You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Technicolor Shutters Glendale Lab as Film’s Fadeout Continues

Company expects its last facility to close in less than five years

Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction.

The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of Technicolor Creative Services. “Imax has transformed a lot of their theaters to digital and we were even lucky to have another year, because the volume was very uncertain at the beginning of the year.”

Fotokem continues to offer 65mm/70mm services as well as 35mm and 16mm services, and Technicolor still has one film lab, in Bangkok. But photochemical developing and printing on an industrial scale is likely to vanish soon. “Is it six months? Is it three months? It’s not five years,” said Gagnon about the future of Technicolor’s Bangkok lab. Gagnon said some studios have said that sometime in 2014, there will be no more film prints.

Gagnon said the company’s HR department is working to place the affected employees elsewhere within the company but, “as you can imagine it’s very difficult to move people from a very analog activity to digital.” Technicolor employs 1,750 people in the Los Angeles area, he said.

Technicolor has been eager to shed its analog film legacy business for some time as it completes its transition to a digital services and post-production company. It even dropped any hint of film reels from its logo in favor of a logo suggesting digital level bars.

More Film

  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle

    China Box Office: 'Kingsman' Dominates With $39 Million Opening

    Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction. The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of […]

  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle

    'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' Tops International Box Office With China Debut

    Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction. The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of […]

  • Bria Vinaite is 'The Florida Project's'

    Why Bria Vinaite, as a Loving Mother From Hell, Is the 'The Florida Project's' Not-So-Secret Weapon

    Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction. The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of […]

  • James Toback sexual harassment

    Dozens of Women Accuse Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment

    Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction. The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of […]

  • Robert Hawkins, Variety Rome Correspondent, Dies

    Bob Hawkins, Longtime Variety Journalist in Italy, Dies at 93

    Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction. The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: Tyler Perry's 'Boo 2!' Tops Downbeat Weekend With $21.7 Million

    Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction. The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of […]

  • Aida Begic Director Aida Begic poses

    Antalya Festival: Aida Begic on ‘Never Leave Me,’ Shooting Movies with Kids

    Technicolor’s decision to close its Glendale film lab shows just how quickly the photochemical film business is approaching extinction. The lab, which employed 39 people, was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters. “It’s clear the market has dropped, as you can imagine,” said Claude Gagnon, president of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content