sheet is like movie stills and tells a story about what transpired in the booth. One of the stories our photo sheet tells is that the booth did not work as we expected but was worth it all the same.
Here’s what I learned for improving our next photo booth experience:
1. The cost is $3. The booth we used only took $1 bills. Have extra $1 bills on hand in case the machine rejects some of them.
2. The select button sticks occasionally. Even though I wanted color photos, the sepia button stuck, so that is what we got.
3. You can’t squeeze more than three 6-year-olds into a photo booth.
4. You get four poses but you can’t stop the timer on the camera between poses. It will take a picture every 5 seconds whether you are ready or not.
5. When the photo strip prints, you should get 8 mini photos. Our photos were misaligned on the paper, and a cut in the paper went through the middle (slicing 4 of the pictures we had to tape together later). There were too many people in line buying movie tickets to get anyone to help us.
I heard there is a photo booth at the Peter Pan Bonanza bus terminal off North Main Street in Providence. Since my family is a bunch of photophiles, we will try that booth next.
There used to be a lot of photo booths around the world – PhotoBooth.net is a cool site that tries to keep track of the remaining photo booths. Check the site to find one near you.